Happiness Part V: We Know Too Much

computers

Day in and day out, we are being bombarded with information.  Some of it will be correct and some of it will prove to be incorrect yet, we will absorb it all as though through osmosis.  Whether we are truly paying attention or we’re subliminally and subconsciously picking it up, we have most of that info, rumbling around in our brains somewhere and it’s acting upon us like a slow release pill, coming out in dribs and drabs. It’s likely that we don’t even recognize that info is there or that we’re utilizing it in one way or another.  Our brains are wonderous machines with a filing system that makes computers look like toys.  Reality is, we know far more than we need to know and it’s causing us both stress and distress.  It’s a road block to being happy.

Remember back a few entries ago when the scenario of children being happy was the centre point of that piece?  If not, you can review it here.  Part of the reason that children are generally happy is that they don’t know enough to be un-happy.  Not only have the brains of children not developed enough but, they don’t know enough to be upset, stressed, worried or any of the adult things that we, as adults, have come to learn to do.  They live in moment because they can’t really foresee much trouble in the future.  Ignorance is sometimes, bliss.

Let me give a scenario here that may help demonstrate that point better.

Two men are in a car, stuck on railway tracks.  They cannot move back nor forward.  The elder gentleman in the car has a form of dementia and is busily reminiscing about days gone by that he remembers with fondness.  The younger gentleman, fully able to compute the dangers of what is happening, is trying not to frighten the older man while trying to start the car again with no success.  Off in the distance, he sees the faint lights of an oncoming train and keeps trying to start the car, filled with panic now.  The elder man is completely unaware of what is happening and continues on his trip down memory lane with pure joy and delight, laughter and a smile while beads of sweat drip down the younger man’s forehead.  Finally, in vain, as the train approaches rapidly, the younger man exits the car, opens the door of the passenger’s side and drags the old man out of the car to safety.  The train soon demolishes the car into a tangled heap of metal before coming to a stop.  The young man tries to catch his breath while the elder gentleman simply says, “why did you stop me?  I wasn’t finished my story.”  Both men experienced the same situation.  The difference in their reactions were simply that the younger man knew what was going to happen while the elder man was blissfully unaware of the danger lurking down the tracks.

None of this is to say that we shouldn’t be aware of dangers or ignorant of facts nor, uneducated.  What it is saying is that we are overloaded with information that oftentimes, is false, misleading and most importantly, un-needed.  We can’t be child-like because we now know too much.  As a matter of fact, we know more than we really need to know and that, in and of itself, causes stress, distress and un-happiness.  We are now incapable of simply living in the moment and being amused with simple things like the taste of our coffee, the smell of freshly cut grass, the clouds that are floating past us above, the purr of our cat, the sound of a stream, a song that we love or many other of the most soothing and amusing things in Life.  Instead, we are analyzing everything silly, thinking about what lays ahead, how much damage it’s doing to us and the world, some study that proves that the caffeine in our wonderful tasting coffee can kill us or how the water in our bottle of water might pollute the earth or be polluted by the chemicals in the plastic bottle or wax that lines the paper take-out cup is toxic.  We’re usually reading or listening to the news which is filled with doom and gloom as that is what sells air/paper time and we’re using technology devices such as our cell phones to look up more crazy-making information.  The list is endless as to how information is slowly not only taking away our happiness and ability to be happy but, is potentially causing us stress that will or could kill us sooner or later.

How many shootings do we need to hear about before we can say, “there’s a lot of kids, killing others with guns”?  How many studies have we all heard, read or talked about that eventually get reversed or at the least, changed because newer studies have proven differently and yet, we’ve given up that great tasting coffee or bread or eggs and, it’s now not only ok to have them but, we find out we should have been having them all along as they’re beneficial to us?  How many car accidents do we need to see on the news at night with people we never met, don’t know and never will know before we get the idea that driving a car in today’s world and in traffic or driving distracted or impaired, can kill us? Do we really need 24/7 news stations that cover a story live and have “experts” on panel to discuss every nuance of the situation?

