Life Without a Laptop

Cleaning Hillman CityAfter our house got burglarized a couple of months ago [March 22], I have semi-avoided replacing my laptop to see what life could be like without it. Would I read more? Get out in my community more? Volunteer more?

In many ways, it was not a true test as I have an iPhone and could connect to it as necessary so still spent time every day browsing Facebook. I also brought home my work laptop about once a week to pay bills, file taxes and try to get through my mounds of unread emails.

The results?

The nights and weekends I lived without a laptop felt super freeing. I was more social and sometimes even went to bed earlier (say, midnight rather than 1:30 AM). I didn’t actually read much more than I did when I owned a laptop, however. Worst of all, the nights when I brought the office laptop home I turned into a frantic workaholic who never quite got the flooding inbox of emails read or bills paid. On the rare occasions when I did, I still wouldn’t have time to blog (which is why this site has gone two months without being updated).

I’ve now had a laptop for two weeks and have found that I became less dependent on it—have barely checked email, had so rarely checked my Facebook feed that I missed out on my best friend from highschool’s engagement last week, and am just now publishing this post I wrote two weeks ago. Here’s hoping that even while having a laptop again, I can pace my work out more evenly while prioritizing getting out in the neighborhood to be with people. I’ve been further inspired to live less glued to my laptop after reading Thin Places following our break-in (a book I mentioned in my last post back in March).

“As a community, we must go. We must turn off our TVs. We must shut off our computers. We must begin to spend less time inside the four walls of our church buildings.

“It is time to inhabit the places where life is being lived. In the parks. In the community centers. Under highway overpasses. In local businesses. At farmers’ markets. In the home of the single mom on your block” (p. 144).

This summer I’m looking forward to launching two Bible storytelling groups, one of which will be held in homes and the other in a park. I’m also excited about the recent initiatives of my community development team–from conducting a PhotoVoice class for children at an apartment complex to cleaning an empty lot on Earth Day to coordinating a fun walk…events in the community where real life happens!

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