Some of today’s labor-saving devices perplex me.
While observing them being used, I find most of them are responsible for us growing further apart.
But before I go there, allow me to first ask if you do the “Phantom Wave”?
I catch myself going into public restrooms and flapping my hands in front of the spigot, expecting the water to come on, when I realize that there’s an actual faucet handle.
My first reaction is to check the facility to see if anyone saw me trying to “wave the water on”.
Satisfield my faux pas is secure, I go to dry my hands and do another “phantom wave” before I notice the paper towel dispenser actually has a handle on it or the blow dryer has a button to push before heat-induced evaporation can take place.
Electric eye urinals and toilets present similar challenges.
But, let’s go back to my opening thoughts about “convenience”.
We were originally told this would keep us from waiting in long-lines at the checkouts.
Now, we wait in long lines to checkout and bag all of our purchases on our own and wait for the clerk to enter her 38 digit security code which allow us to buy that beer or cold remedy.
Doesn’t seem faster to me.
Plus, we don’t get to chat with the checkout clerk unless there’s a computer glitch or security issue at our little checkout island.
Remember when these big stores first showed up and we “oohed and aahed” when we saw thoese seemingly endless ways to enter and exit the facility?
Now, many stores keep at least three-fourths of these doors locked which results in dislocated shoulders trying to yank them open or massive amounts of your DNA splatted on the glass as the door fails to budge when you hit that bar on the door which is locked.
Amazing devices which allow us to stay in touch with everyone no matter where we are. But these are the same people we sit with at the restaurant and never utter a word because we’re too busy texting someone not with us or playing “Word Cookies”.
The self-driving auto industry came about after we couldn’t even put our phones down long enough to drive focussed and safely.
And, what about the certainty of someone asking you to silence your cell phone before the event starts and sure as shootin’, someone’s phone will go off.
It’s always the one with the most annoying ring tone and of course, it’s carried in a book bag or purse the size of a small island nation so it can never be found and turned off.
These were also supposed to send us on our quickly because the clerk wouldn’t have to actually enter the price.
But am I the only man in the world who gets to the checkout trying to purchase the only 2X4 without a bar code attached to it?
\You can put me in a lumber yard with a milion pieces of wood and I have the uncanny ability to select the one not properly priced.
Then the call goes to the department head who is always on vacation in the Bahamas at that moment.
Now, if I’m lucky enough to be properly barcoded, it will be stapled to the wood with a nail that used to be a part of the Trans-Alaska pipeline, requiring 3 men and a mule to extract it.
Great idea until we had to remember yet another password or security code.
I’ve rendered several credit cards useless, playing “Password Bingo” until the ATM thinks I’m obviously a pick-pocket with someone else’s wallet and tells me to turn away from a life of crime.
And, excuse me, but why do the drive-up ATM’s have braille on them? Is that in anticipation of self-driving cars?
Speaking of that, modern-day driver’s tests should require potential motorists to maneuver go through a drive-thru and actually navigate close enough to the point the driver doesn’t have to open the door or crawl through the window to conduct business.
E-mail, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
The convenience factor is nice but it does allow us to write down some really stupid stuff and send it along before we’ve had the opportunity to consider what we’ve written.
I always think about that great story when Abraham Lincoln told a subordinate to write down all his concerns about an indivudual he was upset with and come see him in the morning.
When “Honest Abe” met with the writer the next morning, he told him to take that letter out of his pocket and throw it away.
Maybe there should be a “hold period” for modern-day communication.
I’ve also found people will E-mail, post of Facebood or Twitter things they would never say to your face.
However, beyond some of the glitches I’ve noted about these modern-day things, I’m most concerned that they enable us to do things without face-to-face communication, or interaction with other humans.
That’s not good and I, for one, don’t like it.