Why Are We Addicted to Remote Controls?

By: Tony Shipp

Everyone who has ever spent 10 minutes or more looking forthe remote controls needed to turn on the television and/or its components,please raise your hand. Don’t be ashamed, mine is raised too. It doesn’t matterthat we could just as easily turn on our electronic friends manually butinstead, we’d rather hunt for the remote controls instead of just going overand pressing the buttons with our finger. So why are we so addicted to theserectangular gadgets? The word, “control", says it all.

When you think about how much of our lives are controlled byothers, it’s easy to understand our love of remote controls. As adults, we aretold when to go to work, when we can leave, how much we have to pay in taxes,etc... It’s actually a relief to come home, pick up the remote controls andhave our way at the press of a button.

However, remote controls are actually more complicated thanjust getting up and manually controlling the television, stereo, VCR and DVDplayers. Before we can start using them, there’s the dreaded task of remotecontrol programming to contend with. First you have to read the remote controlinstructions just to configure it to the television and other components andthose instructions may read like a foreign language. It might not be so bad ifthere were just one unit to worry about but each component you purchase has itsown. Walk into just about any home and there are at least three remote controlson top of the coffee table, mine included.

So what happens when one or more of the remote controls gomissing and you just can’t find it, or, as has happened to me, the dog mistook onefor a bone and chewed it into uselessness? After the initial panic of losing agood friend and grieving over its loss, its time to make a trip to the electronics’store. No point in re-learning how to work the television manually. We musthurry to the store to purchase a replacement remote control. This brings a newlevel of anxiety into our lives because we have to make sure we purchase thecorrect one. This means remembering to jot down the make and model of ourtelevision set or we will stand in the store, looking at tens of remotecontrols without having a clue as to which is the right one to buy. Now beforeyou head out to the store, it might be a good idea to go online and check outthe latest remote controls that areavailable. You can do this by accessing the many online remote control reviews.Some of these babies can control 252 components. I can’t imagine having 252 electronicdevices, but if I did, this is the type of remote control that I would want.After all, where would I put 252 remote controls and how would I keep track ofwhich one went for which device?

Well, I have to go now, my favorite show is about to startand I lost the TV remote again. Hopefully I can find it before the dog does.

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