The (im)Perfect Digital Life

Are you on a crusade to find the perfect digital life? The perfect computer, the perfect software, the perfect backup solutions (just in case)? How about the perfect peripherals to complement and bolster your digital life, all tying in seamlessly one with the other? Oh, I forgot to mention, the perfect email, the perfect Word Processor, the perfect way to have access to all your files, the perfect way to avoid running out of storage space, RAM, and whatever else you can imagine?

Me too. It doesn’t exist. I’ve come to the realization/conclusion that you have to work with the disparate tools offered to you by competing companies because, well, that’s what there is right now.

Not a fan of Apple’s Pages? You got Google Docs, or MS Word, or Scrivener, or iWriter or Notepad, or Notes, or EverNote…hell, you have pen and paper, but that’s not part of the perfect digital life. 

While I am aiming this blog at people who write for a living or for a serious hobby, or with the hopes of striking it rich with a bestseller someday, I’m also aiming it at the common person. You and I are those common people who just want somewhere to create and store all the cool stuff we have in our minds. Whether it’s music, videos, movies, music-videos, art, art-design for fashion or some other creative task, or just a really big database for all our excel files and TurboTax stuff, we think to ourselves there has to be a way to get all these scattered pieces of digital stuff somewhere cohesive. Yes, of course, the computer is a start, but you end up paying for a lot of services without realizing it. 

Want to play games but have an underpowered Mac? There’s a Stadia or Xbox for that, plus monthly fees. Maybe you have built your perfect PC gaming rig and you’ve got all the software and hardware you need and it’s working for you, but now…oh darn, you need to go spend time with family in another State and you suddenly realize that what you have isn’t portable. Ready a laptop or some other portable device and there’s only so much you can do with that on the go, bereft of your digital kingdom you’ve worked so diligently to create. 

Sure you can use a good number of cloud services, Gdocs, iCloud, or whatever else there is out there for those of you that are writers like I am, but you can’t really make music in the cloud or edit videos without an expensive iPad pro and peripherals, and maybe you need that Adobe photoshop capability because you’re a designer, and there’s another monthly fee on top of it all.

If you’re a writer and you’re out on a walk at least there’s a good chance you have a smartphone and can whip it out as inspiration strikes you. But write an entire novel on your phone? Actually, yeah, there’s a good argument for writing novels entirely using your phone.

When I was a kid I saw sci-fi movies of the future where the basic machinery and software was the same for everyone across the board. Now it’s the future and there’s more like a collage of possibilities infringing on the possibility of a ‘perfect digital life’ because so many different pieces of software, hardware, and an oddly mobile lifestyle do not fully play well together all the time.

So what do you do about it then? My answer is to just embrace that fact that it’s perfectly imperfect, learn to adapt with what you have available to you. And when push comes to shove, do without for a little while. The break from all this digital existence is a godsend.

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