Gadgets, Widgets, and Gizmos

Here’s a WordPress prompt from yesterday that seemed like it would be interesting to write about:

How would you compare the importance of electricity with the invention of the internet? or the cell phone? Can this kind of comparison be made? If you had to lose one of these inventions, which would you keep? And why?

I’m not even sure you could compare electricity’s importance to the Internet’s importance. Both are essentials of our modern world. Think about it – practically everything we accomplish in a day has something to do with electricity or the Internet. If some kind of electromagnetic pulse were to wipe out the “grid,” we’d all be screwed until we could invent something to compensate. I don’t know if the world would be able to survive for long without the Internet or electricity. We’d have to go all the way back to the stone age before there was any of that. We might even have to *gasp* light a candle!

As for cell phones, I don’t have one, but I do understand that they’re great in emergency situations or for convenience, yet can be very distracting when it comes to other matters.

Obviously, if I had to give up either electricity, the Internet, or a cell phone, I’d give up my imaginary cell phone. Then I’d give up the Internet. Sometimes it’s nice when the Internet fails to work or when the power goes out; you get to spend a few hours doing something other than staring at a screen – maybe some yard work gets finished, perhaps you can sink into the world of a book, or perhaps you could spend some face-to-face time with friends or family. But if the power goes out… then you’d have to worry about the lack of heating/air conditioning, food in the refrigerator going bad, lack of radio (unless it’s battery-powered) or TV, etc. Sometimes a power outage is a refreshing break from all the clamor of technology – but only in short amounts of time. Nobody likes extended power outages.

But I still hope this winter brings a lot of snow days. Then I can pretend I live in a time before electricity, the Internet, and the proliferation of gadgets, widgets, and gizmos.

12 thoughts on “Gadgets, Widgets, and Gizmos

  1. I think of electricity as the invisible backbone of society. Sure the internet is big and so is my cell phone but without electricity my computer and my phone are paper weights.

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  2. I’m with Tammy.

    I lived without the internet for years . . . but I’ve never lived without electricity for long ~ refrigeration, lights, A/C, heat, cooking, cleaning, etc. Even if you could have internet without electricity . . . you’d never have time to use it.

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    1. That is true; you’d be way too busy doing everything by hand to even bother with spending time online. But we’d all be physically fit again!

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  3. Well, since the Internet is made out of electricity (bits and bites can only live in an electrical world) (Yeah, OK, you can possibly have mechanical, hand-crank devices, but they are very slow, have NO memory, and easily break), I can’t pull the two apart.

    Ocassionally (very) I wonder what my life would be like if I had no electricity or Internet, but then, after a while, I crawl out from under the kitchen table, wipe of the sweat, get my heart rate down to less than supersonic, and I’m OK again.

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  4. I would guess that the person who came up with that prompt was somewhat younger than I am. 🙂 I’ve lived my whole life with electricity (with occasional interruptions) and I think it’s pretty important. I lived more than half of my life before the web was even invented, so I know quite well how things worked.

    I guess my opinion is reflected in my writing. In my second novel there’s no computers, no internet, almost no phones (let alone cell phones) and almost no motor vehicles. Things go along just fine. In the third novel (WIP), there’s no electricity, too, and then things get more difficult. Not impossible, but challenging.

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    1. I’ve lived my entire life with electricity too and I find it hard to imagine what it would be like without it. I’d probably pick up crocheting or sewing or scrapbooking instead of blogging!

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  5. I agree with the previous comment. I also think that when things are taken away from us, we become much more grateful for what we have.

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