Modern life is supposed to be better, isn’t it? We’re more productive, faster, more efficient due to technological advances. Aren’t we?
Exhibit A. Turning on the TV
It used to be that I pulled a switch and turned a dial. Now, we have live streaming video – Netflix, Amazon Video, Verizon FIOS. Recently, it took my husband and I twenty-five minutes to cue up the end of a movie because the “Smart” TV kept hiccupping. After resetting the router and starting and re-starting several times, then finally accessing the video via the PlayStation, we were able to watch the brilliant end to Bigfoot: The Movie.
Exhibit B. Paying a bill
It used to be that I wrote a check and stuffed it into an envelope with a stamp. Now, I go online to pay. Recently, after logging into our health insurance account to verify the balance on the health savings card, I navigated to the bill-paying portion of the local medical center’s website. I needed the patient’s name, date of birth, ZIP code, and account number. Easy peasy. Then the credit card number, expiration date, code from the back of the card, billing amount – Oops! I stepped away from the computer to use the bathroom and my transaction timed out. Begin again. Oh, I need the patient account number again? Gotta dig it out of the recycling bin. Uh-oh. Timed out. Begin again.
This isn’t news to you, is it? I’m guessing you experience similar frustrations many times a day. Searching for account names and passwords, troubleshooting electronic devices, resetting passwords, researching options, locating account numbers, recalling passwords, passwords, passwords!
Life’s supposed to be better, yet I find myself comparing today’s lifestyle with what I think life would have been like one-hundred fifty years ago. Yes, things are easier today. Most of us don’t work hard for our food or to launder our clothes. But simpler? No, life is complex, and I long for something uncomplicated.
Maybe I romanticize they way things used to be. I know I do. One word keeps me from wishing myself back to the 19th century: penicillin.
Do you sometimes wish you lived in simpler times?