House and Home, Our Aging Parents, Retirement

“Improvements” in a Modern World

I am so over technology and modernization.  

What was so bad about having to walk to the kitchen to use a phone attached to the wall? Or writing a letter on a pretty sheet of stationary and dropping it into the mailbox (and then feeling that thrill a week or so later when I opened the mailbox and found a return “real-mail” letter from you.). Does anyone really need their lamps, locks, and thermostat to turn themselves on and off? Was it that hard to flip a switch or turn the heat down before going to bed at night? If I was going out for the evening, I knew it would be dark when I came home. I left a light on. Problem solved.

Photo by James on Unsplash

The family encyclopedia never gave me “facts” that needed to be researched and validated before I could trust them, and it didn’t cost $59 a month for life either. It used to be that when a product under warranty failed, a real customer service rep was available to help. Today there are many options but rarely does one ever lead to a person. Road maps used to be free at the gas station. In the 4th grade every kid was taught to read one. Now we pay $157+ for a GPS system so that a lady can tell us where to go.

Photo by Benjamin DeYoung on Unsplash

One of the best things about buying music used to be the beautiful artwork of the album cover. Twenty years from now, will you even be able to find today’s music collection? Or sell it on Ebay when your interests change? When I was a kid, we had only 3 TV channels. But those 3 channels were loaded with so many good programs that we often argued over which show to watch. Now we have 250 channels that can be recorded and replayed at any time, and we find so little to entertain us that we pay extra for services like Netflix.

We used to drive to a furniture store, make a purchase and have it delivered to our house, maybe a week later, in one piece and ready to use. But that trip to the store and lack of immediate delivery must have been rough. Now we have a “modern” system where we order that same piece of furniture from our living room couch and it arrives tomorrow—how convenient! Well, except it arrives in a 90 lb. box left outside our door that we have to somehow wrestle into the house. And then we open the box to find 14 different pieces with a package of 72 screws, 11 nuts and bolts, and a single sheet of pictures that may or may not be helpful as we spend the following 5 ½ hours doing the assembly job that companies used to hire workers to do. All these modern advancements are considered improvements? Improvements for whom?

I want to read a book that has paper pages while drinking lemonade made with lemons instead of powder.

And I need a teenager to show me how to answer the damn phone when it rings.

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