Friday, April 21, 2006

Ever-decreasing circles

My 'I like' blog of a few weeks ago started out as a parenthesis illustrating something else entirely, namely reasons for a two-decade aversion to PCs and the Internet. But I was having such a good time with my raindrops-on-roses party (subject: all the things the PC/Internet is not, does not and can not.) that I dumped the other stuff and kept going (something I'm pretty good at, as we know.)

Here's the aversion bit.

For years I have described myself as either technomoron or technophobe, depending on whether I was going for laughs or accuracy, but essentially, I DON'T LIKE COMPUTERS VERY MUCH, though I liked the concept of Elle's cute pink Legally Blonde Mac. (In practice, don't like Macs even more than I don't like PCs - horrible keyboard.)

Basically Habibi got his first computer in 1990, and installed it in the spare bedroom. From then on, he would retire upstairs most evenings, only emerging hours later, weary, dazed, and smiling sheepishly, to collapse into bed. I tried not to kick up about something that made Habibi happy, but ooh I resented that machine!


The next bit would have been wry reflection (Whaddya mean apoplectic rant? We're doing emotion reflected in tranquility' today, for which I would like to thank my English teacher Mr Richards, who first put university into my fluffy head, my parents, who paid for it, and William Wordsworth, nice man, pretty good poet.) - yes, wry reflection - on how time passed, Habibi got his modem working, and was finally liberated from the daily commute to the office, embarking on the USS Microsoft, with Mama Duck, Habibibaba and millions of other families, for New Lifestyle, eventually settling in Global Village, I.T., where he revelled in the freedom of flexible hours, and the convenience of 24/7 Information Access. Meanwhile Mama Duck, while admiring his dedication, and absolute brilliance, chafed at the slow realisation that working from home meant never leaving the office. Didn't Habibi deserve a better quality of life than this? And where did Mama Duck and Habibibaba fit into the equation?

Of course, these issues have been part of traditional family life for as long as the traditional family, with breadwinners and dependants, has functioned. Yet even with two breadwinners, since the 80s and the cosy Thatcher/Reagan double act, the psychological pressures to work harder, faster, longer have been exacerbated by the presence of at least one computer in every home. Just as Japan's famously company-orientated society began to loosen up, the West started heading in the other direction! Taking individual character and choices into account, it all seems a bit much. (Still doing reflection here!)

And I don't think computer games are so healthy either - if we're not working on our computers, we're playing on them. Surely our ability to deal with other people only comes with practice, so if you chicken out in favour of rescuing Lemmings for hours on end (I love them!), how are you going to get the hang of real people with no re-set, no hot-air balloon, no AK47 or ICBM, no - omigod - no cheats? So says she who spent most of her childhood with her nose in a book.................. but of course that's different!

So what of my new blog lifestyle? Here's the irony: I WAS RIGHT! Ever since April 6th, when Mama Duck went online, it seems I'm either writing or revising my blog, or checking for comments, or reading someone else's, or thinking about something I want to write. I even dreamt I was in a blog the other night, on the page like something out of an admonitory children's film - nice page, though... In short, total obsession. Not doing much else. It's a BAD THING!

On the other hand, instead of being stuck with my own company because it's too hot & humid outside, or Habibi's working, or I'm spent-up/too tired or lazy to do something or go out/can't drive and can't face the bus, I've been to see grannyp in the Canaries, another Englishwoman abroad who's given me plenty to think about; and la petite anglaise in Paris - a pleasure to spend time with, even at this remove; and whoever-that-is turning his cave in Andalucia into a home - no, go see, this is great!; and Karma in Mumbai, with her glorious colours and Sunday competition , which she suspended, just as I found it -Aargh! - and some Spanish language blogs that I can't read without my dictionary, but give me something to look forward to; and of course, Ayalguita in Madrid - now there's another fabulous woman getting on with things. And it's already working both ways, though how nzm ever finds time to write her blog, never mind read anyone else's, is remarkable: go see, as I do, what Dubai has to offer those who'll get off their asses and join in!

I'd follow her example, but I've got places to go in cyber-space.


nzm said...

Haha - thanks for the plug - and dammit, for the other links to the blogs that I have to visit now!

Still, it's my day off, and as we're recovering from our first day of peace after having J's kids with us for 10 days, I can do what I like!

Especially as I just planned tomorrow's work with J in advance so she can't feel all resentful about me being on the computer for my own stuff today! There's method in my madness! :-)

cave renovator said...

Hi ya,

Thought I would pay a visit, great blog and thanks for the link, have done the same.

Whens the big move???


Mme Cyn said...

Uh huh, Mama Duck -- and this is why Mme Cyn does not have a blog herself! I can't afford the hit my already lazy social life would take if I were to start blogging... as it is, I wate enough time on line doing things like Qwyzzle ( far into the night... If I were to add blogging, I'd have no social skills left!

Still, it IS amusing to read what everyone else has to say...

MamaDuck said...

Mme Cyn! I am honoured by your visit. I'm staying right away from Qwyzzle....

CR July 07 we hope. Visited your forum - that's a valuable network you've built there. Hope to find similar for smallholders in Valencia.