November 15, 2010 by Marj Hatzell
Friday I had the pleasure of accompanying my son and chaperoning a fourth grade field trip. This is normally a
giant headache-inducing stress-free and wonderfully relaxing event. I kinda HAVE TO go with him, since he wonders off and whatnot. As in, he disappears. POOF! Everywhere we take him. So when the teachers find that out they’re all, “Hmmmm…yeah, well, you’re now our permanent chaperone!.” le Sigh.
Anyways. We went to this great little colonial village place. It’s a bunch of little historical buildings, almost like a mini Williamsburg, on a farm in Lancaster County PA. They have hands-on history days to watch artisans do/build/make things. Like cobblers, haberdashers, bakers, seamstresses, gunsmiths, you name it. The kids LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it, especially the replica 1890s school-house, where they participated in a lesson from that time period. As in, pretended they went to school there. It was a blast.
Fast forward to today when I’m typing away at my computer, answering texts, uploading photos from my camera to my desktop all while the dishwasher and drier are running. Just as I flipped the camera on to upload everything in the house INSTANTLY flipped off. All of it. I checked the main and it was fine. After a little investigative worked (I called my neighbor) it was determined that the power company was doing work and messed up a little, resulting in a two-hour black out. I had articles and whatnot to write but I couldn’t. Not without taking a
piece of crap laptop to Panera. Maybe laundry? Shoot. It won’t work without power. Take a shower? No hot water. Hmmm…I know! I’ll clean the basement! I flipped the switch and…Shoot. Can’t see without lights. Can’t run the vacuum. Can’t look for holiday gifts on Amazon. Can’t e-mail the 900 folks I have to contact. So annoying.
It dawned on me that our society is totally reliant on electricity. And technology. We rely on it and we NEED it. Heck, we go camping to ESCAPE it and think it is fun. But we’d never voluntarily give it all up. Not all of it. Even the people I know who live mostly without the modern stuff still have cable or a tv or use electricity at the very least. Except the Amish. And a few Kooky people who quit their jobs, sell everything and become nomads, traveling around the country. Which it turns out my husband would totally do if it weren’t for wives and children and whatnot. Well, wife and children. He’s not FLDS or anything. I think.
But the whole point is, WOW. Look where we’ve come from! And look how far we have to go. We do amazing things with technology. We do awful things with technology. We are lucky to have it and we’re unlucky to have it. It’s fabulous. It’s annoying. It’s necessary. It’s unnecessary. We have the power to get more information and also spread misinformation. We can contact more people and we can complain about privacy all in one breath. Boggles the mind, does it not?
And we can put people on the moon, invent cell phones and see babies before they are born through ultrasound but why the heck do people still die from cancer? And have autism? And have horrible, crippling, deadly disorders like ALS?
Such a weird life, this is. At the risk of sounding like Yoda.