A few weeks ago I got the feeling that my laptop was on its last legs. It's like when your pet stops eating, or wanting to go outside, and you think, Uh-oh. Sure enough, at one point an inch-wide black line appeared on the left hand side of the screen, and began to creep its way to the right. I sent Steve to go get me a new laptop (it's more fun for him to pick that stuff out, and I don't really care what kind it is as long as it works and doesn't weigh a million pounds.)
He brought me a spiffy, slim, rose gold MacBook. I looked at my old MacBook, with its smashed Apple insignia on the cover, its greasy fingerprinted screen, the touchpad streaked with Super Glue (don't ask) and the keyboard stuffed with crumbs and dead skin and stardust. I swore I would treat this pretty new piece of technology with respect, try to extend its lifespan before having to get another new expensive piece of equipment.
The biggest change I made was that I promise myself I'd never eat and look at my laptop at the same time. I should be ashamed that this was ever a thing, shoving food in my face while feeding my technology addiction, but honestly, eating my lunch and reading "my sites" was a pleasurable part of the day. I caught up on news, opinion, fashion, and celebrity gossip before dragging myself back to my work.
Now? Well, the good news is that my laptop has managed to stay free of peanut butter, and that I am doing a better job of reading longer New Yorker features, which I have to think is good for my attention span. It's also probably good for me to spend less time delving into current events, that perpetual cycle of stories with headlines that end in "TK Thing, Explained" or "TK Thing Happened: Here's Why That's Important" or "TK Thing Just Happened And Everyone Is Freaking Out," stories promising that the end is imminent ("the end" of society as we know it or the current presidential administration, take your pick.) Additionally, I spend less time being grouchy about how my celebrity sites assume I know who certain Youtube celebrities are, or care about what celebrities Tweeted about TK news thing.
Here's the thing: Eating and reading my laptop is one of those things that you know is terrible for you that is also really comforting, like falling asleep in front of the TV or being chilly in the air conditioning while you observe a blazing hot sunny day through the window. I want to know for how long I have to keep up this saintly new habit before it really sinks in, because I miss my terrible old habit. If I don't get used to this new habit soon I'm just going to resort to readig my phone while I eat, which is arguably exactly the same thing as my old habit--just worse for my vision and arguably more disgusting (because unlike my phone, I rarely brought my laptop with me into the bathroom.)