Several years ago, I did a lesson with my students where the guiding question of day was, “How has technology made life easier for humans?”, mostly in reference to the earliest nomadic hominids, but with a connection to modern day humans. I started the lesson by drawing a picture of my crockpot. “A big problem in my life is that I get home late and I’m too tired to cook dinner, and by the time I do cook dinner, it’s even later.” The kids mostly agreed to the same problem in their homes. “Last month I bought a crockpot, and it changed my life.” I described how not only could I just throw a bunch of random stuff in the crockpot, but I could also come home to a warm, savory meal ready-to-eat. Technology had effectively made my life easier.
(It must have been a killer lesson because I swear kids were asking about my crockpot for the rest of the school year.)
Fast forward seven years later: while the crockpot was still a reliable tool, it also began to pose new (and very first world) problems.
Problem #1: The crockpot should only run 6-8 hours on low, but if I leave the house at 7:30am and don’t get home until 6:30pm, the food was either mush or burned.
Problem #2: When I leave the house, I can only set it to “low”, but some recipes call for a change to “high” for the last hour, and if I’m at work, I can’t turn the dial.
Problem #3: Sometimes I literally forget to turn the crockpot ON before I leave for work, and end up with a whole lot of ruined food.
What to do? What to do? (Cue the 2001: Space Odyssey music, please).
That’s right! A crockpot I can control with an app on my phone! So for my birthday a couple weeks ago, this baby came in the mail and it’s already made my life easier.
For instance, on Tuesday I suffered a Problem #3 (forgetting to turn on the crockpot before leaving) and suddenly remembered while sitting at my desk at work. The librarians ooohhhed and ahhhhed as they watched me turn on the crockpot from my phone, and set a timer for 6 hours. For about two minutes, I was a kind of big deal.
There you have it – my amazing new crockpot. If they sell it on QVC, you’ll hear me on the testimonial line proclaiming it’s reliability, ease of use, and exciting new recipe booklet (you think I’m joking, but I’ve literally been on the QVC testimonial line before).
What’s next? an app to make sure I turned off the oven? an app that turns on my Scentsy an hour before I get home? At this point, the possibilities seem endless.