I don’t know if anyone feels like I do, but I am completely fed up with inanimate objects beeping at me.
Beeps are designed to be annoying, distracting and unpleasant. The purpose of beeps is to annoy people so much that they will take action and deal with the alarm that has been raised because something is wrong.
The beep is useful when it warns of an impending danger, such as when a piece of machinery has a mechanical fault, or when levels of oxygen in an underground environment get low. I don’t mind medical machines beeping if they tell nurses that someone’s blood pressure has blown right off the Richter scale. I don’t even mind the squealing beep my car gives me if I attempt to get out of it with the headlights still on because if I do this I will drain my battery and end up stranded. I have no problem with beeps being built into appliances and equipment for such purposes.
What I do have a problem with is beeps being built into inanimate objects for absolutely no reason whatsoever, or just as a “reminder”.
As an example our washing machine beeps when it finishes a cycle. I don’t need it to do this because surprisingly I don’t actually have Alzheimers and I haven’t forgotten that I’ve put a load of washing on and that it will be finished around about now.
If the beeps at the end of every wash weren’t bad enough, if I don’t quickly run to the machine to press a button to silence it, every five minutes it will beep again. Obviously some idiot at the washing machine company thinks it is fun to drive the customers insane with beeping.
The beeping has actually caused the washing machine to become an active nuisance. Not only do I have to physically run to the machine to make it stop beeping after a load, I can no longer put a load of washing on and then go to sleep, because I know the piercing beeps will wake me within the hour when the cycle finishes.
I also wasted my time reading the instruction manual for the washing machine in order to see if there was a way to eliminate the beeping once and for all. The manual detailed a supposedly simple procedure for disabling the beeping noises, which I dutifully performed numerous times. On every occasion the process failed to disable anything.
I remain surrounded by horrific and persistent beeps.
Our microwave is also not happy with beeping just a couple of times when it has finished heating food. It too will beep for the rest of eternity unless someone physically goes to the device and opens its door.
I don’t know if this is a revelation to manufacturers, but I am actually a functioning adult human being and I can easily remember that I’ve re-heated some food.
Unbelievably I am actually responsible for everything I do, and I don’t need constant f*$#ing beeping reminders of every f*$#ing beeping tiny little task.
I actually prefer a bit of beeping f*$#ing peace and quiet in my day.
Unfortunately car manufacturers have also enthusiastically bounded onto the beep bandwagon. My car beeps if either the driver or the front passenger have not clicked their seat belt buckle in to the holder after a few seconds of driving. It does not however beep if the passengers in the rear of the vehicle fail to click their seat belt in. Apparently these people are unlikely to have actually purchased the vehicle and as a result no one gives a rat’s arse if they die in a crash.
The manufacturer of my car was also not satisfied with a standard beep if either the driver or the passenger fails to wear their seat belt. The beep actually switches to a more rapid and piercing beep if the rebellious behaviour continues. Unfortunately the beep triggering mechanism is not that smart, and I get to enjoy beeps even if I actually only have a heavy bag on the passenger seat. In addition, once the beeps have started they persist even if I stop the car and there is actually no one in the car at all.
If I choose not to wear my seat belt I am well aware that I am doing so.
If I choose not to wear my seat belt and I die as a result, then I am completely and solely responsible for that consequence.
There is way too much annoying and unnecessary molly-coddling in all of our lives, and we seriously do not need more of this from our appliances and our cars. While I do love some of the features in my car (I am even impressed by the cup holder), I do not need to be continuously annoyed and pestered by something I have purchased just to transport me from A to B.
After all, people are creative and complex beings who for many generations lived without all this inane beeping.
Despite this they successfully handled the washing of their laundry, successfully heated their food, successfully managed the wearing of seat belts when they were driving. Overall they lived successful, happy and peaceful lives, and I’d like to do the same.
© Annemaree Jensen 2018
All of the amazing images included in this essay are taken from the awesome website pixabay.com.