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Death By Convenience

January 8, 2015

Let’s face it many things we (and our parents) grew up with have suffered eternal death by convenience. Succumbed forever to the new and improved items we know today. While the English proverb states: necessity is the mother of invention, in essence, when the need for something becomes great, a way or means will be created to accomplish it. Not everything, in my opinion however, has been an improvement. Yet while this method of thinking serves well in several areas, we seriously need to resurrect the basics of life.

For example, one of the early deaths by convenience was walking, hence exercise. No argument that the invention of the wheel, more or less, solidified our need for speed. There and back quickly...and all by never exerting more effort than lifting our foot from the gas pedal to the brake. Walking soon fell into the category of doctor’s orders instead of something we did because it got us where we wanted to go.

Another item many of you probably didn’t consider is the oven; its demise obviously corresponding to the convenience of microwave cooking a meal. Just ‘nuke it’ as they say. Yes, prepackaged, preservative saturated foods rapidly became a staple. Nothing like a hot steaming plate of Diphenyl, Orthophenyl Phenol and Hexamethylene Tetramine to satisfy a hungry jack appetite. Yum!

Speaking of food, whatever happened to home cooked meals? Appears fast food killed it in the drive-thru with a super-sized combo. Look around, their parking lots are never empty and the drive-thru is usually three cars deep. Prompting doctors once again to advise a patient to ‘eat healthier’ otherwise end up actually suffering death by convenience.

Of course, the list is long of everything which has suffered death by convenience. Although, some conveniences have definitely been improvements, such as the typewriter replaced by the computer, then desktops with laptops; unfortunately, others that have felt the tug of the grim reaper are hand written anything: letters, greeting cards and love notes to our pooh bear. Texting and emails have driven the nails into those coffins; which adds the variable that words are slowly being assassinated by text codes. (I can’t help but project this into the future as a bad omen that our children’s children won’t spell at all.)

Yet, the most alarming demise ever has to be that of...the conversation. However, there are some among us, one of my friends included, Nelson, who appreciates the art of great conversation. In contrast, a person could be just about anywhere these, doctor’s office, hotel lobby, amusement park, yes, even a city bus and find someone, or several people, using their cell phone(s). No one is talking to each other. Just noses buried in phones. Is conversing one-to-one becoming soooo last century?

Probably, but it really sunk in one Saturday at the theater after watching a really awesome movie. Shoot, folks didn’t even make into the hallway when they had already started texting or catching up on the latest social network posts. Has this become socially acceptable behavior? Or, a better question: Should it be? Are the days of walking out of a theater smiling, or better yet laughing, while discussing the highlights gone forever? Sad, if true.

Apparently the dawn of technology...strike that comment. Technology hasn’t dawned; it’s approaching high noon at sonic speeds and each new technological advancement is barely a blip on the radar when its replacement is conceived then created. At any given moment someone is wired in, turned on, tuned in, logged on, connected to, networked in, or surfing the web. Dickens, I remember when all we had to worry about was getting a dial tone.

Can you imagine...the next wave of technology?
Smile and talk to someone!



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