I’m At War With All My ‘Time Saving’ Technology

Deborah Welky


“Summertime… and the livin’ is easy…”

Remember that song? It has been reborn, and it’s still a hit, but what I want to know is, where exactly is this easy livin’? Where is this mythical summertime place? It’s June, and I’m busier than I’ve ever been!

But I think I know why. It’s all the time-saving appliances and speedy technology. They are to blame. The time I spend saving time is costing me dearly.

My refrigerator, the one with all the technology on the door, is almost having a fit because it is under the impression it needs a new filter. I just installed a new filter, and the ice is crystal clear, but there’s no arguing with it. It beeps threateningly every time I open the freezer door and recently began displaying a little lighted, red-and-blue icon showing me what a new filter looks like. I know what a new filter looks like! I just gave you a new filter, you big, white blockhead!

Time-saving technology is what has driven us into the arms of fast food. No cooking, no cleanup, no accusing stares or grunts from my appliances.

It’s the same with the dehumidifier. I’m not sure if this appliance was ever given a clear job description, but you’d think that somewhere along the assembly line, someone would have mentioned to this clunky genius that, when it gets humid, its job is to make is less humid (hence the “de-”). But no. My dehumidifier is absolutely outraged that the temperature has risen, that there is increased moisture in the air and that it has been unwillingly charged with doing something about that. It shakes and clunks and whines and practically screams, “I’m dripping! I’m hot! Get me out of here!” So, I spend a lot of time repositioning it and babying it and patting its little head (sometimes rather violently) until it calms down.

The car requires a lot more care in the summer, too. All its little lights and gadgets and gizmos seem poised at the precipice, ready to jump if I don’t keep them cool. What happened to the automotive wing windows of the 1950s? You turn them toward you like jet flaps, and they send a gush of cool air into your face. If it starts raining, you close them up, no lights or pinging sounds required.

And don’t get me started on my computer/laptop/tablet/cell phone. If they upgrade, improve or reconfigure my workspace one more time, I’ll go mad. And they never do this quietly, at 3 in the morning, while I’m sleeping. No, they wait for me to turn the thing on with some urgent task that has to be completed right now before they proudly tell me they no longer want me to work within my comfort zone, that they’re shaking things up, that I have no choice in the matter and that everything will remain frozen until they decide to release me. I don’t know who they are, but if I ever get my hands on them, I’m going to pop them into a cage, trek them out into the jungle, drop the cage and tell them how I am upgrading, improving and reconfiguring their life, and will release them into this new home of theirs when I am good and ready. I feel better already.