The changes in technology over the years has made life a whole lot easier, but at what cost? It really is quite bizarre how we can pretty much go through a few days without having to talk to anyone. We can text, email, WhatsApp, to arrange a night out or have a chat. No one uses ‘the house phone’ anymore and new messaging apps seem to sprout up all the time. WhatsApp is used more and more in work too for organising events and trips. Online banks like Monzo means we can split the bill in a restaurant transferring cash instantly. The world is just getting faster and faster!
With many apps now we can order shopping to our door, taxis to come at a certain time and dinner to arrive as and when we want it. With these apps we can pretty much do anything. We can do our banking, food shopping, book foreign holidays, buy train tickets, contact schools, make doctor’s appointments, make hotel and restaurant reservations . . . all without dealing with another human being.
Sadly, this boost of convenience also has its bad points . . . we lose the tone of voice, we lose emotion (and yes, I know you can add in smiley faces etc) and things can get misconstrued. Being sarcastic by text message is usually not a good idea. How many times have you heard of people having a row on Facebook or getting caught out with comments they made on Twitter, saved for all to see for years and years ahead. School kids have WhatsApp groups that are now being used to bully and pick on others and it is very hard for parents to get involved in stopping it.
If we take away those apps and message facilities what are we left with? A lot of the time convenience comes with a higher price and not just in monetary value. This technology is taking us away from having to interact with people, we now simply have no need to speak and if we want to, we can hide away. This in itself breeds loneliness and anxiety when then being faced with any verbal challenges.
So - I feel less is more, yes use those apps to get voucher code discounts, text to say you are running late but do not let them take over real conversation and experiences. Phone your mum instead of texting ‘hope you are doing ok’. Save a few quid booking that hotel directly and call into the doctors and get to know the staff. The world can be scary, but it is also filled with wonderful places and people, and I think sometimes our noses are way too close to our mobile phones in order to see them.
Mandy Taylor - www.mumatronatwork.com