Is Technology Too Convenient?

Is Technology Too Convenient?

Technology has certainly come a long way over the last 25 years.  I remember when my dad got his very first cell phone when I was about 10 years old.  It was big and bulky, but I remember thinking how cool it was that he had a cordless phone in his truck that he could call anyone from.  Now, 25 years later we have texting, video chat and picture sharing capabilities on our cell phones and we now have iPads, tablets, notebooks, etc.  How quickly the technology industry has grown and continues to grow daily in what feels to be such a short period of time.  I think we can all vouch for the fact that technology has certainly made life a little more convenient at times, especially for our crazy busy schedules.  It certainly allows us to accomplish more tasks in a days time than we would have ever been able to achieve say, 25 years ago.  However, my concern is things have become a little too convenient. 

Today, we can order groceries online.  All we have to do is place the order on the store’s website and park in a specific parking spot and “walla,” groceries are delivered curbside to your vehicle.  We can place carry out food orders online, therefore, all we have to do is pick it up.  No more lines to wait in to process your payment and no more having to deal with crowded stores/restaurants.  But have you ever thought how that effects the economy and the job markets?  We’ve all seen how stores like Wal-Mart and Kroger are replacing regular check out lines with self-check out lines.  Those self-checkout lines were made for the convenience of the customers.  Let’s say you only have to run in for a gallon of milk and all the lines are filled with folks who have full grocery carts, I get it, it is so much quicker to scan your milk and be on your way.  However, the adverse effect of these conveniences is for every self-checkout line installed it takes away one job for a potential grocery clerk.  

Now, let’s take a look at technology and how much our children rely on it.  My daughter who is seven has a tablet and a TV in her room.  Most days her TV is on playing music and she is on her tablet looking up YouTube videos on how to make slime, etc.  Since its summer and she doesn’t have homework to contend with she pretty much has free rein to use her tablet and watch her tv as she pleases up until bedtime.  However, I have become very familiar with the “panic” that strikes if one’s tablet is needing charged or if one is asked to leave the tablet behind because we are going to do something or its dinner time.  Heaven forbid if you try to have a conversation while the tablet or tv is on.  She completely drowns out all of her surroundings until and unless you get her attention.  Then her response isn’t usually pleasant because I have interrupted her train of thought and she will typically respond in an irritated fashion.  Now, I must shamefully admit I am guilty of this as well.  Tablets, iPads, TVs, etc. suck our attention in and we seem to become oblivious as to what is going on around us.  That can be a bit problematic.  It’s important to be aware of our surroundings if for nothing else, our own personal safety.  However, it’s also important for just every day human interaction.  I’ve been out to eat at a restaurant with my family and I look around and I see folks sitting at tables waiting on their food to come and everyone is on their cell phones, texting, checking social media, etc. and no one is talking amongst each other at the table.  We’ve grown so used to having that little device in our hands and everything we need at our fingertips that it seems to be taking away person to person communication.  Its always easier to shoot someone a quick text in between tasks, etc.  What happens if people no longer physically have conversations anymore?  We wouldn’t get to physically see a person’s body language, facial expressions or tone of voice which can tell you a lot about where the other person stands on any particular subject of conversation.  Texting is emotionless.  It leaves a lot of grey area for things to be misconstrued or misunderstood.  So, the next time you go to send a quick text ask yourself, “Do I have time to call this person on the phone or stop by and see them rather than send this text?”  Human interaction is still so important. 


Has technology caused things to become a little too convenient? Krystall Clark shares her take on today's technology.