Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Are We Developing Two-Edged Swords?

The advantage of a two-edged sword seems obvious--it cuts both ways. Matter of fact, that phrase probably stemmed from the use of a two-edged cutting instrument. But I was wondering if some of the technology we're developing hasn't turned into a two-edged sword that "cuts both ways."

The first thing that comes to mind is our dependence on electronic communication. We went from talking over the back fence and the use of rotary dial phones (some of you may even remember party lines) to push-button phones (including the Princess phone, which no one could ever hang up on the first try) to cell phones to email to a myriad of social media sites. If you don't think we miss those when they're not available, wait until the next time your computer goes down or your cell phone stops working. We're dependent on them now. If they're not available, everything changes. Thus, to my mind at least, they're two-edged swords.

There are other advances that we take for granted, but that have drawbacks. I won't name them--that's your job. What's your favorite modern convenience? Does it have disadvantages? Do we depend on it too much? Leave a comment.

Oh, and if there are enough comments--and only I know the magic number--I'll give away a copy of one of my books to one of the commenters.

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20 comments:

Danielle Hull said...

The dishwasher is my fav modern convenience. I always had to do dishes by hand and by myself growing up, and I hated it. Now we have 7 kids at home, and we run our dishwasher 2x/day. We went without one for a year, and it was a good experience because all the older kids learned the proper way to wash dishes by hand (you know, don't wash the greasy pan first!) I think the dishwasher is beneficial for killing germs, and it makes our life easier in that we get to spend more time reading and playing :)

Anonymous said...

I agree. When your cell phone or computer crashes it's like the end of the earth! Sometimes the old ways aren't so bad after all. My favorite modern convenience is the computer and internet access. Of course, there are disadvantages. The human element has taken a backseat to a lot of the ways we converse or communicate with each other. The art of conversation has changed.
nikilsend(at)outlook(dot)com

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks to you both for the comments. I like the dishwasher, and automatically shiver when I hear it make a squeal or strange noise, thinking, "What if it's going out?"
And as for the computer--our Internet service was out for a bit, and I almost went nuts. Finally thought of using my cell phone as a personal hotspot. How many times have I asked, "What would be do without these?"

Karen Sue Hadley said...

My phone! But I would mope if the dishwasher didn't work. I just don't like to wash dishes. Laundry I don't mind if the machine is working (none of that washing by hand stuff) LOL. Hmmm, I am quite spoiled to the technology and modern convenience of this world.

Quiltedchicken said...

I love the analogy of the two-edged sword. I do love the dishwasher, though we do not have one in our current apartment so I do live without it. I think my phone is the one I rely on the most. If I am stranded, I can get the help I need with my phone. But I also find my dependence on it appalling at times. Seriously, I use to live without a phone, but now I feel lost if it is not with me every moment. I remember the days of the rotary phones and the fact that people could not get ahold of one, if one was not at home with the phone!

Richard Mabry said...

Karen and Claudia, It seems that, although we like our dishwashers and other appliances, we're lost without our cell phones. When I was in practice, I absolutely hated my pager. When I was at home and not on call, I turned it off. I tend to do the same thing with my cell phone now, but if I go out without it I feel lost. It's definitely a two-edged sword.

Anne Rightler said...

I think I'd have to say the washing machine is my favorite modern convenience. I don't live very close to a creek/river so would have a hard time washing clothes w/ a wash board. I have used a wringer washer and broken a lot of buttons and wrecked a few zippers. The cell phone has certainly become quite a convenience with a number of uses all wrapped up in one...alarm clock, camera, calendar, appointment reminders, note pad, calculator, internet connection, email, texting, reading books, oh, yes, making phone calls! I use my phone all day long. I love the ease of keeping in touch w/ my adult children and "face timing" with my grandkids, watching movies of the grandkids fun times. It is an amazing modern convenience.

shirley said...

