Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
I started working in electronics way back in the previous millennium of 1974. That would be when I started Navy electronics technical training. Back then electronics technician life was simple; a vacuum tube went bad, I swapped it out, and life went on.
My life since then has consisted of using increasingly complex and sophisticated electronics-driven machinery. The Terminator movies notwithstanding, I’ve been watching the development of our brave new world with bemusement and concern.
Bemusement because stuff that used to be simple now requires a hand-held glass-faced electronic device with the correct app loaded on it. Concern because, without the correct electronic device and app, life comes to a sudden screeching halt. Then, yesterday, I discovered humanity has lost out to machines taking over our world. I came to this awareness by reason that I’m now taking directions from a fucking toothbrush.
The Sonic Toothbrush
I’ve spent too much of my life sitting in dentist’s chairs. This is a combination of being born with bad genes and not taking care of myself way back when it would have made a difference. On my most recent visit, my dentist explained that I was brushing my teeth too hard. This is obviously a new medical thing because back in the day I kept getting told I wasn’t brushing hard enough.
So, my dentist’s recommendation was for me to get an electronic toothbrush that would tell me if I was brushing too hard. After my initial attack of amazement over intelligent toothbrushes, I decided I needed to investigate. The result was purchasing a “Sonic Toothbrush” off the digital-age shopping leviathan Amazon.com.
I couldn’t help thinking “Sonic Toothbrush” sounds like something from a Dr. Who episode.
A Very Smart Toothbrush
Yesterday my sonic toothbrush arrived via overnight delivery, another big change back from the days when “mail-order” meant waiting four to six weeks after purchase. I opened the package to find a slim black tube with one nearly invisible button switch, and two tiny lights. After thinking I could figure this out by, you know, just looking at it, I decided I couldn’t. So, I did something that was once anathema to me. I read the user’s manual, which is larger than the toothbrush.
I learned that my new toothbrush does the following:
- Tells me if I’m brushing my teeth too hard.
- Shuts off when I’ve brushed long enough.
- Alerts me when the brush is worn down to the point of needing replacement.
- Indicates when the battery is being charged.
It also indicates when I’ve brushed each “quadrant” of my mouth long enough. Brushing by quadrants is something I’ve never previously considered.
Oh, and the thing uses a USB connector for power. And of course, I absolutely do not have a USB outlet in my bathroom. Because once upon a time, USB connectors were for connecting assorted things to computers and computers didn’t go in bathrooms.
So, here we are. An electronic USB toothbrush now tells me how to properly brush my teeth.
Appropriate Music For Our Machine Age
So, I leave you with a song by one of my all-time favorite singers, Gracie Slick. She released this song way back in 1984, showing just how prescient Grace was.
Edited August 15, 2023, for formatting.
Edited August 17, 2023, for content.