Sunday, October 7, 2012

Where would we be without electricity?

Well, when asking this question, I don't mean every aspect of electricity. Electrostatics, for example, or lightnings, have been known for a long long time!

But being someone who grew up with coloured televisions and computers, and working with a generation that grew up with mobile phones, smartphones, tablets, etc. ... well, where would we be without any of such tools in our daily lifes? How would our lives be like without a washing machine or fridge, or watercooker? After all, only roughly 150 years ago, such kind of tools the way we know it, simply didn't exist yet, at least not for the common public!

For those who are interested, here's a brief history of electricity. But I'm sure there are plenty more like this to be found in the web.  

Well, I still know that about a year ago, there happened a power outage here that lasted for a few hours. And during all that time, I was like ...:
"Hm....maybe I could cook something, ah, wait, no electricity, can't use the stove." "Maybe making a tea. Damn, water-cooker can't work either." "Maybe calling someone? Ah,  the mobile is out of charge, and other phone doesn't work." 

Such kinds of happenings really show us how depended and used we are by now to use all the electrical devices in our homes. By now I know better on what do to at such times, and am not so dependent anymore, luckily! (at least I think so, but can be wrong, too :P)

Anyway, since I currently have a trainee position in an activity museum aimed for children, and part of it is specialized about the life about 100 - 150 years ago, I  also had to learn how back then they washed their clothes, how they did dress and how "many" clothes they had, how large the families were, how they cooked, what kind of light they had to use, etc. etc.... So much to learn! But it's really interesting, because, even with seeing and using those old tools, it's so hard to imagine how life must have been like back then! Like I said, I grew up with lightbulbs, Tv and the like...

And for the children it's also fun to try out these things, they get pretty amazed that it all worked without electricity! But only after few time they already realize, "wow, that's hard work they had to do everyday, and even the children had to work!" Well, I'm quite sure they are glad that they have all their electricity-powered tools (and not to forget the water taps!) at home, I am as well, indeed. ;)

All these tools make our life so much simpler/ easier! I think we really should be grateful how much technology has evolved in such "few" time, and that it hopefully will continue to improve! So big kudos for everyone who is working in such a field of development!

But what should we do with all the "free time" that we gained through this "gift" of electricity? Most still have to go to work now to get their money, yes, but still, I can imagine that we have more leisure time than we would have in the age of our (great-)great-grandparents, if they had any leisure time back then. It's something that I can't really know, but even back then there were differences in living standards, so....  To really find out how it was like back then, we would have to be able to travel back into the past to find out for real!
But until that is possible, the question remains....

What do we do with all the time we "save" with our electric tools?
I guess that is something that everyone has to decide for themselves... ;)

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