This I Believe

Philip - Kensington, Maryland
Entered on April 25, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
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Say No to Automated Toilet Flushers

My wife told me about some huge renovations at the campus of a university she attends. The public restrooms in their buildings were closed for an extended period while automated paper towel, soap dispensers, faucets, and toilets were installed. Within a week after the grand re-opening, the automated paper towel dispensers were broke and custodians were leaving paper towel rolls on the sink. Small, gooey, pink waterfalls of liquid soap cascaded from the countertops after the soap dispensers malfunctioned. The worst problem was the toilets that appeared to have evolved minds of their own. As you sat on them, they would randomly decide it was time to flush, whether you were ready for this experience or not. According to my wife, you would hear a cacophony of coordinated toilets flushing in gurgling harmony when they were being occupied by human users. These were no ordinary flushes. They were Category 5 hurricane flushes, where you had to cower in the corner of the stall to avoid the maelstrom.

The scariest thing about this to me was that the exact same theatrics were occurring at the place where I work, where the newly renovated bathrooms were also revolting against their human users. Who is behind this (no pun intended)? Is it a terrorist plot to deplete our already dwindling water supply? Are the little red LCD lights listening or mind control devices placed by the CIA in order to control the hearts and minds of the people? I have many theories, but unfortunately not enough space in this essay to extrapolate.

Nonetheless, this I believe: while technology has made our life easier in many ways, it certainly hasn’t made it any simpler. As human beings, we need to keep firm grips on the handles of certain things before we allow automation to dictate our fate.