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My Point Of View - The Remote Control
It could be said I am to blame for America’s laziness. Before me, viewers had to stand up and walk over to the television to change the channel, not that there were many choices to begin with. Let’s see there was news, news and oh yeah! News.
When I came along the goal was to make life just a bit easier. A man could come home after a hard day at the plant, sit down with a cold beverage and flip through the programs at his own leisure. Not too shabby.
I’ve been blamed for all sorts of issues, which in my humble opinion is unfounded. Sure, I make it easier to change the channel during commercials, or that really sappy boring part of a dull movie, but why blame me for a short attention span and an itchy trigger finger?
And let’s not forget the family. Garage door openers, stereo remotes, even master remotes that control the temperature, lighting, and windows of the house. Vehicles are equipped with keyless entry and starters to keep you from having to go out and start your car in the cold, allowing you to stay indoors until your car was nice and toasty. Some purist don't consider them controls, but that's splitting hairs.
Now should we really be blamed for the current state of man? Come on, everything is easy today. Look at the drive-in. Sure you take it for granted, but once upon a time, you actually had to get out of your car and get this, walk into an establishment to order your Big Mac. How about that Lazy Boy recliner, where you spend countless hours, the laptop computer, or the kindle…..don’t want to risk a paper cut now do we?
How about the telephone? Not too long ago it would ring and you would have to get off your rump to answer it, standing up for the duration of the call. Then came the cordless phone, and then the cell phone, which most of you cannot function without. Humans are so hooked on gadgets, it’s quite humorous actually. Let's change the channel.
According to Wikipedia, I’m a descendant of US patent 613,809 by Nikola Tesla. In 1898, Mr. Tesla introduced his Method of an Apparatus for Controlling Mechanism of Moving Vehicle….kinda just rolls of the tongue huh? Heused his apparatus to operate a radio controlled boat during an electrical exhibition at Madison Square Garden.
In the 1930’s remote controls were offered by high end radio manufacturers. Then came the game changer. In 1950 Zenith introduced the Lazy Bones remote, which connected to the television by a wire. We were big and bulky then, with huge buttons that clicked loudly when pressed. But like everything else, we evolved.
I will admit that we're overpopulated, there are just too many of us, remotes for the television, dvd, cable box, gaming systems, and every other electronic device out there. Many buy the universal remote, but they hardly ever work and then you're stuck with yet another controller in the basket. It can be quite confusing, especially for those that aren't tech savvy. They grab us, fumble around until they are thoroughly frustrated, then throw us down and walk away in disgust.
But today life without me would be unbearable. Are you really going to get up and flip through your 750 channels? I didn't think so. I make it easy, you can record your pointless sitcom and then be content to sit back and use me to fast forward through all of those pesky commercials and knock it out in 22 minutes….you’re welcome.
And I'm not just used for the old boob tube, just look what I’ve done in terms of space exploration. Remote controled rovers roam planets in search of signs of life and taking pictures for the world to see.
So what’s next for me you ask? Well The Wii has been a game changer, and it’s going to get better. The Bluetooth version will enable you to change without having to go through the trouble of pointing me at the tv.
So if we're looking for the root cause of laziness, take a look at yourself, after all I'm your invention. You've evolved, and I've evolved to suit your needs. Personally, I blame the wheel, and maybe sliced bread.