We are all addicted to something. Eating junk food. That morning cup of coffee. Shopping. Exercise (I know, right? How can I catch some of that addiction?). Some addictions are clearly bad for us (drugs, alcohol), and some are completely ridiculous (collecting ceramic gnomes, sex, collecting blog followers who never even bother to read a single blog post, etc.).
I only have one addiction. Okay, maybe two, if you count black licorice Jelly Bellies. You see, I am hopelessly, utterly, irrevocably addicted to my iPad. Yes, I am sadly aware of how much I sound like a character from a cheesy vampire novel. But it is true. My iPad is my addiction. My vice. My precious. I carry it with me wherever I go. I rarely allow my kids to even breathe on its screen. And yes, I will admit it – my iPad even sleeps on its own pillow beside me while charging at night (well, otherwise that huge King-size bed is just going to waste, right?).
But a few days ago, I had a life-shattering and horrifying experience. I was forced to go 24 hours without my electronic security blanket. 24 hours! That’s an ENTIRE DAY, peeps. 24 hours of not staring at the world through my own little window. 24 hours of not constantly sliding it open to “check stuff” and browse the web and listen to streaming music on Pandora.
“You’ll just have to exercise willpower,” said my friend, who was holding my life support machine hostage until the next afternoon. (Okay, not really. The truth is that I totally left my baby in his car on the other side of town).
Willpower. Okay, I thought. I can do that. I excel at willpower. Willpower is my thing. Cue music: I Will Survive by Glora Gaynor.
So I get home, ready to cook this great Potato-and-Chickpea curry recipe I had discovered. But then I remembered – duh, virtually every recipe I use ever is online, and I usually prop up my darling iPad on the kitchen counter while cooking (and streaming music, of course). Ugh. I was forced to use my laptop computer, which just Is. Not. The. Same. At. All.
I had to use my laptop to access my eTexbooks and do homework, too. And to “check stuff,” and to browse the web, and even to watch a television show on HuluPlus. But I refused to let my laptop sleep on the bed next to me.
The next day was tough. Still no iPad. I had no choice but to use my iPhone to take my turn on Scrabble, my iPhone to check email, and my iPhone to browse Tumblr as I drank my morning coffee. I even had to plug my earbuds into my iPhone in order to listen to music during my train ride to work. Sadly, the Kindle was basically unreadable – how the heck do you phone-addicted people manage with such a tiny screen? I was practically cross-eyed by that afternoon, and going through clear withdrawal symptoms. I’m pretty sure that my hands were trembling and everything when my friend finally placed my electronic drug back in my arms. I may have even kissed the screen or something, but I was too out of it to remember.
But I learned a couple of important lesson during 24 hours without my most prized material possession:
- iPads are waaaaayyy better than iPhones.
- It actually is possible to survive 24 hours without an iPad provided you have a couple of backup drugs – I mean, computers, available to fill in temporarily.
- I’d still rather be an iPad addict than a ceramic gnome collector.
- That curry recipe was really delicious.
Wait…I think that I was supposed to learn some sort of valuable lesson about self-sacrifice and willpower, so that I, as a writer, can enlighten my readers (all two of you) about the benefit of giving up addictions. But what I actually have to tell you is this:
- Willpower is really stupid unless you need to use it for something worthwhile, like weight loss or increasing exercise, or getting your homework completed (which I did not, because I was too distracted by the 24-hour hole in my life). So don’t waste your willpower on giving up your addiction if your addiction actually adds value to your life.
Enough writing. My Precious and I have some serious catching up to do.