We live more and more in a technology driven world, supposedly to make our lives easier and more productive. We enjoy the benefits of this in our entertainment giving us 300 channels of questionable content on our television, and the ability to connect with people around the world with ease. Also we have been able to empty our bookshelves of encyclopedias and other reference materials because we now have Wikipedia.
If you are in business, you have point of sale software, mobile debit and credit card products, and bookkeeping systems that keep track of where you are at any given time. If you have a fleet of vehicles you can track deliveries, and even with apps, allow customers to know when their products will arrive on their doorstep. Many of us now shop online or at least check out products before buying.
When it works well, it can be a great help. When it does not is not only is annoying, but it can be costly for businesses. Things like setting up electronic equipment should be easy, but sometimes does not go as the instructions say. This is when you phone or ‘chat’ with a tech to resolve the problem. This is where the system makes you wish you had never bought the product in the first place!
Press 1, press 2, Press 1, press 2, “We are experiencing longer than usual wait times, You are number 149 on the wait list and the approximate wait time to talk to a tech is 35 – 45 minutes.” They have a list of what seem like dumb questions they ask you and sometimes are able to resolve the situation quickly and efficiently. Other times it is, “A tech will need to attend to your issue. Our earliest appointment is in two weeks. Will you be home on this date between 8.a.m and 10 a.m.?”
If you have a business and the equipment breaks down it is an inconvenience when the technical products break down. Today, people rely on paying with credit or debit cards. Very few pay with cash and even fewer with cheques. Businesses are not set up to handle transactions when equipment breaks down or there are power failures. Employees are not trained in dealing with cash as is evidenced when you receive your change. Seldom does anyone count it out for you. They read what the till says the change is, tell you, and dump it into your hand.
The average person is no longer in control of many things that affect their daily lives. Basic skills that used to be taught in school are trusted to technical equipment. Yes, sometimes these things save time, allowing us to devote time to the things we enjoy doing. Other times they are diversions that take us away from personal face-to-face contact with the important people in our lives.
One thing for certain, technical innovation in our lives is not going away and we will be amazed by the advancements in the future. We need to be cautious that we are not robbed of basic life skills in the process. Technology is putting the control of many in the hands of few.
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