When does the day start? Years of awaking around 3 a.m. may have distorted my perceptions a bit, I suppose. Here in the mid-Atlantic states, the sun is never up that early. Year round I get out of bed when it’s still dark. I’m not complaining—this is generally a peaceful time, a rarity in New Jersey. If the bus didn’t come so early I’d get an awful lot done in a day. But when does the day really begin? I rise early to write. Computers have changed my writing style quite a bit. I used to write everything by hand. Even as a kid with a second-hand typewriter, I preferred longhand first. I still do, truth be told. It’s slow, though, morning’d gone before I got too far.
So I get up and boot up. I’m not sure that I’m crazy about my computer knowing so much about my personal life, but one thing it simply can’t understand is that I’m an early riser. Many days my laptop will condescendingly ask me if I mind if it reboots—it’s been updating software when it thinks I’m asleep. For the computer, day doesn’t begin this early. Sometimes I worry that my blog doesn’t get readers because the new posts come up around 5 a.m., before I jump in the shower and head for the bus. If things don’t appear in the feed at the top of the page, well, they’re old news. I admit to being guilty of that myself; yet knowing when it’s day has consequences. Maybe I should be posting a bit later?
For some reason my computer likes to send me notices. Like I’m not already paying attention. I’m sure there a setting someplace I could change, but I’m busy most of the time and figuring that sort of thing out takes longer than I have time for. Birthday notices for complete strangers—maybe they’re connected on LinkedIn?—appear, at 9:00 a.m. I’m at work already by then. I think this is my devices’ way of letting me know that it’s a nine-to-five world. As an erstwhile academic I never cottoned onto that. I started getting out of bed at 4 a.m. when I was teaching so I would have time to write before daily chapel. I also taught classes that ran from six-to-ten (p.m.) while at Rutgers. When does the day start? When does it end? The decision’s not mine, as my laptop’s only too happy to remind me.