Everything — or nearly everything — runs on batteries. Rechargeable batteries. Laptops, tablets, Kindles, mobile phones, headphones, cameras, mouses (mice have fur and make squeaky noises while mouses attach to your computer), GPS, clocks, flashlights, remote controls, electric razors, tooth cleaning machines, and a mind-numbing array of other small electronic devices I can’t remember until I need them. Even our bed has a remote control which runs on four rechargeable AAA batteries.
Why does every camera need a different size battery and a unique charger? To keep the world running, I have to charge everything and keep stacks of AAA and AA rechargeables ready to go.
I have never lived in a house that had enough electrical outlets for things like lamps and televisions, but with all these chargers to accommodate, I own big power strips. Everywhere you look, and in many places you would never think to look, in every room, power strips keep the chargers charging and other electrical devices functioning. The strips range from high-end hubs with surge protection to whatever was on sale at Walmart when I needed a power strip. Every strip is as full as the size and shape the chargers allow.
Power strips are mostly designed by people who don’t use them. I have come to this conclusion based on the stupid design that presumes you will never have anything larger than a lamp plug that needs a socket. Not even a vacuum cleaner cord fits properly, much less a laptop power supply.
No space is left on either side that would make it possible to fit more than two or three chargers in a strip theoretically designed for half a dozen plugs. There’s no allowance for odd-shaped power supplies that will use up half a strip.
I don’t understand why chargers have to be so inconveniently shaped, or why they can never make a 3-pronged plug that will fit into an outlet without a fight. Why do most chargers require that you insert them at the end of the strip. No one ever seems to consider that there are only two “ends” and only one without a cord in the way. There’s some kind of Murphy’s Law that say if you are going to need two wall outlets, both devices will need to be on top or on the bottom.
I have 2 electrical sockets in the bathroom and 3 devices that require electricity. Fortunately, I never use more than one at a time because only one will fit. The other socket is unusable. One charger blocks both outlets. Always.
I don’t typically notice how dependent we are on batteries until I’m packing for vacation. An entire carry-on is allocated to chargers and batteries and that’s just for stuff we use while we travel: laptops, accessories, Kindles, phone, mouses, etc. I used to pack this stuff carefully. Now I just shove the chargers and wires in a bag and untangle as needed.
If you (still) think our civilization might endure, remember: we depend on electronics and everything we need to recharge them. Which means everything needs a battery. Some things, like cars, need huge batteries. Now, there are batteries designed to run your house so instead of a generator, you can buy a (I’m not kidding, this is true) a GIGANTIC BATTERY that can use the sun to recharge, but if there hasn’t been any sun recently, well maybe you’ll need to plug in in when you going through a long rainy period. I’m not entirely sure how that works, but advertisements for these batteries are everywhere in this state.
We are utterly dependent on batteries all of which need to be recharged. Without electricity and batteries, life as we know it would end in about two weeks. A month maximum. After that?
Our society would disintegrate, becoming a jungle in which every person will fight to the death for a working battery.