Houses that measure your heart rate and TVs that recognise your voice. Blinds that raise when you say ‘good morning’ and fridges that know when you’re running low on milk – this is the future for our homes according to recent reports.
It sounds like something straight out of a sci-fi movie but these once novel concepts are beginning to make their way into our homes. Soon it seems there’ll be no need to write a shopping list, turn on the air conditioner, or even lock up the house when you leave; your home will be able to sense all of this for you and make the choice for you, perhaps before you’ve even thought of it yourself.
While the younger generation is quick to catch onto this new technology, no doubt ecstatic they don’t have to worry about remembering to turn off the lights or shut the door behind them, it seems inevitable they will be missing out on learning basic life skills.
Why learn to cook when the Thermomix does it all for you? There’s no need to be conscious of saving power when the lights turn off automatically for you, right? And why bother learning time management skills when your house will do half of your chores for you?
What will our grandkids be like as adults if they’ve never learned the necessary skills to get by in life without technology, and is it our job to teach them these things?
It’s all food for thought and an interesting conundrum since we’re treading new water here.
As children we saw the invention of the television and watched as computers and mobile phones made their way into our daily lives, but these new gadgets didn’t impact on our ability to learn how to sew on a button, cook a meal, or run a household. Those skills were ingrained in us by our parents from day one and thankfully those of us over sixty would be absolutely fine if the world lost power for a day and there was no one to tell us how to put the kettle on!
Do we really need a machine to fold our laundry for us? (Although that’s one invention we might be able to get behind!) And are we really so lazy that we can’t even get off the couch to turn off the light anymore? We’ve always been a nation of hard workers, not afraid to have a go and put in the effort to get the job done, so what will the future look like when our houses are practically doing everything for us?
Some people are worried their grandchildren won’t understand the concept of ‘hard work’ and how important it is to learn life skills at a young age. While our grandkids will no doubt be skilled in many other areas it seems pretty important they learn how to be independent enough to live without technology, too.
Perhaps it’s our role as grandparents to teach them the things we learned when we were young. Baking a simple recipe with our grandkids when they come to visit or teaching them how to tidy up after themselves is something we can easily do to make sure they are armed with the skills they need to make it in the real world.