Perhaps we should all step back, smell the roses again and then be careful what we wish for since there are always unintended consequences.
All change is not good and, although the profit motive drives industry, human interacton should supercede the machine’s obvious technological dominance. Sure it is easier and more cost effective but is it a good thing? Can you imagine the absence of human interface at some point? Can you imagine a world that is driven simply by expedience and, therefore, since technology has advanced so far, everything is accomplished somewhere in cyberspace with heads sitting on tables issuing commands? It is the stuff of science fiction.
If the social network is the only real network left and everything is done online, in quick bursts of keystrokes or voice commands, and everything is gleaned from casual soundbites, is there really going to be a viable social network with people communicating on a personal level? We seem to be moving away from what makes us real, warm, caring human beings.
With no skin in the game and no face behind the voice or word, will there be any reason for people to care about how they react or will all our queries and questions fall on deaf ears in exchange for lip service. Whom can you complain to when things go wrong? Just leave a message and maybe someone will get back to you, someday. I am sure many of you have already experienced situations like that, where you felt helpless because you were trapped in the netherworld that exists between you and the telephone or you and the computer, etc. Most of us have seen the effects of the advent of the answering machine! What seemed like a helpful device turned into an impersonal response to the caller and just as impersonal is the voicemail system. Often, many calls are required to obtain a response. Unreactive people on the opposite side of the void have no personal accountability. Is this the world we want? Are we heading that way in the whirlwind of unintended consequences?
Well, I hope I have not offended anyone with my emotional response. I guess I am just waxing nostalgic for the good old days when phones were answered by people I could understand, who had a personal knowledge of the questions I asked whether they were in a bookstore or a doctor’s office or a telephone company? It was nice to know that the voice on the other end was not computer generated. It was nice to walk into a bookstore and have a book recommended to me by someone who knew me and what I liked or knew about the ones i asked to see. It was nice to walk into the corner drugstore and speak to a pharmacist who cared about my questions because he knew me personally and owned the store, which was not part of a chain. In the interest of progress we have lost a lot along the way with the gains we have made. We have lost the human touch in our dealings with each other. Today, what is important seems to be the accumulation of toys, not relationships.