Computer People

(A fictional essay based upon events in my life. Written for my English Comp class.) 

My husband and I are Computer People.  We spend way too much time on our computers each day.  Neither of us has watched television in a very long time.  There is always something important to do, and it can only be done on a computer.  We sometimes even Instant Message each other instead of walking into another room for a simple question or statement.  But while we have many common interests, we have very different opinions on everything, and I think our computers emphasize this fact.

The first obvious difference is that he is a Desktop kind of guy, and I am a Netbook kind of girl.  Apparently in his mind no mere laptop, even full-sized, can support his needs.  No laptop could hold the terabytes of important television series re-runs, funny video clips, and video game maps.  You can’t open up a laptop and install two DVD burners (leaving one slot open, of course, for that Blu-Ray burner he will have someday soon), more gigabytes of RAM, or the fastest processor available.  He is compelled to “tweak” every other possible thing to make his computer better than everyone else’s.  It must be a guy thing.

I, on the other hand, cannot comprehend why anyone would want a computer that is tethered to one spot.  I like doing my homework in my hammock on a sunny day, and having the recipe I plan to make actually on the screen in the kitchen.  I love having my own entertainment at the playground while the kids are playing, and they love being able to watch their movies in a shopping cart.  As for speed, my little computer goes as fast as it can.  If it takes a few microseconds longer than his, I can wait.

Another thing I do not understand about his point of view is cords.  Cords must be a status symbol.  Miles and miles of cords, branching out from the CPU all over the room, attached to every conceivable thing you can connect to a computer.  Most are never used.  The biggest computer desk made is not big enough for it all.  Additional shelving units are full.  I think the only thing he doesn’t have hooked up is a USB Pet Rock, and that is only because he does not have one yet.  I wish I could say that at least the cords are neatly organized, zip-tied, and hidden from view.  I wish I could, but I can’t.

My computer has one cord, and I don’t even have it plugged in unless the battery is running low.  The keyboard and monitor are built in.  I don’t even use a mouse.  I just pop the whole thing into my bag and go.

Monitors and speakers are another area of contention.  My ten inch screen works just fine.  I can see things on it.  My speakers reproduce sound.  Who needs more?  Apparently, I am an idiot.  The resolution on his 42” wall-mounted LCD screen is satisfactory, for now.  And the Bose Surround Sound system is a requirement, even though he can never turn the volume up past one without waking the neighbors.  For those times a higher volume is necessary, though, he has headphones with a frequency range that goes twice as high as normal human hearing range.  Maybe he is planning to play something for bats.  He swears there is difference between these and, well, let’s just say a considerably cheaper alternative.  And yet he does not hear me when I ask him to do something.

The biggest difference, in my opinion, is what we actually do with our computers.  He can spend hours playing video games, watching movies, listening to music, editing his photos, and never actually do any “work” or communicate with another human being.  For him it is an escape in high definition, at warp speed, and with surround sound.

My computer is my connection to the world.  I do work and school related things with it, I pay bills, and I learn new things.  It is my support network.  I keep in touch with family and friends around the world, talking with and seeing them in real-time, with no airfare required.  It is my memory with important documents and information that my head won’t hold stored on it.  It goes everywhere with me.

In order for me to escape and relax, I have to turn the computer off and walk away.  I can do that anywhere.  He has to be at home and turn the computer on.  If he can’t he becomes stressed.  I think I will stick with my little red netbook. The next time he tells me why his desktop is so much better I will just shake my head uncomprehendingly.

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One Response
  1. Adam says:

    Haha as a comp geek myself this article made me randomly laugh a few times on my way home from work 🙂