Recently we went to a restaurant which was hailed as the greatest thing where we live. It was dubbed thus because it was highly tech-savvy and ‘new’ – not because it was better. The customer must stand in line to make a drink order, then go to a touch screen (which many have touched before and has nothing nearby with which to wipe the board) and pay using a card terminal. There is no interaction with a person outside of the touchscreen except to pick up the buzzer which goes off when something is ready for the order. There was no table service, no care put into the food itself, and it was decidedly a sterile feeling altogether, which is the wrong ambiance for a restaurant. There again – perhaps we wanted more than the average person, many seemed happy to order food which for all purposes is take-out, but one step above.
It seems that people are accustomed to technology sneaking in and wrapping them in a cocoon of what appears to be safety and security, to make their lives easier, and more comfortable, but nobody really looks at what it is taking away from us as a society, and as individuals. True, the home assistant bot makes home shopping a little easier, or it can tell you what song is playing at the moment, but it doesn’t take the place of actual friendship, and neither does one’s social media feed or connections. People are becoming more distant from one another, and accepting of transactions which require zero contact with one another – but in doing so, it’s stealing part of our humanity.
People are social beings, and without those human connections – some of the very best parts of our social lives deteriorate to ruin. Warmth, compassion, kindness, the ability to be humble, unselfishness, gregariousness, and even chivalry – these are but a few of the virtues lost to humanity in favor of a technological world… and we’re all being led around like virtual cattle to the tune of those who designed the gadgetry to ensnare us. There are teams of people from all realms of the social sciences who are paid to find the best angle to market these gadgets to us using things like human psychology and tools which are proven to cause addiction.
The purpose of these things is to make life ‘easier’ or better in some way, but that’s on the surface and their marketing shtick, and it would be incredibly smart to learn to see through it before we’re entirely too comfortable with it – which may already be the case. (See Fitbits – wearable tech with way too much info – which recently made the news for giving away operational security positions in the US armed forces.) This only proves how well these marketing teams have done their job, to never let the public be afraid of what is largely unknown, and with a purpose also veiled. Facebook’s use of data is just one big example of what has been going on for a long time now.