The bottom line is that we have far too much information floating around in our heads that not only don’t serve us beyond simply having a fact/knowledge but, are harming us in one way or another.  It’s all certainly a stumbling block towards being happy.

If you want to feel a bit happier,

  • Turn off the news or put down that newspaper
  • Quit Googling or Binging or whatever search engine you use for a bit
  • Turn off your cell phone or use it to actually CALL a friend or relative and enjoy talking to them instead of texting or ignoring them.
  • Stop taking every study too seriously because it will eventually turn out to be changed or reversed by another that will follow.
  • Either turn up your favourite music and sing or dance with it or, listen to the birds chirping, the stream sounds or your cat purring for a change
  • Watch a comedy or inspirational movie instead of a horror, police or crime show
  • Read a book or story with an inspirational message behind it
  • Buy yourself an adult colouring book and colour for a change.  Heck, get out the crayons and colour a child’s colouring book.
  • Ditch the “Know-It-Alls” who are walking encyclopedias but, are as negative as hell
  • Limit time with or eliminate those people who are bringing you nothing but headaches or demands for you doing something for them
  • Spend more time with people who make you feel good and most of all, make you laugh
  • Get silly. Roll down a hill, play with toys, splash around in a local pool just for the fun of being in water and weightless or buy yourself a teddy bear.  Seriously.
  • Stay out of your head and thinking for even an hour a day.  Just pay attention to things around you that are soothing and relaxing.  If you can’t find that, find them in your memory bank.  They’re there, believe it or not.
  • Be thankful for what you have right now even if it’s not your dream situation
  • Set aside a worry time of 20 minutes where you write your worries out into a dollar store notebook then shut the journal and tell yourself worry time is over until your next planned session then, get on with something light, silly and funny

These are just a few ideas.  There are plenty more.  If you’re going to Google anything, search for ways to have fun.

Stay light, stay laughing, stay away from people or information that brings you down to a stressed out level as much as possible.  Just be.  Be in the moment and enjoy the little things in Life.  Be happy!

Blessings, Love and Light from my little corner of life to yours.

 

Apple, MAC or Anything “i” And Why It Can Be Your Worst Nightmare

As in my post below, I finally steeled myself and bought a MAC laptop.  Against every fibre of my being and, everything that goes against my grain, I finally got talked into buying a MAC computer after the breakdown of my beloved HP laptop which had served me well for over 7 years.  I had been assured that I was making the right decision as Apple (the company that produces MAC computers…just in case you’ve been in a coma or a cave for the past decade or more), was a highly reputable company.  How wrong that was in my case.

The first 10 days that I had my brand new MAC laptop, I had gotten sick and couldn’t spend any time on it.  That meant that 10 of the 14 days that the store would take it back, was already gone and I had 4 days to learn MAC and its operations as well as evaluate the computer itself.  With so many rave reviews by both Apple enthusiasts and sales people’s assurances, I should have no problems, no issues, no viruses, no way to not love this computer in spite of its undoubtedly hefty price tag (which was much more than I had expected or wanted to pay for a computer that would likely only last me 3 or 4 years maximum.)

Sending Error Reports In The First Week

Within the first week I was using it, a program would suddenly “need to close” and I’d have to send out an error report.  Do we really know where the hell these things actually go or whether anyone really ever sees them?  Like good little girls and boys, we send them out into cyber space, hoping that someone, somewhere, somehow, pays attention to them.  I’ve often wondered if these error reports are just something that they have us do so that in the midst of cursing and swearing at the sudden shut-down and loss of any information that we’d written or found, we’d have something that might make us feel that we’ve done something about it and someone will fix that problem so that it doesn’t happen again.

Apple Tech Support For Days

By the second day of more usage, I was soon tired of sending off error reports and gave up sending them, resorting to cursing and swearing and having to take deep breaths.  That was it.  I needed Apple’s Tech Support Line.

All of the Apple Tech Support Technicians were highly friendly.  It was as though they knew that you’d over spent your budget and were soaked by the pricing so, yes…of course…they’re going to be nice.  They also all spoke of the computer as though it were a pet, a child, a human being and anthropomorphized the machine in front of you to the point where you felt as though you should give it a personal name and feed it.  I had no issue with them.  They were highly eager to help me with my problem and did so in a fun-loving, personable way, making the long tech support sessions feel almost a bit fun at first.

