} The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia

Having a child come into the dining room ten minutes ago, wielding a tech gadget and declaring “My iPod’s glitching”, reminded me of a conversation I had recently with another child. Kayla and I stood in the kitchen a few weeks ago discussing the hazards of modern technology and the newest generation’s common inability to live without it. We compared people we knew, relatives, friends, kids of friends and related them to their survival rate should the world suffer from a massive EMP, total technological blackout.

Not many of them would make it, including possibly Kayla herself. (This became apparent a few days later when a pipe in the water closet in the garage burst and we were without running water for a few days.)

It’s easy enough to say that if you couldn’t turn the tap on for fresh water, due to the lack of computer control at the reservoir, you could just go to your local variety store and purchase a few bottles. The thing is, the cash registers wouldn’t work, nor would the bank machines, how are you going to pay for your bottled water if there’s no coin in your pocket?

Many of the random people referred to in our conversation probably couldn’t make a cup of tea if they were so lucky to come across fresh water.

I’ve heard stories of couples texting each other from separate rooms, in fact, I’ve had a kid text my computer from a cell phone while they’re sitting right next to me at the same table. How would these people communicate in a future without technology?

We are so overdeveloped as a society that we’ve begun to lose our origins. We are no longer able to provide for our basic needs to survive.  I realize there have been volumes written on such things, but as I reset Sara’s iPod I’m thankful to know that it’s nothing more than a toy to her. She could survive. She would take the big steel pot, fill it with water from the well, put it on the woodstove and using leaves out of the garden, make her mother a killer cuppa tea.

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6 Comments

  1. lianamerlo said,

    February 27, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    You should take her on a trip to Lancaster, PA, and stay with an Amish family. It’s quite the experience. And sometimes it’s nice to take a breather from this electricity-run world sometimes if you have a free weekend.

    http://lancastercountyvacations.com/have-dinner-with-the-amish/

    • February 27, 2010 at 2:51 pm

      That is an amazing idea. I’ve bookmarked that site and am inspired to look for something similar a little closer to home. Honestly, I’d be perfectly happy living like a pilgrim, however the REST of my family would not approve. I do what I can though. I love celebrating Earth Hour every year, just so I can give them a reason to power down once in a while. For the most part, everyone participates freely, I guess we’ve just found that happy median! Thanks for the link!

  2. kiwidutch said,

    February 27, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    That’s exactly why in our house the kids will be getting “gadgets” when they are old enough to earn them themselves… either in a paid after-school job or by doing enough additional chores around the house, so that they will really know the value of them and so that they know a life without them LOL. Until then they play occasionally on our computers under paternal supervision. Even the TV is off as much as possible. Guess what! Our kids love books, old fashioned toys like blocks, dressing up, playing theatre, baking and lego and (since we don’t have a garden) the local park is a big hit whenever the weather is warm enough. The kids are still young enough to happily do without the extra “stuff” and happy with old fashioned play. We will keep working on making them as independent in non-technological things as possible as they grow up. (camping etc) Great post 🙂

    • February 27, 2010 at 2:58 pm

      Thanks! That’s pretty much how we work things as well. The first iPod I bought was two years ago for my son, who was 18 at the time! Like I said to Liana above, we have a happy median. So the kids are just as perfectly content playing a game of chess as they are playing Mario. The younger two are 13 and 14 and although they do have gadgets, they both also love to read, cook and craft, and if I had a penny for every lego piece in this house I’d be a filthystinkingrich woman. Good for you! Camping is a great way to keep track of one’s priorities!

  3. thesnacks said,

    February 27, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    If the power goes off in my house – even if it is just for a few hours – I go crazy. Surprisingly, so do my parents do too and they aren’t as attached to technology as I am.

    I didn’t get my first cell phone until I was 16, but I have had my own laptop since I was in 9th grade (everyone in the school got one). So I’m still pretty attached to technology. I do love reading, however, and blocks/legos were my favorite growing up.

    And as much as I love the outdoors, I’m lost without my electronics. I think almost everyone is to some extent.

    • February 28, 2010 at 7:19 am

      You’re right, almost everyone is dependent on electronics/technology. It has certainly become part of who we are. Even myself, I do a lot of reading, I “research” out the wazoo, and I do most of my reading online. I’m sure if I was without my laptop I’d go a little stir crazy too. It would be the convenience that I would miss the most. Being able to just go online to look something up, as opposed to say going to the library, borrowing a book, copying stuff down, having to buy the book if I wanted a permanent reference etc. That’s not to say I don’t have an extensive book collection, but for the quick info, I just find in online.
      But I think everyone who is dependent on technology should step back once in a while and make sure they could survive without it.


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