I had the opportunity this past week to replace both my smartphone and my work laptop. One had to happen, the other was a scheduled replacement.
Both experiences were disorienting in multiple ways. They required time that I did not necessarily have in my schedule to acquire the new device and set it up in ways consistent with the old devices. Because they are newer machines, they have some new options to consider. I was temporarily without access to each and what they provide access to in parts of the setup.
And the transition process went rather smoothly. Copying over contacts, apps, and files just took some time. I had to tweak a few settings but they now look and operate similarly (with some nice upgrades) to what I was used to before.
These are not just machines. For many daily tasks, they are extensions of my self. They enable my work and embody my work. They are distributed cognition devices – extending my ability to think, reason, and write – and portals to interactions with people and systems. For them to be altered or unavailable, even for a short time, shakes up my day.
Ultimately, I am glad to have the new devices. My daily activities are back on track. Almost all of the wrinkles of adjusting to new machines has happened. And I hope I do not have to do it again for a while.