Modern Conveniences

I have been thinking a lot about the past lately.  Mainly about how so called “modern conveniences” have weakened the will and intellect of our nation.

When I was much younger I was told, as many of you were, that advances in technology help improve our lives, as a matter of fact I am still told that today.  To a degree that is absolutely true, but in a lot of ways technological advances have made us lazy.  Both physically (think obesity) and mentally (think basic math skills).

Think about what your parents had when you were young.  Did they have a television?  If so, was it black and white, or color?  Did it have a remote control?  If it had a remote, you’re pretty young for this post. Did they have a lawn mower?  Power or reel? Do you even know what a reel mower is?  If not “Google” it (one more advance in technology that helps make us mentally lazy).  Did they have indoor plumbing?  I ask this because my parents did, but one set of my grandparents did not until I was in my early teens.

I remember several years ago my wife told me about how she and her female relatives (sisters, cousins, aunts, mother and grandmother) were visiting about what their favorite “modern convenience” was.  Some said washing machines, some said dishwashers, some said microwave ovens. But grandmother said ” running water in the house”.  Gives a whole different perspective to “modern” doesn’t it?

At one time I sold office machines for a living.  The man I worked for asked me, “you know how to tell the younger folks?”  I said “no”, he told me “Old folks check the math from a calculator on paper, youngsters use a calculator to check the math on their paper”.  Now, many of us don’t even remember how to do basic long hand calculations beyond simple addition and subtraction.

Let’s think about some things a little more recent.  When you were in school did you do book reports as homework?  Now, our children do “Internet searches” to complete their homework.  When you type a letter (oops, I mean e-mail) do you really worry about proper spelling or do you let “auto correct” fix it?  Do you realize how often “auto correct” puts the wrong word in?  I am saddened that EVERY day I see something in a news broadcast or correspondence from business associates that has glaring grammatical or spelling errors.  You know why I think this happens. Intellectual LAZINESS on the part of the individual putting out the information.  We have been lulled into complacency by having a machine or program do these things for us and we no longer take individual responsibility for our ability to articulate our thoughts.

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