Over the past century the world has drastically changed. With the evolution of transport, kitchen appliances, cell phones, TVs and computers aimed to help and please we hardly get to do anything anymore, except drive here and drive there, put this into that, lie down and watch a favourite show. Life is great, right? 🙂
But imagine that our ancestors were able come back to living and saw the world around them as it is now. They would have been lost, they wouldn’t have known what to do. What’s going on here? What are these boxes humming and then ringing, saying that your food is ready to eat? What are these thin screens of glass and plastic projecting a clean picture of someone you don’t know acting in a story they used to read, typed on yellowish pages, something like ‘Pride and Prejudice’. Actually, it better be ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and not some dirty movie that will send them to shock. Thinking of them reminds me of one episode of The Vampire Diaries from the first seasons, where the vampires locked in tomb since the 19th century get out in the modern world. I always felt for that guy who looked at the cell phone as if it were a rock fallen from the Moon.
All this technology is truly great – it makes things easier for us, it entertains us, makes our work more efficient. In a modern world we cannot imagine ourselves without all the commodities it gives us. Doing laundry in a tub, sending letters via post as the only way to communicate with special to us people, not able to see them via Skype, not able to hear them on a cell phone because they are miles and miles away, not able to use a car for a trip to a shopping centre. Imagine cruising the seas for days and weeks because you can’t take a plane and be at your destination in several hours. Technology definitely is a blessing.
But it is also a curse because it planted the laziness in people. We not only ride cars to the shopping centre, we take a car even of we need to buy bread in a local store that is only five minutes away. We pollute air and spend unnecessary money on petrol because we’re lazy to walk five minutes. We hoover or steam the floor, spending money on electricity, instead of just washing it with a mop – I know the two have different purposes, but some people use it for all the same reasons. We forgot what it is to stand hours beside the hob cooking, because slow cookers do the job for us.
And no, before you think, I want to say that I don’t blame anyone for doing this. I do many of the things myself. Even though I do not drive to the nearest shop (because it’s only 50 metres away), I still prefer to wait for my husband to get back home from work to ask him to go to the shop. I go there myself when on the way from the gym or when the weather is too good to sit at home – which is a rarity in wintertime in Ireland. And it is easier for me to hoover twice a day then wash the floor once every two to three days. I do wash it AND hoover still, but it takes great effort. The only technological thing I cannot stand is a dishwasher. I would wash manually tables and tables of dishes instead of loading the dishwasher. For some reason I don’t trust those cleaning tablets or gels they use. I can see the residue on the plates, I can smell it, and I have to wash it myself after the dishwasher.
What’s the point of this post? you might think. Maybe there is no point. Maybe I just wanted to ramble about something that’s on my mind. But my point is, while it is great to exploit all the things given to us these days, I find it inspiring and empowering to do things the old-fashioned way from time to time. Like, today for example, I washed the floor and not with a mop. On my knees, with a cloth in hands I washed the entire floor, and not only I feel accomplished because I did what I needed to do, but it felt good to be washing the floor this way. It was a great exercise that worked my entire body from core to arms and shoulders. It kind of compensates minutes of core and arms strength exercises which most of us can’t find time for. And my oven was on, roasting pork ribs for my husband, so it was a really hot session.
So while the technology is good, it kind of robs us of exercise and activity. And believe me, you can be active even if you don’t go to gym, don’t jog and don’t do home workouts. Because cleaning your house once a day is a hell of a workout! Going to a shop, leaving the car keys inside, is another great exercise that we forget about. Even cooking meal as an exercise as long as you stand on your feet while chopping and preparing ingredients and then stand beside the hob, stirring and watching. So stay active throughout the day by doing your chores and you will not only feel accomplished, you will feel better, happier, you will become slimmer and healthier because it is a strengthening and calorie burning work. And the best part of it is when you’re actually done, falling into the softness of a couch or bed will be much more pleasant and you will probably sleep better.