The fuse blew on my power connection today, and in my explanation to my teen as to what was happening, I told her how electricity was not available until the 1930- 40’s… until the introduction of the ‘electric light‘ as her grandma, (who remembers its introduction), calls it.
So Miss Teen says, with a somewhat pained, incredulous look on her face, “So you grew up without electricity!!” And I responded: “No. I was born after the war, dear!!! How old do you think I really am?”
So it begged the question: Are we too reliant on energy and the web? Can we survive as they did, years ago, without being connected to the grid, or the internet? Ten years ago, such a question would have been superfluous, but now I am not so sure. My sons certainly act as if their jugular veins have been severed if the internet connection drops out for more than a minute or two!! So, we might consider for a moment, how really powerless and vulnerable the world is without internet or electricity?
How did we manage all those years ago, my daughter asks, without even a mobile phone to aid our social arrangements?!!!
So I think and tell her that if we went to meet someone and no one turned up, we would:
– Give up and go home..
– Wander off nearby feeling disappointed and confused and come back to check a short while later….
– Find a pay phone and call them if I knew their number or if the phone book was in-situ. And how long has it been since I saw a phone book in a pay phone box? (Now I feel old)
– Go to their house and demand an explanation!! (not really)
So we learned to cope, in a fashion, so why do I now find it so hard to go for days without internet access or a a few hours without the “Electric light” ( read: power)
Trying to deny my dependence on modern technology, I say, “Pull yourself together, folks coped years ago, why can’t the modern generation?”
So, feeling determined to reject the confining chains of contemporary society, I go headlong into denial mode:
I tell myself, “It is okay, I CAN cope.” Instead of searching the net for that phone number I need, I will just look it up in the phone book …..oh! no! I can’t – the hard copy of our phone book is not only out of date, it is buried in the darkest recesses of the junk cupboard, never to seen alive and kicking again….
Alright, I think, so instead, I will do some travel planning… Nope: I can’t… need to look up ‘Trip advisor’ on the net and find some accommodation venues…
Okay, so I’ll go and research some family history, but I can’t do that either, as I need the net to look up census information and names, in order to cross -check details and dates.
Grr… Forget the net – I will do some baking. Make a nice meal/dessert… nope…the Oven won’t work without power…..
Make a cup tea? – Nope!
Watch TV? -. Nope!
Read a book? -YES!- unless, of course, it is night-time… after all, who can read by candle light once you past the age of 40?
Do some sewing/embroidery craft hobbies/ paint/fix something/gardening… still need light so … Nope!
Talk to a neighbour…. knock on the door to find she has gone out somewhere or is asleep…..
Only one thing left for my other half and me to do……….
NO wonder they had so many children years ago!!!!
Our reliance on energy and connectivity… Something to ponder about.