My Tablet Died

I felt like having a funeral for it, but I am too overwhelmed by the stress of feeling disconnected, which is ironic due to the fact that I still have a smartphone and a laptop. But I had come to really love my Nexus 7 tablet. It wasn’t my first tablet, and it won’t be my last. The reality is that it only lasted 17 months, but I really used it a lot, especially having experienced multiple hard drive crashes last year.

My first tablet was a Nook. I bought it after a trip in which I was charged a fee for being over the airline weight limit due to all the books I was carrying. As soon as I landed I made the switch and have never looked back – I have also come to depend on having a full dictionary at the tip of my fingers (both the Nook and Kindle apps have them).

And then last year I had terrible luck with my laptop experiencing four hard drive crashes, two of which occurred while we were living and traveling in Australia. According the Dell it was just a string of bad luck, and they finally upgraded me to a newer, faster, and better laptop. Note to self: always buy the extended warranty! According to my kids, it was all Dell’s fault for not being Apple. No matter who is at fault, I came to rely on my Nexus 7 even more than I thought I would when I bought it to replace my Motorola 10” which I bought to replace my (original) Nook.

I chose the Nexus 7 because it was small and lightweight and came unlocked, which meant I could use any carrier for coverage in the states or overseas. It worked beautifully until it didn’t. I won’t end up losing any data, and while inconvenienced for a few days it is not a big deal in the scheme of things.

But the issue is the withdrawal I am feeling from not having my tablet in my purse, by my side or in my hands. I feel disconnected. I know that real connection for me is when I am able to be with real people in real time. However the illusion of connection from being online is huge. And I was sucked into the false sense of connection through my tablet.

For Christmas 2010 we took the kids to Costa Rica and had a terrific time. Part of what made that family vacation so great was that we went unplugged. No smartphones, no tablets, no online distractions, only us. We connected by being together and playing games. It was wonderful. We all felt a little bit of electronic withdrawal at first, but it wasn’t long before we were just playing and enjoying being in a beautiful place on the planet.

So I was bit surprised at the depth of loss I felt when my tablet died the other day. The good news is that I didn’t panic, no momentary thoughts of crawling into bed and pulling the covers over my head—which I literally did in 2001 when I experienced my first hard drive crash. The other good news is that it died just two days before I was off for a three day stitching retreat with some girlfriends, which is the ultimate in connecting in my book.

Knowing how to take care of ourselves is critical. For me, hanging out with my family and/or good friends is a great way for me to mother myself. Connecting online is fine, but nothing beats as connecting in person.

How have you coped when your technology has let you down?



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8 thoughts on “My Tablet Died

  1. Lorrie at www.shrinkrapped.com

    I’m pretty technophobic, and not that much of my life is dependent on my computer, or so I kid myself! I haven’t had to face any major losses, but the glitches I do encounter encourage me to try to get better about backing up my files. Occasionally I forget my iPhone, and I try to remind myself that most of my life I have lived very well without all this stuff. But again, I can afford to say this as I’ve never really been put to the test with a serious malfunction.

    Reply
    1. Heidi BK Sloss Post author

      When my laptop died in 2001, I had not been backing up anything and lost it all. After that I did backups on external hard drives. Now I save everything to dropbox AND I have Carbonite so any technology failure I experience is just an inconvenience and no longer a disaster. If I had to pick one backup system I highly recommend dropbox. When my new tablet showed up, all I had to do was download dropbox and I was all set!

      Reply
  2. Kim Acedo

    I have the fear of a crash, since I have so much info on my laptop. However, I try to remember to back it up every so often. I guess that’s the best we can do. I agree though, that nothing beats the connection of a live meeting or a live interaction, even if it’s on the phone or online. Glad to hear you didn’t freak out! 😉

    Reply
    1. Heidi BK Sloss Post author

      Backing up is great, but saving everything to dropbox (and not my hard drive) means all my data is available to me on any device. Absolutely the best backup system out there! But as you noted, the calm way that I dealt with the situation was the big headline. Guess I’m finally growing up!

      Reply
  3. Alicia S

    I remember my first pc, it was a desk top and I was hooked! I can remember my family, brothers, sister, nieces, nephews coming over and I was in my room on my computer. I’ve not let myself get that hooked on any electronic gadget since. It’s tough with my phone, since it’s always in my hand, but I stay aware that I need to be with the people that physically care enough to be with me. It’s strange really.

    Reply
    1. Heidi BK Sloss Post author

      Our relationship with our mobile devices is strange, not sure that there is anything comparable to it from before we had them. And once my kids became old enough to have cell phones I became even more hooked. The illusion that they can reach me if they need me at anytime is so real, and yet not really. And now anytime I hear a notification on my cell I feel like Pavlov’s dog as I yearn to check it. And I see the kids are all like that. Best thing I ever learned to do is to silence it! Thanks for visiting my blog!

      Reply
  4. Amazing Susan

    Hmmmmm.

    I feel somewhat conflicted about technology and connection.

    Then again, I feel somewhat conflicted about many things 😛

    I spend 90% of my time “alone.” I struggle constantly between the need to feel connected, and the need to be apart. Interestingly, my dictation software just wrote that as a part :-) another paradox. Being apart is being separate and being a part of something is being within it or connected to it. isn’t it interesting the big difference a little space can make? It turns a thing into its opposite.

    when I lived in Abu Dhabi years ago and I was on the verge of leaving my then husband, I used to go and visit a friend in Dubai. She always chastised me for being too so attached to my mobile phone. “Leave that phone alone,” she would say. That phone was my connection to the real world, or to my real-world. Our lives were so different. She was a nurse who managed a clinic at an industrial plant. She saw streams and streams of people all day long. When she got home, all she wanted was to be alone.

    I spent virtually all of my time alone. I yearned for connection. I loved to get text messages and phone calls, few and far between though they were. She couldn’t understand my connection to the mobile phone. Because her life was totally different than mine.

    I have no family anymore. I am alone in the world. Except for my mom who will soon be gone.

    Words connect me to others and to the universal energy. That connection is facilitated by “devices.”

    I think there is no right and wrong way to connect with people. There are only different ways.

    Or at least that’s my experience so far… :)

    Reply
    1. Heidi BK Sloss Post author

      Very interesting point about how technology can be a great connecting force in our life. In 1990, before the prevalence of mobile devices, we lived in Vienna, Austria. I experienced a lot of homesickness. At the time I thought it was due to all the vinegar in the food and being pregnant, but maybe it would have been easier if I had been able to be more in touch with friends and family back in the states. Phone calls were hard (and expensive) and letters took time to arrive. Our 5 months in Australia last year were a lot easier, partly due to the sunny nature of Australian’s but also how easy it felt to stay in touch with people back home.

      One of the problems though with all these ‘connecting’ devices is that while we have them in the palm of our hands, we can still feel very much alone. I sense you and I have a lot in common with the yearning for connection (see some of my past blog posts on this very subject). Personally I must make myself put down the device and pick up the phone to get together with friends to help curb that loneliness. Thank goodness that is is so easy to meet up with people for coffee with Starbucks on almost every corner!

      But seriously I agree that there are not right or wrong ways to connect, only different ways. And in today’s age we have so many options!

      Reply

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