But we humans are supposed to evolve and learn as a species. Things change, we learn new tricks, and hopefully some of those tricks make our lives less-stressful.
So why are we still doing so many things the hard way in the modern world? Here is my theory, and a few examples of things that really need to change, because they just don't make sense anymore!
Why Don't We Have...
"Why don't we have...*insert incredibly useful idea here*."
I like to think that there were cave women gabbing with other cave women and agreeing that a fire that lit itself would be the ultimate "thing".
Personally, I think men are at least 95% to blame for this. I mean, look at history. Machines like catapults were invented way before vacuum cleaners.
The argument here was probably pretty solid:
"Protection is our number one priority. We must defend/attack/protect/survive first. Then worry about the laundry."
Women probably thought surviving would be a lot more fun if 24 hours of their day weren't spent beating clothing on rocks. (Just a guess.)
The irony here is that guys were using all their time and energy to build weapons to use against other guys building weapons for the same reason.
If they had all stayed at home and spent their weekends inventing insanely useful stuff instead, we would probably all have condos on Mars by now.
So not only did we lag a bit on inventing useful stuff in the past, (refrigerators should have been invented with the wheel, ya know), we are still sorta stalled in areas that could seriously use some updates or re-invention. (I'm looking at you, Scary-Refrigerator-Biscuit-Cans.)
Sure, we get sidetracked by all the pretty gadgets we have today, but if people in the old days had hustled better, we probably could have ye olde internet back in the 1500's.
No. Instead, they spent a lot of time and money to build a metal cow that could roast people alive. Because that was obviously WAY more helpful to society than a vacuum cleaner or a universal translator.
Here in 2017, I think there are a few things that are still a bit old-fashioned for our super-cool, internet driven, non-roasting-people-in-statues society:
If you've ever worked night or evening shift, or worse, night shift on a weekend, then you know the total frustration of regular business hours.
In fact, business hours are kind of frustrating if you work a business-hour job too, and need to do something totally "frivolous" like go the bank or try to mail a package.
Thanks to electricity, we can have lights 24 hours a day. We no longer need to worry about not wasting a drop of sunlight. Therefore, we can have 24 hour businesses. If everything ran on 24 hours, then there would be tons of jobs for rotating shifts of employees.
All the money spent keeping businesses open for 24 hours (or just 18!) would be made up because people would have jobs AND could shop at businesses anytime they were off work.
2. Cash Only Stores
I know, I know. It is harder to overspend using the cash system. And its old-school and kinda cool to carry green on you.
But the OPTION to use plastic is nice for those times when you want to buy something and you are a dollar short. Or when you are buying something so big you really don't want to carry that much cash on your mortal body.
It's good for the stores too, because a big sign that says "We only take debit cards" is the same as a sign saying "If you rob us all you will get is a handful of receipts".
3. Unnecessary Phone Calls
I have text. You have text.
Phone calls are awkward. Business-y phone calls are even more awkward. If there are lines to CALL and talk to someone, why aren't there more lines to just text people for information or help?
Some people are great at texting multiple conversations at one time. The wait would be shorter for service and you wouldn't have to worry so much about whether or not you were in a spot with clear enough phone signal to understand whatever complicated instructions they are going to give you.
4. Women's Clothing Sizes
Okay. Clothing sizes in general aren't a bad idea. They are handy. But they need some sort of standardization.
One of the most dreaded questions in the universe has got to be:
"What size do you wear?"
Its a lousy question because no one has a freaking clue what size they wear anymore. Maybe 6, 8, or just the generic medium.
But not in that brand. In that brand it's more like a 12. But in the other brand it might be a size 2...depending on the style.
Why can't we just scrap that "system" and size our clothes like men? With actual measurements? And you know how pants come in petite, average or tall? Well, bra cups should come in round, pointy or long.
I cannot begin to tell you what size I wear. My closet has so many different clothing sizes it looks like I yo-yo diet as an Olympic sport. And the truth is, I'm still wearing clothes I bought when I was in high school.
So my size is pretty standard, but the tags on all the brands keep gaining or losing weight! I actually hate shopping for clothes, because you feel like such a moron going to the dressing room with an armload of the same shirt in 15 sizes, like you've never bought clothes before and don't have a clue what size you are.
Shoes are even worse. For years I wore an 8. Now I wear a 7, 8, 81/2 and a 9? And it's not fair because my husband can walk in and buy a pair of shoes without even trying them on once and they fit perfectly. Because they are exactly the size he wears. Every. Time.
Yet, we gals get all the ribbing about spending too much time in the dressing room. Well, yeah. We are in shock that we went from a size 4 to a size 12 in the time it took to try on two shirts.
All I'm saying is...it's time to update the clothing size system to a brilliant, universal code.
5. Pumping Gas
Why are we still using gas pumps? This is the age where we are supposedly so naive that we have to be told that our coffee is hot or that putting your hand into any device with moving blades is a bad idea.
Yet we are still given access to gallons of flammable liquid we can squirt anywhere with a hose and nozzle. That alone should be enough incentive for an update.
Think about that...people who are dumb enough to put their hands into a running blender are allowed to buy $20 or so worth of liquid explosion. And the only safety barrier is the auto shut-off when they reach their pre-paid limit, and a faded sign on the pump that says "flammable".
Plus, pumping gas takes forever, especially on cold, wet days. So why don't we have a way to drive through the station and our cars just auto-connect with a refueling device?
Just coast in on auto-pilot, the nozzle comes down or out, a connection is made, and the fuel is transferred.
Somewhere out there is a genius who could probably invent an adapter to turn older cars into smart, self-refueling models too, so no one would have to pump gas in the cold again.
While they are at it, how about fuel sold in concentrated lozenges? Just drop them in the gas tank, add some water, and fizz-fizz, you have fuel.
Those are few updates I think would make modern life a bit more... modern. Think of the time, stress and money just those 6 improvements could make in our lives.
We would never have to rush on lunch break to get to the bank. We could text customer service while our cars were gassing themselves up.
Then be on our merry way to any store at any time where we would could buy a new pair of shoes (with cash OR debit) in 10 minutes because we would know exactly which size was right.
And that would leave us with more free time to do something super helpful, like end world poverty, perfect zippers so they never get wedged in the bottom of your jeans fly, and find a better way to package biscuits besides an exploding can.
That is almost as futuristically awesome as a condo on Mars.