Close the Laptop

It could have been so simple. A short piece about our hobbies not needing to be extravagant. That’s all I wanted. I could have started with my girlfriend’s claim that she is “boring,” my own lack of eclectic interests, or even a rant about the afterlife not being an award ceremony. I had plenty of options.

Instead, I went down a rabbit hole for an hour. I thought about more possible intros. I chased down some old articles of mine about video games. Then, I read those articles, until…stop!

In one swift motion, I closed my laptop. “PAUSE.” It was time to hit the reset button. For the next few minutes, I just sat there. Breathing. Listening. Thinking. No music. No multimedia wonder-world inside a screen. Just me and my brain. Then, I opened my laptop again and started typing these words.

Closing the laptop has become one of my favorite reset rituals. For most of us, the computer is where everything happens. Therefore, the easiest way to take a break from everything is to shut down the computer. With modern laptops, it only takes the simple, one-second gesture of closing the lid. They even allow you to jump right back in as soon as you’re ready.

When the screen is on, so is the bombardment. Information comes at you fast. The result is often meandering. You try to surf the web’s waves, hoping to get where you’re trying to go — but the current might carry you away any minute. Sometimes, it’s easier to reload the game and start over than to look for a path through the jungle back to the beach.

Close the laptop. Close it deliberately, and close it often. Close it when you’re not sure you need to close it — as soon as you do, you’ll know it was still the right decision. Close the laptop after every completed task, and close it randomly throughout your day. With modern technology, it’s never a final goodbye nor a big disruption — only a break we need more often than we care to admit.