Next week I’m leaving my computer.
It’s just a trial separation. It’s something we’ve been considering for a while now. I’ve begun to notice we make each other edgy. I’m aware of a disturbing co-dependancy. An unhealthy pull. As if the world would be trickier to navigate without my trusty device. My computer reluctantly agrees with me. He’s been showing signs of stress recently – spinning aimlessly in a tiny circular rainbow for minutes on end. Not listening to me. Refusing to cooperate. I’ve been ‘forced to quit’ him one too many times over the last few weeks.
So we’re breaking up. Temporarily. What options do I have? I could go old skool and ask each of you reading for your snail mail and send you my posts in the post? Maybe not. I wouldn’t get very much ‘reach’ that way. I’ve been reading a lot about ‘reach’ lately… how we bloggers should be aiming to impact as many people as possible in any one moment.
All I imagine when I hear the word ‘reach’ are the arms of a child, stretching up, looking to be held.
Attachment Theory tells us that we are hard wired to crave connection. My apple is hard wired for many things, except human emotion. When I whispered to my monitor yesterday evening, “It’s not you…it’s me,” I really meant it. I need to detach from the lure of the screen. He, on the other, just kept humming.
Will my reader care? Will you look forward to my words upon my return? Hold me in mind? Isn’t that why we revisit our various accounts so often? Checking views and clicks and comments and followers.
We are searching for validation. Needing to be needed.
The hunger to know ‘do I matter to you?’ lies at the core of all our attachment systems. The attachment relationship we establish with our mother, father and/or significant care givers when we are babies defines the way we relate for the rest of our lives. Even how writers relate to their ‘audience’.
So I’m going. Only for a week. I’ll be taking my notebook and a pen (keep this on the down low – I don’t want Mac getting jealous) I’m going to discover how days with my family might unfold without tapping and typing, scrolling and ‘liking’. (I’ve also intervened in my teenage son’s unsuitable relationship. I never liked that laptop anyway…)
I’m trusting you’ll be here reading when I get back, unless of course I’ve inspired you to have the “I need some time on my own” conversation as well.
Either way. I’ll keep writing when the holiday is over. Keep striving to ‘reach’. Arms poised up and open, waiting for that glimpse of recognition, that melting feeling that comes with the promise of touch.
If you would like to read more about Attachment Theory, John Bowlby, alongside Mary Ainsworth, was one of the first psychotherapists to identify it. He wrote a seminal trilogy of books beginning with ‘Attachment’ in 1969.
What comes to mind when you hear the word attachment? Write a poem beginning each line with the words “I am attached to…”
Do you too need a trial separation from your electronic lovers?!