Everything is Instant

Everything is Instant

We live in an instant world. I don’t think anyone would disagree with that statement. Our food is instant, our communication is instant, our coffee is instant, and entertainment is too.

But from time to time I am reminded about how much we rely on power and automation to make our life what it is. And I’m thinking that maybe I don’t think quite like everyone else, as I like to think about what it was like ‘back in the day’. Back in the era of my grandparents, or even great grandparents. So even just getting up and ready for school or work would have been an entirely different routine to those in today’s era.

Just think about it these days:

– you can flick a switch, at the lights go on, or when the power is out we have torches (none of this lighting candles just to move from room to room)
– and we can turn the knob on the stove, and it heats up
– push some buttons on the microwave, and tea is ready in a few minutes
– open the fridge or freezer door and you have nicely cold food and drinks
– if you’re cold, just pop the heater on
– or if you’re hot put the airconditoner or fan on
– the washing machine just needs a few buttons pushed, and wallah, it’s all washed for you
– and the same goes the dryer
– want hot water? No problem. Just turn the tap. None of this having to heat up water in the kettle or copper
– want toast for breakfast … just pop a slice in. You don’t have to have a fire to get doing, to then toast the bread
– and then there’s all the other appliances

You know I could go on … but you get the drift. We really do take ALL of these things for granted. But then again why wouldn’t we? It’s what we know, what we grew up with, and that’s fair enough.

Cooking … Bread and butter were often homemade, or if not ordered from the grocer who delivered periodically. Meals didn’t come in a box ready to heat up, they were homemade too, and no doubt were a whole lot better for you that today’s door with preservatives and everything else added to it. And drawing from my own family’s experience, who were farmers and orchardists, there was always fruit and vegie picking to do. Milking the cows, looking after the sheep, along with the rest of farm life.

Shopping … there was no big department stores like we do these days. Instead they had smaller shops which sold a whole range of goods in the one shop – often quite eclectic to say the least.

Entertainment … TV and computers of course weren’t even thought of back then … but playing board games, playing outside, listening to music, reading and writing letters were common practice.

Writing … These days paper is something that is everywhere. Just grab a pad as you need it and a pen or pencil when the need arises to scribble a note. But at times in history, paper was in short supply, so when using it you had to use it very economically, and of course it was was with quill pen and ink.

Transport … I remember my grandpa told me how he had to walk miles about 5 miles (each way) to get to primary school and back every day, no matter what the weather was. Now we just hop in a car or a bus, unless the school is only a street or two away from where you live.

So maybe, just sometime … think about your day to day life. Getting up and ready for the day, breakfasting, and heading off to work or wherever. Think about how easy life is for us now compared to what it would have been 100+ years ago.

And while I would love to time travel back, I’m sure it wouldn’t be an era that I could cope with easily. But still it would be fascinating to visit.

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4 Responses to “Everything is Instant”

  1. crissouli says:

    My early years, a lot earlier than yours by the way, certainly weren’t part of the instant era…

    You’ve reminded me that I haven’t finished the story I began to write some time back about what it was like… Thanks for that, Alona…

    I loved your take on how your ancestors lived. We certainly do take our lives for granted these days, and though much of the past was wonderful, I am happy to have moved on as far as daily living goes.

  2. GenieJen says:

    I often comment on how glad I am I was born into an era with air conditioning, power and good medicine

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