Keep the high-tech away from my low-flow toilet
Burt's Eye View
Enough! Not even our bathrooms serve as refuges from technology invasion anymore.
I quivered and quaked enough when I read an article a couple weeks back about high-tech homes.
No, I’m not opposed to carpets that vacuum themselves. That’s neighborly technology.
I understand the convenience of adjusting the temperature and lighting at home remotely from anywhere with your cellphone. And automated home theaters and Wi-Fi-enabled home security systems — cool toys, bro.
But when my refrigerator tattles every time I snitch a hunk of roast beef my wife made for the church dinner, that’s a laser beam too far. Cold spyware. Plus, my wife already texts me shopping lists if I’m at the story. But a text from my fridge? Brrr.
Now I read that the geeks want to tech up my bathroom, too. Yikes.
Sure, it starts out sounding innocent enough. For example, you know those infrared sensors that turn on the water in public restrooms? You can install them in your home so that your frustration can be complete. Now, there’s nowhere you won’t keep swishing your hands in hopes of tripping the electronic trigger that will release a few trickles of water.
But wait. As they say in the commercials, there’s more. The faucets have built-in timers for things like brushing teeth and washing faces. It’s called water conservation — because chances are, you won’t be able to make the thing work to use any actual water.
Toilets, too? If the gizmo gurus would have stopped at self-cleaning thrones, I’d be fine. But now you can equip your commode with temperature-controlled water, spritzing wands and air dryers. Don’t forget the LED lights to guide your, uh, jumbo jet to landing on the proper runway at night.
Then the techno-nuts built wireless speakers into showerheads so that you no longer have to sing in the shower yourself. Just stand there and while you try to activate the water, Weird Al will croon “Fat” or Meghan Trainor will size you up with “It’s All About the Bass.”
The most evil of the new-fangled bathroom contraptions are the scales. Technology ratcheted the nuisance up to new levels.
High-tech scales can measure weight, BMI and body fat percentage so you can feel even more despondent. THEN the scales can transmit all your vitals statistics to a phone, electronic tablet or laptop. The article did not specify to whose devices that information would be sent — my phone, my mother’s or the evening news.
I used to be able to lock the door and hide in the bathroom. New bathrooms will rat you out just as quickly as new refrigerators.
Remember when cellphones were new? I didn’t want to be that accessible. I wanted to be able to run away from it all and not have it all following me in my pocket.
Now the gadget guys want to outfit me with a bathroom that won’t give me enough water to wash my hands, but it will warm my behind and tattle to my doctor every time I gain another pound. What if the Russians interfere with that? Could they turn my toilet into a disco ball and broadcast the results on those gas pump TV stations?
If you need me, I’ll be in the outhouse. Don’t bother calling. I left my cellphone in the fridge.
— Write Burt’s fridge at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook.