Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Modern convenience equals mobile annoyance

It's not enough that our homes are filled with these hand held devices that "make our lives easier." No it's not enough. We don't have to leave our chairs to adjust the TV, turn on the stereo, shut off the ceiling fan or to do anything with our VCRs, or DVD players. I've even heard about remote controls for home computers. What the hell is that about? Doesn't anyone want to move anymore? Doesn't anyone want to experience life?

Remote controls for the television are nothing new however. In fact I think the concept of remote control for the television appeared shortly after the television was introduced. But of course the individual didn't "hold" the remote control, per se. The remote control was usually the closest child available to the parent watching TV. I fondly recall conversations that sounded alot like this: "Turn it to channel 9, now back to 7, put it on 5 for a second, no, back to 7. STOP FLIPPING IT, you're gonna break the dang thing. Turn it up! Will you turn that down a little? Use your head!"

Oh yeah, the original remote control was, most often, the youngest able bodied child in the room. Let's not forget those "wired" remotes that were pretty popular in the early 80's. The cord was never long enough or it was too long and tripped over quite often.

But that was the adventure in entertainment back then.

Now the "modern convenience" has become so prevalent that I'm not even sure we recognize how annoying it is. Cell phone conversations at the dinner table, at the grocery, on the highway. Beepers and those annoying "Nextel" sounds everywhere you go. What about the remote control key fob that almost everyone has for their automobile? How did people ever get along without being able to unlock their doors from 50 feet away? My truck doesn't have a remote. I use a key to unlock the door. Get over it people.

All these beeps and whistles aren't convenient; they are annoying. I don't want to hear you put a call on hold while you deign to talk to me, I don't want to hear your car horn "honk" next to me because you turned on the alarm. I don't want to hear your "nextel" or your pager or your panic button. You are the source, not the symptom.

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