There is so much in our world today that are really double-edged swords. One of the biggest is modern technology. Traveling great distances is no longer such a daunting prospect as it was even a century ago. The internet has brought the world closer to our own little corner of it. Having a cell phone can be a life-saver.
Yet, for all the marvels, for all the advances, for all the good things we’ve gained, we seem to have lost, or are losing, so much at the same time.
Technology seems to reduce human civility to crass levels; the internet can make it easier to harass those you disagree with. Cell phones intrude on face-to-face interactions. Video games and social media take up more time than healthier pastimes such as outdoor activities, family time, and imagination.
I’m guilty of it; I will admit. “Family time” around here can often be as disjointed as all three of us in the same room, each on our own computers.
One thing I try not to do is let go of human interaction; the face-to-face type. My job deals with the public. I have to have decent manners, comprehension, a neat appearance, good hygiene. I think some people are letting go of these things.
For example: walking around a store while holding a conversation on your cell phone may be something we all need to rethink. If the conversation should be personal…. let’s NOT do it in public. John Q. Public really doesn’t need to hear about your love (sex) life, your graphic health concerns, or who is going to watch your kids this weekend while you go and get plastered at the bars or some concert. No one should be listening, you say? It’s difficult NOT to hear when you are standing right next to me. And, as a cashier, this attitude of “talk about anything anywhere” also makes my job harder. MY good manners dictate I shouldn’t interrupt a private conversation, but I need to know if you have a store card, bags, coupons, how you are paying, do you want cash back on a check or debit card, do you need (or just want) help to your car, did you find everything you were looking for, did you know this item is BOGO. I am expected to treat my customers as human beings; I would prefer the same courtesy from my customers. Focus on the moment. It really will help us serve you better. You may even make a friend…an honest-to-goodness, flesh-and-blood friend.