The Tyranny of the Battery

So, not to sound all fuddy-duddy, but batteries are a terrible thing.

Let me be clear: batteries allow us to do some amazing things. Portability is, of course, right at the top of that list. We can cut the cords and soar free with all of our electronic goodness.

That’s the promise of batteries, anyway. And that’s what makes them so frustrating – I *should* be able to roam the world, free to check out all the wonder and amazement that is this electronic universe.

Instead, I find myself constantly in search of the next outlet to plug in and charge my stinking batteries. My life is controlled by the need to constantly power up. This situation is not helped at all by the divide between what charge my various batteries are capable of holding and what they actually hold. My monster laptop? 2 hours, tops, on the 8-hour battery pack. My phone? I’m charging it at least twice a day, and that’s with very little use. Ditto most of my other electronic paraphernalia.

I don’t make this charge (get it???) without a bit of perspective. I realize the tremendous social, economic, and historical position I am in that allows me to carry around multiple, always-connected devices in order to watch re-runs of Arrested Development or quickly check in on the latest witty Twitterisms. This is a complaint of privilage, to be sure.

Nevertheless, this always-on life is dictated more and more by the need to remain always-on, and that requires juice, which requires access to that juice, which requires me to hunker down every couple of hours wherever I can find a free outlet. I’m re-corded. I’m not soaring. And I don’t like it.

/end rant.


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