He is talking both literally and figuratively here. Literally, when he says that rooms were darkened; but that probably means no more than what we do at home to reduce glare and reflections on our computer screens, such as reducing the level of lighting or partially drawing blinds. Figuratively, when he says "Then came the computer and the lights went out". This underlined expression is often employed to indicate a change for the worse: in this case, he means the loss of human contact and intercourse in the daily routine.
Student or Learner