BY DOROTHY ROSBY
According to the makers of Cascade dishwasher detergent, using a dishwasher to clean dishes saves 30 minutes a day compared to washing them by hand. I read a fascinating article on the subject while browsing the internet today wasting the half hour I had just saved by running my dishwasher.
The author went on to say that we save 230 hours a year by letting our dishwashers do the work. I wasted another half hour trying to figure out how saving 30 minutes a day doing dishes would save me 230 hours a year. It doesn’t add up, even when you count leap year. The only thing I can imagine is that some dishwashers also clean the table, load and unload and put clean dishes away.
Mine doesn’t do any of that, but at least I get that extra half hour every time I use my dishwasher. The question is, what am I doing with it? And what am I doing with all the time my other modern conveniences are supposedly saving me? In theory, you should have all kinds of free time to accomplish great things, or take a nap.
I have a washer and dryer so I don’t have to spend entire afternoons beating my clothes on a rock and hanging them out to dry. My refrigerator defrosts itself, so I don’t have to stand in front of it for hours with a hair dryer and ice pick. Quicken saves me 10 to 15 hours every month balancing my checkbook. I know that sounds like a lot, but I’m no better at math than the good folks at Cascade.
I even buy time every day without tying my sneakers because they have hook-and-loop closures. This is lucky because I spend a lot of time looking for them.
I won’t try to count all the hours my modern conveniences are saving me because I can’t find my cell phone. Among its many time-saving apps is a built-in calculator that saves me a lot of time adding and subtracting, when I can find it.
The point is that he should have a lot of extra time. Then why not? I can’t spend it all looking for my cell phone and my tennis shoes.
To make sense of it, I went to Google, that source of all knowledge and wasting time of epic proportions. I was horrified by what I found. An article said that if we are average, we spend two and a half hours every day of the week checking our personal email. They didn’t break it down, but I estimate it takes two hours and 20 minutes to remove spam.
One website claimed that the average American spends more than two hours a day on social media, meaning that social media has replaced solitaire as the most common way to avoid doing real work on the computer.
Another website said that we spend just over three hours a day watching TV and more than four and a half hours a week looking for our remotes. I didn’t invent that. That’s about 40 minutes a day searching for our remote if my calculations are correct. It may not be because I haven’t found my cell phone yet. I’m lucky I have a dishwasher, otherwise I wouldn’t have time to search for our remote.
Suddenly I understood. When it comes to time, technology gives and technology takes away. And some technology takes much more than it gives. It just took all the time my dishwasher, washing machine, and Velcro sneakers have saved me over the last month and a half to figure it out.
Dorothy Rosby is the author of three books of humorous essays, including Alexa is a spy and other things to be angry about, Humorous essays on the problems of our time. Contact [email protected]