I got rid of my television eight years ago. Obviously I did not get rid of my computer. My favorite modern convenience. I was so tired of television and I have not looked back. I use my computer for a multitude of things. News, weather, reading, shopping and more. Including watching a favorite show or movie. I don't mind waiting until it is streaming on a favorite site. I do miss a thing or two such as watching the news and my favorite channel PBS. I do not own a phone to do all these things or a tablet or anything else. I have a cell and it goes with me when I leave home but that's what it's for, emergencies. I can be high and mighty about the lack of my "modern conveniences" but I also understand why other people have/use them. I think our computers or phones that allow our military women and men to stay in touch with their families is a wonderful, wonderful thing. I think sending our teenagers out into the world with a cell phone to call home is extremely important. I'd probably be all over a new cell phone if I had a child/loved one in the military and most likely wouldn't blink. We all have our reasons and like you with the pager, I unplug when it becomes a bit overwhelming.

Richard Mabry said...

Anne, I was wondering when someone was going to mention the washing machine. I'm of the generation that--although we didn't go down to the river and beat laundry on rocks--remembers the old-fashioned washing machine with a wringer arm. My, how things have advanced--and how much we take them for granted (until they're not available to us).

Shirley, you're in a distinct minority (yet one I sort of admire) who has ditched the TV set. I have to confess that, although most of what we watch is just news and sporting events, I'd really miss our TV set--oh, and the video recording capability as well. I don't think I've seen a commercial in years--we record the programs, then fast-forward through the commercials (except for the Super Bowl).

Thanks to you both for your comments.

shirley said...

I forgot to leave my email address on my post Richard. It's shirley(dot)d(at)outlook(dot)com

And here's hoping more people comment.

Unknown said...

Mine would be washing machine I remember the old ringer washer. redeemed1ru@comcast.net

Deanna Stevens said...

I would miss my dishwasher the most. Then my microwave, I didn't realize how much I use it until we lost power for 2 days.. Then the internet, I wouldn't get to know my favorite authors without it :) I like these conveniences, I can get my dishes done and a cuppa in 10 minutes :) The internet could go either way as it keeps me from things I should be doing. But it also is a wonderful tool..
dkstevensneAToutlookDoTC OM

Jackie Smith said...

I would miss my microwave the most.....then computer next! I use both so much every day!
Cute contest, Richard. Thanks for the second reminder; I somehow missed it the first time!
I love your books and have them all but the newest!!
jacsmi75 at gmail dot com

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks to everyone for your comments. Keep 'em coming. So far, it looks like the votes are mainly for cell phones and washing machines, but dishwashers and microwaves are in the running as well.
And thanks for leaving your email as well.
(By the way, the marketing agent at my publisher reminds me that people who've signed up for my newsletter--look for Get My Newsletter in the right-hand column of this blog--will get some neat posts in the next few days).

Melanie Backus said...

Oh, our modern conveniences.....how wonderful they are!!!! I certainly love my dishwasher and my cell phone, my computer and my blow dryer but the thought of living without a washing machine would be really tough! I love hanging clothes out on a clothesline so I could even pass on a dryer but number one in my book is that dear washer!

Love your post...love your books...I can't wait to read your newest one!!!!!!

mauback55 at gmail dot com

Richard Mabry said...

Melanie, Thanks for your comment and your kind words about my books.
I'd never have thought that washing machines would come in ahead of cell phones and computers in a non-scientific survey like this, but they're pulling forward.
I appreciate your participation.

Patricia Bradley said...

Definitely my cell phone. Number 1) I feel naked without it. lol Number 2) If we have the technology to make a cell phone, then we could make all the other modern day appliances. :-)

I will say when I redid my kitchen and had a dishwasher installed, after using it a month, I decided I would never be without one again. We are so spoiled.

Can't wait to read your last book!

Richard Mabry said...

Patricia, I agree about the cell phone, but dishwasher and washing machine are important, too. Hard to choose one--the point, I guess, is that we have a lot of things that are wonderful but are now so important in our lives that we depend on them.

carolg said...

My husband would be crazy without the dishwasher LOL. He does the dishes. But I like many am attached to my cell phone. But I do remember days without them and the first big "bag". The only thing I have rebeled against so far is facebook. And I am sticking to that. Too many people use it unwisely. So Sorry I can't "Like" you even though I do like you and love your books. clglassie@gmail.com

Richard Mabry said...

Carol, thanks for your comment. Don't worry about "liking" me on Facebook--it's enough that you like my books.
And for everyone who might come upon this post a bit late, feel free to comment but the book giveaway has been closed out, the winner (Shirley D) has been notified, and the book sent. Thanks for participating.