Modern technology versus life!

April 16, 2012

This weekend I had a revelation. Although it is supposed to enhance it, modern technology is in fact dulling my life!

Don’t get me wrong, I am not against the advance of electrical and industrial machinery, and as a family we possess a vast array of top spec. toys and gadgets which require electricity, battery or solar energy to operate. But I am wondering if they take the fun out of life.

Take the trusty old dishwasher for example. . . currently we are washing up by hand, as our ?lovely’ appliance (the top spec. one we could find by the way, as we have got through two in as many years) has been broken for ages. When it first gave up the ghost 6 months ago, we couldn’t afford to get yet another replacement, and knew we had to go without, but we were filled with dread ? how on earth would our dishes get clean? Wash them by hand, ourselves? Eeughh! We had to purchase a draining rack and fairy liquid ? so archaic!!! Yet two seasons on, the routine has become part of family life. My three year old just loves to play housewife, perched on a stool next to the sink splashing bubbles everywhere and giggling hysterically at the water she’s displacing! But she’s also helping me in my chores, and taking the first steps towards pulling her weight which has to be worth all the mess! A new dishwasher finally arrived yesterday, kindly donated by a family member. DH installed it immediately, and was very excited to have a new gadget to play with. I found myself looking at the said monstrosity with disdain . . . I was going to miss those bubbly giggles. The girls simply looked at it curiously and asked, ?what’s that daddy?’, like it was some contraption from the future! Since the installation, I am proud to say I have secretly turned it off at the mains and washed up by hand three times whilst trying to pretend the new appliance isn’t really there!!

Then take our laundry ?issues’ . . . on the day we returned from our beach holiday, the washing machine decided that 30 minutes at a time was enough of a strain for it and refused point blank to spin dry. On the same day, my much revered tumble dryer decided to pack up. As a result, we are now using a vintage clothes spinner to aid the aging washing machine, (kindly loaned to us by another family member), and I had to buy my first washing line (I am in the latter days of my thirties I hasten to add!). I might mention here that I do not enjoy being barricaded into the tiny utility every morning and every night caught up in the never-ending pursuit for clean laundry, but the thought of not being able to do this gave me severe palpitations. We would never have clean, dry clothes again! I didn’t have time to use a washing line, I was far, far too busy for that. Hang them on the radiator? But it would be so cluttered! (let’s not mention here the amount of clutter littering the rest of the house that breeds by the second). Yet, one week on from that dreadful day, my three and six year old girls would fight to the death over the honour of holding the hose that collects the water from the spinner into a saucepan, and are so excited by the new ?toy’ they would do anything to be given first dibs (including tidying their clutter away!). Hanging the washing on the line gives me the perfect excuse to get out in the fresh air several times a day to ?check’ on it, and folding the freshly dried piles in rooms where the rest of the family reside in light and laughter is far more satisfying than being relegated to the dark and dingy utility.

All in all, I have to say that with the amount of soul-destroying time I have to spend in front of a screen of some kind, blinkered to the world around me, relying on machines and technology, it is incredibly refreshing to have some control over the simple things in life and to accomplish these small yet essential tasks whilst still being a part of the real world.

I choose life!

Katherine x

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