Little Helpers

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Yesterday I couldn't help but feel a sense of awe at all the conveniences modern life has to offer.

A lot of the chores in our household are taken care of by little helpers: The dishwasher washes the dishes, the washing machine washes the clothes, and the robot vacuum cleaner cleans the floors. The refrigerator keeps our food cold, the microwave heats it up, and the oven cooks it.

We take all of this for granted because the devices rarely fail, but it's really amazing when you think about it. It's only been a few decades since much of this was tedious, time-consuming, manual labor.

I heard stories about how people used to watch the washing machine do its thing, just because it was entertaining to see the machine do their work for them.

Growing up in the 90s and early 2000s, I remember when "smart home" was a buzzword, and now it's a reality. Smart devices control the thermostat and soon the lights and the door locks in our apartment.

Of course there were a bunch of stupid ideas that didn't work out along the way. I remember when they tried to sell those "smart" fridges that would run a web browser and let you order groceries from the fridge. Who would want to do that? It's so much easier to just order groceries online from your phone or computer. On the other hand, of all the people I talked to, I've never met anyone who regrets buying a vacuum robot.

We recently got a cat and quickly automated all the tedious stuff. The litter box cleans itself, there's a water fountain that keeps the water fresh, and soon we'll get a food dispenser. That means we have more time to focus on the fun stuff, like playing with the cat.

And yes, I fully realize that this convenience comes from an incredible position of privilege. A privileged position that we should never take for granted! Instead, we should be grateful for the little helpers that make our lives easier and make them more accessible to everyone.

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