Technology is intended to make our lives easier and over the last couple of centuries it has undoubtedly done so. All of us take electricity forgranted, although very few of us could explain how it works. The good news is you just press a switch and there it is !
Early TVs were the same. You had two channels – BBC and ITV. No need for a remote controls nor too many buttons on the tele. Cookers had on/off switches and not much more. Fridges had one temperature. Washing machines had one spin cycle. Tumble dryers were separate items of equipment. Kettles whistled when the water was boiling. Telephones just rang –brrring —brrring — no fancy ring tones. They all made life easier and they were not difficult to operate.
Then they became GADGETS!!
They added more functions, could do many more things but needed more controls to work them —- and therein lies the problem.
That’s when I started getting left behind. Only slowly at first but now to a point of :-
- TVs got more and more channels — then came the ultimate gadget and promoter of family fights – the remote control. Videos came next and about as soon as I had mastered them, they became obsolete and were replaced by DVDs. With luck in these times of austerity, we will end up with BBC1 and ITV1 and just two buttons on the tele.
- Fridges fortunately have not advanced as fast as television. Although the addition of a light inside was a good idea, even if leaving it on all the time is a bit wasteful.
- Washing machines are now on a whole different level. Fully combined with the tumble dryer they can rinse, boil wash, cool wash, white wash, coloured wash, spin dry and blow dry. What’s more they can do it for hours and make endless noise, especially if you leave coins in your trouser pocket. Once started there is no stopping them. The programme is in charge and there is no changing your mind. Bring back the washboard and the socks in the sink, I say.
We need Age Friendly gadgets !