As I notice more and more technology becoming the norm, I wonder if there will be a time when no one remembers how to do things the “old-fashioned” way. Those of us who have not kept up with the latest technology may be forced to hire their own “geek translator,” or Heaven help us; a robot facilitator.
I read a post somewhere where a woman around my age was complaining that she didn’t like this new-fangled technology. She had been in a grocery store where the shortest line was the newly-installed self-scanners. The directions were clear enough, but it frustrated her that there weren’t more “humans” to ring things up.
The answering posts were pretty harsh, especially from one young woman who posted: “well, old lady, you’d better step into the future and stop whining about your Good Old Days. Lady, they are SO over! What are you going to do; go hungry because you’re too stupid to download a shopping app, use the scanner or get a Smartphone and pay your bills? How are you going to get your money when banks no longer exist? Guess you’ll just have to hurry up and DIE if you can’t get with the program!” (Ouch!)
Just the other day I bought a pedometer. All I wanted to do is see how many steps I take each day and how many calories burned. I had originally wanted to get a FitBit, so I talked with the people who sell them. I told them that all I really wanted was the steps and calories, and perhaps heart rate. They looked completely gobstruck when I told them I wanted a FitBit that didn’t need to be synched up with a SmartPhone, BlueTooth, etc.
Well—they looked at me as if I had a tattoo on my forehead that said “OBSOLETE.” They patiently explained that they didn’t carry that; that all things are (evidently) part of the everything-hooked-up-to-everything technology today. Maybe, they said, a pedometer would “do it” for me. So, I bought the pedometer. Works for me.
Later on in the week, I had to go to the bank to get a bank letter regarding an annuity I have. When I asked for a copy, the nice young woman did a double take and said, “a copy? What do you need that for?” I explained that I wanted it for my files, and said, “but I bet you get asked this all the time.”
She blinked at me and said, “no, we don’t. We don’t keep paperwork; it’s all online.” Silly me, I thought. Of course everything is online. But here’s the thing: what happens when/if technology fails and we can’t prove anything because there’s no backup or paper trail? Look I get it; I’m all for not cutting down more trees and harming the environment. But again; what happens when there is no way to prove anything because all the technical stuff failed?
It is definitely my age that makes me think that putting all of one’s eggs in one basket is not a good idea. If our present technology fails, then we lose not only connectivity, but records, documents, pictures, files, etc. At my age, I try to have at least a toe or two into the current technology, but I can’t help but feel that I need to keep paper backups and so on. Just in case.
Perhaps we are slowly evolving into a hive mentality where everyone knows everything about everyone, and documents and pictures and such are available to anyone through “The Cloud.” It’s beginning to sound (to me, anyway) like a genuine Twilight Zone-ish “new normal” where convenience rules and no one has to go looking for all those old-fashioned pesky papers, etc.
It could be just me, but is that really a good thing? What if technology fails? Sounds like there’s no backup for that one. Just sayin….