I’m sitting behind my computer. I’m the manager of this place, so I need to have my eyes on this screen. But I need to keep my eyes on other things too.
I have noticed that the computer seems to be an interesting contraption. Of course, people know that computers are interesting, but I’m not simply referring to what they show us on their monitors. I mean they are interesting because many of us hide behind them. We don’t always use them as a kind of mask or shield, but we certainly do, when needed, use them this way.
What are we hiding from? Why do we push these things around on our desks, positioning them just so, making it harder for people out there to see us?
Are computers turning people into introverts, making them shyer, less friendly?
While writing this, my mind returned to an earlier time in my life when I worked in a different place—I was doing writing assignments for a large, well-known American corporation—and had two computers sitting on my desk. I could shuttle between them and would, from time to time, get this weird feeling that there was no reality beyond that which existed on those two screens.
In the job I currently have, the IT department switched out my old computer not long ago for something newer and faster. When the technician was in my workspace making the change, he asked me if I wanted two monitors. I told him I didn’t think so. One was enough. That made me wonder if the use of two monitors is becoming more the norm. Probably so. This makes it even easier for us to disappear. With two of these things sitting in front of us, the wall is much bigger and certainly more concealing. One of these days, I suppose, people will be requesting three monitors and then four and so on. It will eventually be possible to completely wall ourselves off from a lot of the rest of the world.
I could have told him that I want two, but my natural tendency is to try to keep things simple, to streamline, to downsize. As a matter of fact, I often find myself saying that less is more which is almost always true. Less really is more, although I am afraid of making categorical statements. A part of me is very much the ascetic, so this kind of thinking may be that part of my personality asserting itself.
I sometimes think I should have become a monk of some sort. A part of me is made that way.
A part of me would like to withdraw from everything—even food—and spend the day sitting cross-legged in some quiet place. My body would probably wither, but my mind would certainly expand.
I think I’ve said everything I’d like to say right now. So, until my next blog entry…