The plight of modern inconvenience

Haley Manbeck

We live in the future. Yes, seriously. I know we don’t have flying cars or any other “futuristic” things from The Jetsons, but we do have jet packs, little six inch computers we call smart phones and instant food. We live in the peak of modern convenience.

Don’t know how to spell? Don’t worry, that’s why there’s spell check. Don’t know a random fact? The Internet is right there at your disposal. Don’t like the show you’re watching? There’s thousands more.

What actually should be considered here is how convenient is “modern convenience”? There are so many things we’ve grown reliant on, so many things my generation could never dream of living without.

There’s the obvious issue of the cell phone. While it’s nice to be able to make a phone call at a moment’s notice, there’s the issue of a constant distraction. With the development of the smart phone it’s not just a phone anymore. You can check Facebook at a moment’s notice, look up GPS or check every YouTube video your heart desires.

Less focused on is the debit card. While useful for, say, paying your bills online, is it really helpful? Twenty years ago debit cards were still relatively new. People had to go to the bank to get money out. You had to rely on budgeting and smart spending in order to make it through the weekend. While that may sound terrible, consider the stupid spending so many people do with such easy access to their funds. Overdraft fees are a constant issue now. Instant gratification leads to irresponsibility.

But how about something a little more subtle, the disposable diaper. Mainly, it’s a deterrent to potty training. Mammalian nature states that no one wants to defecate on themselves. While babies have no way of getting to a toilet, they still know it is not a pleasant experience. Getting them used to this feeling is counterproductive to getting them to go in a toilet. In the 30’s, the average age for a child to be potty trained was about 18 months. Now it’s reaching close to 3-years-old. Cloth diapers, while somewhat of a nuisance, promote people to start training their children earlier.

The truth is we’re living in a dystopia. It may not be as obvious as something like Bladerunner, but it’s definitely there.

Socializing is becoming more and more difficult. Ads are everywhere, constantly telling us to buy this and eat that. Common sense is not so common anymore.

Maybe we should put down our phones or peel ourselves away from Facebook for a few minutes and try to talk to the person next to us instead of texting someone across the room.

Haley Manbeck is a
City Times staff writer