The Automatic Sprinkler Syndrome

Summer Rain
Summer Rain

Modern life is a mine field of behavioral traps that can turn intelligent humans into people who don’t even understand when it is raining.

While I respect the right of people to waste as much of their money as they want, I find it hard to remain calm when I am walking in the rain and notice someone’s lawn sprinklers running.

Once in a while, everyone goes off on a trip and leaves their sprinklers set to run.  As fate would have it, rain usually comes on days when you are traveling and your sprinklers are set to run.

It is not the unlucky travelers that drive me crazy, it is the folks who are too lazy to turn off their automatic sprinklers after a major rainstorm has passed through our neighborhood.

I often walk by a home where the sprinklers usually run three times a day no matter what the weather is.  The homeowner has drilled his own well and installed his own pump so it is his money.  However, unless I am mistaken he has drilled into the same aquifer that supplies our county with water.  So while he is spending his own money, I would argue that he is wasting “our” water.

I wonder whether the homeowner doesn’t know how to turn off his sprinklers or whether he is just too lazy to do it.  Recently I saw his sprinkler running during a storm that dropped nearly two inches of rain on us in just a few hours.  Even worse his sprinklers were running the next morning after the storm.

The homeowner isn’t alone.  I am surprised by the number of people who either don’t care enough to turn their sprinklers off or just don’t know how to flip the switch.

Did the invention of sprinklers make modern humans unable to understand how to tell if the ground is wet?

It is a little like the problem of  remembering phone numbers that has been brought about by the increasing use of cell phones.  If all your phone numbers are stored in your cell phone instead of your head, there is very little likelihood that you will remember any of the numbers.

Is it a good thing that modern conveniences strip us of some of our skills?  I doubt it.  While I know that there are people who are unable to mow their yards because of physical problems, I have to question if the typical riding lawn mower has been a good thing for modern men.

Once you start using a riding lawn mower it is hard to go back to pushing one.

Between GPS devices that have gradually taken the place of maps and web based driving directions, few young people have the skills to read maps.

Society will continue to hunger for the quick and easy way to get things done.  Unfortunately sometimes the device causes more harm than one might imagine.  I wonder if the folks who have lost the ability to turn off their sprinklers will eventually forget how to use a garden hose?

That is it from the Crystal Coast where summer is in full swing, and our new book, “A Week at the Beach, An Emerald Isle Travel Guide” is now available.  It is a great way to plan a wonderful family vacation in our Coastal Paradise.

Author: ocracokewaves

An escapee from the world of selling technology, now living on North Carolina's Southern Outer Banks where life revolves around sun, sand, and water. I work at WideOpen Networks helping communities get fiber to their homes. In my spare time I am a photographer, writer, boater, fisherman, kayaker, swimmer, and walker of the beaches.

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