The cost and downside of modern life

In another topic we noticed that times have have changed in terms of repairs, spare parts or just finding a replacement for something.
It not only seems that a lot of people no longer bother to repair their broken things but also that for those who still want to the available options are disappearing fast.
Take the common lawn mover as an example:
We can buy them in dedicated shops, the local hardware store, supermarkets and sometimes even at Aldi.
But if you need such a simple spare part like a fuel hose or gasket for the carby you are usually lost unless you can order the parts from some online store at the other end of the world.
Electronics are even worse, here a broken charging plug or just loosing the charger can mean people throw it in the bin to buy a new device.
Splicing a rope? Why bother if a big bunch of knots does the same LOL
Do you still remember these little repair shops that used to fix your waching machine, TV or sometimes even your electric drill?
Where are they now?
Or all these small electronics shops selling resistors, wire and complete kits?
I still remember the times when I could take my radio to the local shop, the guy listens to the sound and lack of available stations and knew right away what parts I needed - and they were right at hand.
For a few bucks extra he even replaced the broken bits if he had the time.

After thinking a bit about all this I came to realise two things:
a) We are getting lazy and no longer learn vital skills because modern life makes us think we no longer need these skills.
b) Unless you can repair something yourself, labour costs mean a repair is often not worth it.

Who here, under the age of 30 still knows how to make a good campfire from scratch, dares to take the lawnmower apart to fix it himself or simply bothers to stich up a little rip in his fancy tent instead of buying a new one?
For crying out loud, a lot of kids don't even know how operate a washing machine by the time the lease the parents home for good...
Schools seem to support these life changes by no longer teaching the use of pen and pencil, not to mention ink...
All the kids get is a tablet or laptop and that means they don't even have to learn the language anymore - that what the spell checker does.
If I dare to spin this further by another 25 or so years I only see chaos.
Everyone is highly specialised, noone bothers to cook anymore and the third generation in the family no longer has any clue what the first generation is talking about.
When my grandfather grew up life was hard.
When my parents grew up life was all about expressing yourself.
When I grew up life was intersting because everything was changing so fast.
When my kids leave the house what will they say about this?...

What do you think ?
How much has modern life affected since you grew up ?
And of course: Do think it is the right trend ?

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antoniraj5 months ago

you forgot to mention the games we played with other kids in the street. Now they play together online

But you have to remember that the streets were less dangerous back then. And there were fewer cars on the streets too.

And that people weren't that aware/weren't that afraid of danger back then.

Downunder35m (author)  antoniraj5 months ago

So true :(
Ask kids these what good games they know and you get a very long list.
Then you ask "Ok, do you know any good games that dont need a screen?"
The return usually is in the region "What do you mean by no screen??"
LOL

Yonatan245 months ago

(Almost half of thirty)

I know how to start a campfire from scratch. I mean, not by rubbing sticks together, but with matches/no fuels...

Take the lawnmower apart to fix it himself? Well, don't have one, but I could try.

Stitch up a little rip in his fancy tent instead of buying a new one? Have you never heard of hot glue? :)

I don't know how to operate the washing machine, but if I wanted to know (thanks to having the internet!) it wouldn't take me long.

Schools don't teach to use a pen and pencil?

I have Grammarly enabled for the device thta I'm using right now. I use it to fix mistakes that I alrready know thehow they're spelled, just to save time when fixing typos. If I see a word that I didn;'t realize that I spelled incorrectly, I'll probably Google it. Oh, and it's an eazsy way to find synonyms for words for my I'bles. <<<<And these are the mistakes.

-----

But again, the average kid knows pretty much nothing.

But again, the average kid knows pretty much nothing.

*In these subjects.

*But it's his/ her parents fault.

*I guess.

antoniraj5 months ago

Downunder35m, after reading your forum topic, I have finally posted my long pending instructable "Home Hacks: Restore Broken Home Appliances With Little or No Cost". You can see it here

https://www.instructables.com/id/Home-Hacks-Restor...

The death of repair shops in today's society was heralded in by the minimization of production costs. Most of the goods you speak of--shoes, televisions and other similar things--are made in developing nations. Labor costs tend to be minuscule compared to the West and regulation upon industry is also lax. These qualities keep the products' costs low--though you will not notice this reflected when you head to the register.

Ultimately, this approach means two things for people in the Western nations: they will have fewer (and fewer) manufacturing jobs and products which are looked at as increasingly expendable. The latter quality ensures that jobs repairing things are fewer and further between than in days past. It also means more wasted resources. (Bear in mind, the workers and people of the developing nations do not fare well in this affair either.)

People are worse for these things, but because they do not (or cannot) see the damage it causes them they do nothing about it.
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With regard to expertise: in service industries nowadays, you will find a great deal of instances wherein many jobs are covered by a few people. Because of this, employees can be quite versatile at the expense of knowing what they do well. They do many things--but none of them particularly well.
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As far as children go, it's very simple: their standards for success have been lowered. Technology cradles them with constant, debilitating assistance that eliminates the need for them to understand what it is they are doing. There are vastly fewer educational influences (old television shows like Modern Marvels come to mind) about to reinforce children's natural interests in learning. Add all that up and you can expect unremarkable results.

When there isn't an incentive or interest spurred into the movement of something or someone in a certain direction, you can expect nothing to occur.
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Where we're headed from here? Backward. The regressive trend is set and won't be changing any time soon. You might as well enjoy the ride--even if it is over a cliff--because that's where the tracks are headed.

I am not fond of this, but I can do no more about it than anyone else. Life's a bus ride and we're all in the back.

Kiteman5 months ago

I had a simple push cylinder mower.

One day the cylinder stopped spinning. To fix it, I had to break it - there were no bolts or screws to open the mower. When I got to the part that was broken (a simple ratchet clutch), the actual part that took the whole load of cutting the grass was a scrap of injection-moulded plastic that engaged with a metal part and had worn away. I couldn't replace it because it had been moulded around another piece of metal.

An entire mower killed by an unreplaceable part worth about 20p.

caitlinsdad5 months ago

*sent from my iphone, not.

Downunder35m (author)  caitlinsdad5 months ago

At those times music was still music and people with no voice would have found other jobs.
Am I the only one waiting for an Instructable on a working time machine?