Why We Need More Blackouts

Guten Tag Freunde. Welcome to Forthright Friday where I try to be… well, forthright.

Blackout!!! Yes, the dreaded “B” word of the modern age. A word so deadly, the mere mention of it strikes fear into the hearts of men and women both young and old (Mostly young).

The world as we know it is changing at quite a rapid pace and the realm of technology best exemplifies this. The minute you get a piece of the latest “cutting edge” technology, it becomes outdated. Yes, even that smart phone or PC you have with you at this moment is already outdated. Why you ask? It’s simple, we have to keep moving forward. Technology is much like a shark in the water. It has to keep swimming even when resting or else it will sink and die. Case in point, do you remember when having a wireless communication device in your pocket was a sci-fi dream? Those were the days. If cellphones had not been invented, our growth as a species would have been greatly stunted. Think about it. Can you imagine calling an Uber from a landline? Or playing location-based games like Pokémon Go from your living room? That would be a nightmare. The evolution of technology has brought great convenience but at a great price.

Quick question, where is your charger? There is a good chance that you paused reading this article to do a quick check. If you didn’t, it’s probably because you’re charging your device this very minute or have a full charge so it’s not really an issue (yet). As our devices have continued getting smarter? Their power consumption has become a nagging pain in the Gluteus Maximus. Back in the day some phones could keep charge for lengthy periods of time. You could charge them, take them on a trip and come back with a substantial amount of charge left. Nowadays, such performance is nothing but a pipe dream. What was once measured in days is now measured in hours or minutes. You power a phone to 100% and 10 minutes later it’s at 95% (I’m looking at you LG G3). So now I’m left to wonder, where is my 5%? Is there a “charging tax” that I don’t know about? And God forbid you get lost and have to turn on the GPS. That will be an automatic death sentence for the device. One minute it will be at 95% the next, lower. Look again, still going lower. It’s like playing “how low can you go?” with the battery, and it’s winning.

Finally, the moment of truth comes. The device gets to 10% and you go berserk. Only one word echoes in your thoughts. Charger, charger, CHARGER!!! Suddenly your personality changes. Enemies become friends (“Can I just get a quick charge amigo?”), friends become enemies (“Son of a gun! I lent you my charger now give it up!”).

The vicious cycle continues on and on and on. Until one day, it happens. There you are enjoying an episode of Marco Polo (which I highly recommend) on Netflix when suddenly, darkness. Who, what, when, where and why? These questions and more flash through your mind as your laptop slowly begins to dim. You panic and grab it begging it to keep going but it stares back at you as if to say “*Cough*. I’m not gonna make it. *Cough*. But at least I got to play 3/4 of episode 3. *Cough cough*”. “Don’t give up! You can make it to the end.” you say, but the screen goes black and with a final sputter of audio, it dies. You raise your fists in the air and yell a resounding Noooooo!!! The imaginary camera in your mind zooms out farther and farther till all that can be seen is the earth rotating ever so peacefully on its axis with your voice still audible in the solitude of space. Enraged, you proceed to curse the power company (*Cough* KPLC *Cough*), the staff, their parents, grandparents all the way to the ancestors of their ancestors and wish painful deaths upon them (those living at least). But it is all for naught. The power is gone and now you have to sit in the confines of darkness as you have just experienced a blackout.

Perhaps you can relate to the above scenario. If you can’t, contact me immediately as I would like to know where this paradise of no blackouts is and migrate asap. To those who do experience them, however painful it may seem at the time, you need to remember that there is life beyond the LCDs, TFTs, AMOLEDs etc. For instance, you can actually talk to a real human being in person. Yes, I kid you not. You can actually hear them with close to 0% chance of vocal attenuation. Unless of course it’s raining or something of the sort. A blackout can give you a chance to actually converse with your family, spouse, significant other or neighbors with no distractions. It also helps you figure out what you need to purchase and prepare for the next time. When was the last time you bought candles or refueled your lantern (if you have one)? You probably use a battery-powered lamp. But when the power runs out, what then will you do?

Stars are only visible in darkness.

The next time there’s a blackout don’t fret. Just take the opportunity to connect with those around you. Think of it as a blessing in disguise. Unless of course you live alone, then you may need to panic or you could just hit the hay. Better yet, go out in the day and meet someone new. You never know, you might just meet your significant other and those blackouts won’t be so lonely anymore.

Take a moment once in a while and get unplugged. Leave the phones, laptops, smart watches, desktops etc. and just enjoy the real world. Don’t be a slave to technology. As you head off to the weekend I urge you to stay safe and enjoy yourself.

This post marks the end of my first week blogging. Thank you for joining me and I do hope you shall join me for more grammatical adventures in the future.

Quick assignment, can you figure out where I got the quote for this post from? Leave your answer in the comments down below (if you have one) along with your views and suggestions.

Till next time.

K.O. Aus.