Cleaning out my… computer?

Last night I discovered the power of the delete button.

I’d noticed quite some time ago that my computer was getting slower and slower- four years of wear and tear will do that to a little machine. Something I don’t reveal all that often is that I’m rather attached to my little white macbook, so much so that the thought of it crashing sparks fear in my heart. Of course, it has crashed before- thus is the nature of the beast. I’ve spilled water, coffee and countless peanut butter sandwiches onto the once-glossy keyboard, and it somehow keeps on computing. I’ve bogged it down with research on everything from Orientalism in the 19th century to classical political theory to where to have dinner in New York City. I’ve loaded the Iphoto application with over 5000 photographs spanning four years and many ups and downs. My computer has housed my obsessions and my salvation, my light and my dark. On this little macbook, I’ve written essays that have earned me prizes and papers that have caused pointless tears over lower-than-desired grades. On the grubby old screen I’ve read of acceptance and of defeat. I’ve watched television shows while studying for exams, basking in the glory of modern technology. I’ve set the computer on a table and hunkered down to a cup of hot chocolate and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. I’ve composed emails that broke my heart to send, I’ve poured my heart and soul into personal writings that reveal my innermost self. The teensy little speakers have blasted out everything from Queen to Daft Punk, pop, hip-hop and alternative rock. To say that I’ve spent a lot of hours gazing at the faintly dusty screen might be an understatement.

I’ve deleted things before, of course. After a particularly heinous International Relations class I relished the feeling of relief in simply highlighting and eliminating the relics of my hours spent slaving over complex French texts, deciphering the meaning behind realism and liberalism. I pressed backspace on the embarrassing number of nutritional information charts upon entering this wild world of recovery, saying goodbye to a few of the chains that kept my paralyzed and chained to my old habits. I erased the evidence of msn messenger conversations gone wrong. Yes, I’ve deleted some things over the past four years- but still, my computer retained files that I no longer had any use for beyond pure sentimental value.

So last night I found myself making copious use of the delete button- emptying the trash can and seeing the files zip off into cyberspace (where do they go anyway?). As the available space on my hard drive grew from 7 to 15 GB, I sighed a sigh of immense relief. Similar to spring cleaning in one’s house, emptying my computer of useless items I’ve collected felt freeing. It was as though I was allowing for many new and improved items to find their way onto my desktop, opening the door for new opportunities to present themselves in megabytes and gigabytes. I highly recommend this kind of cleanse. And that, my friends, may be the only time you’ll ever hear me endorsed a cleanse of any kind!

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One Response to Cleaning out my… computer?

  1. Katharina says:

    I actually wrote about this in my journal the other day. Some times I like to delete things simply to practice non-attachment and that not everything has to have meaning. In general, I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like clutter unless it’s aesthetically pleasing (a room full of character and filled with books for example lol). But yeah.. I like to do that a lot, and it really is freeing 🙂


    p.s. so glad you commented on my blog! Now I know about yours 🙂

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