I grew up with a rotary phone. Recently my sister-in-law accidentally video-called me from Australia. So I try to remind myself: we live in the future, and it's nice. But there are limits to my mindful gratitude for our technology.
I learned this from my robot vacuum.
Every afternoon, it scurries around the house, navigating doors and furniture, swallowing dirt and, especially, cat hair. Then it rolls back to its charger, toots a triumphant little fanfare and rests until next time.
At least, that's how it's meant to work. The reality isn't quite so futuristic.
For one thing, it's awful at maneuvering. It gets stuck on rugs, in curtains, under chairs. It's also not great at vacuuming. It'll pass over a little piece of debris and just push it a few inches away. With the time I have to spend cleaning up after it and rescuing it from misadventures, I'm not sure it qualifies as a labor-saving device.