What to do when your battery is running out

I’ve recently realized something cool about portable electronics. Many of us are very addicted to our laptops, constantly keeping us plugged in to the internet. That’s nice, but that attachment is to the detriment of time spent on real things in real life: doing productive things around the house, going for walks and being part of the community, talking to people who are really present.

But fortunately, there is a built-in timer telling us when it’s time to go and do something that’s actually important: battery life. I’ve found that my laptop battery nearing emptiness is a great indicator that I should turn off the computer and do something else. Now, maybe this is just because after a couple minutes, I really shouldn’t be on the computer at all, and the battery running out makes me realize the insignificance of my online pursuits. Or perhaps my range of internet activity is well-suited to segments of a couple hours each. But I prefer to see it as a convenient coincidence, a useful conceptual cousin of planned obsolescence. So next time you’ve been on your computer for a few hours and see that low-battery notification pop up, and you have the option to plug in or shut down, give the real world a try. It’s a nice place.

2 Replies to “What to do when your battery is running out”

  1. I find this interesting because, percentagewise, I use my computer sans power cord so very rarely that it’s impossible to know when it’d be out of power. Don’t know how to read into that properly, if it earns a reading-into.

  2. There’s a great free app called Workrave that you can set to remind you to take a break after a set period of activity on your computer (vs. just time it is running). It can keep track of time on multiple machines and even be set to lock the machine during that break, if you’re the type to keep hitting the snooze button on your alarm.

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