This week I found something else that my Mac can do for me and my mom isn’t happy about it. I found software to help me manage travel itineraries and showed it to my mom. She said, “You’re on that computer all the time. Are you addicted to it?”
She has a point. My Mac used to be a nice little computer that let me do some graphics and a few reports and a spreadsheet or two. And play a few second rate games.
These days, my Mac is easily the center of my digital life, but is it also creating a Mac life for me? I use my Mac for so many things these days that it’s inevitable that loving family members might recognize a few symptoms of an addiction.
My Mac holds my music which syncs to my iPod and iPhone. It holds my email for personal and business use. I live on Microsoft Office. All my photos have been digitized and reside in iPhoto or Aperture.
I schedule my travel plans, do reports, edit home movies, and I’ve even taken up designing and building a web site. I have text editors, graphic editors and tools, and compose my own music in Garageband, though I’m learning to use Apple’s Logic Studio (whew, what a learning curve).
My Mac stores my login IDs and my passwords and credit card numbers and balances my check book. I have Mac software which helps me with invoicing and billing, too.
The end result may be closer to I, Robot than I may have imagined. I don’t think I’m addicted to my Mac, but I hate having to use the Windows PC in the office, and I always seem to find something else my Mac can do for me.
I use Skype and iChat and I’m thinking about Twitter but I still can’t figure out if people need to know what I’m doing all the time. Except my mom, and I don’t think she’s a candidate for Twitter. She just wants me to visit her more and fatten up because nobody wants to marry a skinny little Puerto Rican girl with a Scottish last name (not true, mom!).
If I could get more of my friends interested in iChat or Skype video, I’d be using my Mac even more, just to drop in and say hello without going anywhere. See the problem? My Mac plays movies and TV shows and music videos for me.
My surrogate Mac, in the form of my iPod and iPhone help me avoid the world and communicate with it at the same time.
The latest Mac surrogate is Apple TV, and once it adds a digital video recorder function, I have no doubt that I’ll be watching more television.
Is my mom’s suspicion for addiction justified? Since the amount of time I spend on my Mac has increased in recent years, at least somewhat in line with how much I ask my Mac to do, am I becoming addicted to my Mac? Or, is my Mac addicted to doing things for me and are we seeing the effects of I, Robot from a 10,0000 BC perspective?
Increasingly, I ask my Mac to control, manage, store and become more involved in my daily life, which has become heavily digital. How much worse will it be with iPhone 2.0 or 3.0 when my Mac’s soul truly resides in my iPhone?
How is your Mac life? Too much? Too little? Total addiction or mild infatuation?