Three calls and 6 hours later, including a remote session where a technician was actually remotely inside my brand new baby, looking at its inner software workings, I was still no further ahead as the thing kept crashing both programs and itself into a downed state.  This is where I began to lose my temper but, tried to recognize that they didn’t produce the machine nor charge me the money and were only doing their jobs.  They were far more patient than I was.

By the 4th call to Apple, I was fuming and ready to throw the computer through the window in spite of being escalated to Senior Advisors with Apple’s Tech Support System.  Of course, they understood my upset and frustration and that I wasn’t taking it out on them but, even when confronted with the question of whether they would be happy with how much they’d paid to get a lemon, all that they could do was read off of some company policy card that read, “you’re screwed” (in different wording than that of course).

“You’re screwed!”

The final Senior Advisor relented that the problem wasn’t a software issue but, a hardware issue from the factory and I’d need to send it in to be serviced.  SERVICED?  I needed a brand new computer “serviced”? That wasn’t the worst part though.  I now had a brand new piece of JUNK that I’d paid a small fortune for and would be without a computer for at least 10 days.  More than that, worse became worst when I was told that even to get it seen at an Apple Store, I’d have to make an appointment, leave it for the 10 days and the earliest appointment that they could get me was 2 weeks away!

I’m sure you can hear the mutterings in my mind that weren’t exactly pretty at this point.  I’m equally certain that each Apple Technician must have to go through a “how to keep your cool while the customer implodes” course before they’re put onto the phones as it didn’t seem to phase them one bit that I was explaining how I used my computers for work and 2 to 3 weeks more after paying the price for a brand new computer to wait to have what I considered a “refurbished” model (in the light form of the definition) was not exactly music to my ears.  And, yes..this was all still under warranty.

I wasn’t accepting this answer and he knew it as I explained it (without hesitation in how I said it).  He didn’t even try to make a return call the following day to see what I had decided to do,..send it in or wait for the 2 weeks and take it into a repair centre.  Either way, it would be the same time frame and wait.  Neither desirable nor, acceptable given that I had already spent over 7 hours of tech support in 2 days already and had a mound of work to get caught up on with NO computer now.

Thankfully, the shop that I bought it from had been one that I had spent several thousand dollars in over the past couple of years with 2 computers, 4 printers, all the ink cartridges (another fortune) and office supplies.  That gave me a bit of leverage and I had to rely upon that to talk my way into accepting the now, 4 days past their 14 day return policy.  I sweet talked the manager into hearing me out and he did.  The only caveat was that I had to pay an extra $149.00 + tax to get them to set it up and put on an un-needed anti-virus program to get them to give me a brand new computer.  They did.

The SHOP to the rescue…NOT APPLE!

I am now writing this on this brand new MAC computer, having been set up by their tech support team which gives me a 30 day store guarantee that should anything go wrong in the next 30 days with this thing, they have incurred the responsibility of having to either repair it or, handing me yet another computer of my choice.

If something goes wrong with this one (knock on wood not), I will NOT be going with another MAC computer and will go back to swearing off of anything Apple completely as I had done for years.

To those of you who have nothing but good experiences with Apple products, my hat is off to you.  Perhaps, I am just laden with rotten luck but, I seemed to have gotten the alleged “one lemon” of a Mac computer ever made, according to the store and Apple itself.  I’m sure though that I’m not.  I’m sure that there’s many more unsatisfied customers out there and I’d love to hear your stories.

In the meanwhile, my fingers are crossed that I’ve suffered The Apple Curse long enough and it’s been broken.  My hope is to finally love this machine, given what I’ve been through for it as well as the cost of it.  If not…my front door will have a laptop come hurtling through it onto the street where I will watch with delight as the next vehicle to come up the street will crush it into a few thousand tiny pieces.  That sounds nasty, does it?  But, it’s where Apple tends to leave its customers believe it or not.

We live and we learn but from my little corner of life, Apple is not the god it wants us to believe.