I have a water boiler machine thing in my kitchen. I think it holds 2L of water at a consistently hot temperature all the time. This means I don’t have to “put the kettle on” when I want tea. Hot water is readily available in my kitchen.
Readily available. No need to wait, often there’s not even a process to go through to get it, it’s just there.
While I was filling up the boiler machine, I started thinking about other things that are readily available to me. By the time my tea was made, I decided that pretty much everything is available within minutes.
Take something simple, like music. I hear a new song or someone is talking about a new song, or a song is playing at Starbucks and I want it. I can search the song, or even partial lyrics of the song, on Google. I also use Spotify which is an app that listens to the song playing and tells me what it is. I can go on iTunes and hear part of the song to make sure that’s the one I want, buy it and have it, own it, within minutes.
Everything is instant, or pretty close. All entertainment is streaming or downloading and if I only want to see a clip of something, there’s YouTube. If I want shoes or clothes, or french milled soap from France, I can go online, order it and if I’m willing to pay, sometimes I can have it the very next day.
Vacation photos can be shared while on vacation, letters/videos/hand drawn squiggles can all be sent and received within seconds. If I miss my children, if they are at school or even out of the country, they can Snapchat me, post something on Instagram or update their Facebook page and I can see them, they can even send me video of them and I can hear them.
If I want to pretend to be a pirate, or city dweller or a soldier. If I want to shoot zombies or hang glide, know what Tibet looks like, or how to make mozzarella cheese, all of it can be done almost instantly. Readily available, instant gratification.
Convenient, but with little or no effort. What does all of this do to me as a human being? Over time, how will the quick fix change me?
I have no idea, but it’s all part of me now. I can certainly live without modern convenience, but I don’t often choose to. I do work to balance the chill of modern with warmth, people, contact. But it’s all great, right? Technology, ease, it makes me more efficient, productive. It’s even fun.
So why lately do I find myself wanting to do things by hand, marveling at fire or running water, longing for my tea kettle?
My thoughts from the laundry room. Internal alarm.