When I started to write this, I thought it was obvious that the gadget I couldn’t live without would be my cell phone. While mine is about as far from a “smart” phone as you can get, I use it for a watch, alarm clock, telephone book, reminders, text messages and sometimes even as a phone. After a few minutes of thought, I realized that when I forget and leave my phone at home in the morning, I can still make it through the day just fine, and this was supposed to be about something I really can’t live without. It occurred to me that what I really couldn’t live without is one of the oldest electronic “gadgets” still around — the TV/cable box remote control.
When watching TV, I am one of those annoying people — I even annoy myself some times when I can’t remember what channel to go back to — that changes channels at every advertisement to see what else is on. I’m always thinking there must be something more interesting than what I am watching. A few weeks ago, we misplaced our remote control, and after many trips from the chair to the cable box to change channels, I finally decided just standing beside the cable box was much easier. This worked fine for a while but it didn’t take long before this got old. At that point, I decided that spending my time looking for the remote was a lot more useful than standing beside the cable box changing channels. I spent the rest of the evening looking for the remote without success. The next evening was basically a repeat of the previous one — still no luck finding the remote. At this point, it became too much work to even try to watch TV, so I gave up. After about two more similar evenings, I was ready to buy a universal remote when we found the remote buried under some papers on the desk in an adjoining room. It was probably me that left it there in the first place. I was now able to watch TV again! While I really don’t watch that much TV, it is now clear to me that without my trusty remote, the TV is pretty useless, which a lot of people would claim it is anyway even with a remote!