Let me begin by explaining that SHMECKNOLOGY is obviously not a word. It is a sound I make deep in the back of my throat, just high enough to allow the air to escape through my nose when I think about having to use technology for extended amounts of time. This happens often. So often I make this sound.
About a month ago I found myself at my desk, minding my own business, trying to finish a literary review on schizophrenia. (I am a psychology student, this is not something that I casually do in my spare time). So there I was, doing my thing, hustling to finish early so that I could do something fun, like not stare at a bright,white screen that is slowly blinding me and killing my posture, all of a sudden my computer froze.
Naturally, my first reaction was to restart it, see what had automatically saved, quickly edit and then send the document to myself via e-mail. I was able to do this all just before it froze again. Shew. Then I called a friend, asked him for some advice. Called another friend asked her for some advice. The male friend told me to take the machine in, the female friend told me to change my screensaver. Shit.
My screensaver is, correction, was a wonderful collection of nude, yet tasteful, playful, yet completely harmless, explicit, yet in no way sexual images of me and my partner in various parts of the world. These images captured us enjoying magnificent views, naked, sometimes jumping, other times cartwheeling. You get the idea…..
My computer was not having any of it. Frozen, breasts, vagina, flapping penis and elated faces. There we were, smiling, happy in the karoo for all to see. I had a deadline. I needed the computer to be fixed.
Off I went to Tokai computers down the road. I wanted to hide my face, but realised I was being stupid. With heart pounding and cheeks ablaze I handed my computer to a very round, middle-aged, coloured Muslim man. I had noticed on the door that they closed for prayer, thus the conclusion that he was Muslim.
As the computer passed out of my hands into his, I blurted out that it had frozen and that I needed it for an assignment and that there were images that I had tried to remove but could not. I forced myself to look him in the eye and dared him to laugh or appear in any way unprofessional. He looked at me with his soft round face, shrugged and said you are not the first person who has had to explain images to me.
My computer was fixed, I went to fetch it,paid the money, bowed my head in shame and swore never to use special images as a screensaver again. I called both friends who had given me advice, told them my story and all they did to support me was explode with laughter down the phone into my ear.
Both of them reassured me by explaining that soon I would be seeing naked images of myself all over the internet. My male friend even went so far as to explain how easy it would be for the friendly man who fixed my computer to take those images for his own personal pleasure. What are friends for if not to make you realise how stupid and nieve you are?!
My partner was very unimpressed. He did not care that I had to look into some man’s eyes knowing he had seen my nooks and crannies, pay him, thank him and walk away with him sniggering. No, he did not care that I had almost had to ask for an extension for my review. He was unimpressed that some guy had seen his flappy bits and that I had not changed the screensaver like he has asked me to do about a year ago.
Image: Time of War VIII by Olivier Valsecchi.