My Personal Side

By Craig Hastings
The days of doing it yourself are nearly over. This depresses me some. I was watching television last weekend, and it was as though every other commercial I watched promoted something that will make it easier for us to do less. You may have already seen one particular commercial, but it was new to me. It was a commercial telling me how I will soon be able to buy a television that will offer hands free remote operating. Huh? Yep, I’ll be able to sit in my favorite chair and bark orders at not only my cat but also my television. No longer will we have to get up and push the buttons on our always illusive remote controls. To change channels, turn the volume up or down, watch a movie, or rejoin your level of combat in Black Ops III Zombie Annihilation; just yell it out from wherever.

I don’t know how I feel about this yet. I get that as I age I tend to be lazier. But am I ready to sit in my chair I consider my TV thrown and be content with getting up only to use the bathroom? If I want I can also buy this thing that will allow me to clap my hands to turn my interior lights on and off. I already can watch what’s going on outside my house with my front and rear Ring Doorbell devices. Timers turn on all of my interior and exterior Christmas lights and finally, the bar of all laziness, Shannon, my sons, and I text each other inside the house so we don’t have to move from any location we are presently sitting or laying. Groceries? Delivered to your door by a few stores now and more will be joining the fray. Wal-Mart now offers online shopping and delivered to you outside when you arrive and soon delivered to your door in a pre-determined mileage radius.

There was a second television commercial I watched this same weekend that has to do with automobiles. This will be an area I will resist….for a while anyway. I watched a Ford pickup truck pulling a 20-foot trailer backup and park itself! Yes! It was a Christmas commercial, and this make believe Santa guy offered to guide the driver of the truck into this tight parking space where the trailer was needed. The driver politely tells make believe Santa that no help is needed and lets go of the steering wheel. This truck then backs this trailer into the space exactly where it’s needed! I would have needed a dozen tries to even get it close to where it was to be parked.

It gets worse. By the end of the 2018 model year, one or two auto manufacturers will be offering cars and trucks that will drive themselves on major highways and interstate routes throughout America. GPS guidance mated with speed and distance sensitive monitoring devices keep the vehicles rolling along without any driver input. I read where this is only the beginning of driverless motoring. I hope when the day comes that all of us are just passengers without any drivers I will have moved on to my next life. No hand remote TVs and driverless cars…bah humbug, I say.

All kidding aside, I’m concerned. Sure I’ll be long gone and so might most of you when the days of “do it yourselfing” is a lost art. The medical field better have come up with an anti overweight pill by then because everyone will need them. We are already at a time when shopping at home is the norm. The only driver required will be that of your neighborhood FedEx, US postal carrier, and UPS vehicles. All the thousands of other vehicles will be parked at home. Most households will be reducing the number of vehicles they own because driving anywhere won’t be as big a need. Television picture quality today is so good and the coverage of events so complete, only diehard fans need to buy tickets and attend live. Why sit in a hot gymnasium or freezing cold football stadium when all the comforts of home are at your beck and call, and you will see much more of what’s going on if you watch it on television.

I don’t understand all of this new technology. We’re living in a time when good health including exercise is being preached in everything you read and watch. How in the world are most people going to get any exercise at all if everything they need to do is done by remote? Some people, including myself, are doing at least half of our shopping online. It’s a matter of convenience for me. I don’t like crowds, and I don’t like to park and walk in the weather. Once inside I’m good. I don’t mind walking at all once I’m inside any store. I’m sure I would be shocked to learn just how many steps I didn’t take because I ordered online and had merchandise delivered to my door. The next day or two in most instances.

My mother has never owned a cell phone and now at 84 years old I’m sure she never will. She’s never been on the internet either. I envy her sometimes. I can only imagine how much less bothered by nothingness I could be if cell phones were prohibited because they were determined to be a hazard to our health. These conveniences lead to less effort, which causes us to exercise less, which will surely lead to poorer health in Americans. Someone smarter than me will have to figure out the fix to this problem, and I hope not by remote commands.

I want to forever be the driver of the cars I own. I want to steer myself, accelerate myself, and park in my garage myself when I get home. Maybe on my way home I’ll stop by my local IGA or Dollar General Store, get out and walk inside, and carry my purchases to my car. Could be once I’ve put my groceries away I’ll walk downstairs and turn my television on by touching the proper button, surf the channels by my hand held remote I had to hunt for instead of using voice activated commands. When I’m done watching television I’ll turn it off, and I’ll turn off all the light switches myself by walking throughout my house. What I will have just finished will be the norm; 20 years from now it may have been considered an extreme workout! One hundred years from now will people laugh at us because we used something called deodorant because we used to sweat and in this future deodorant will be something unheard of? Maybe?

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