Why Bother With Those Pesky People?

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Delivery drone

I have seen the future, and in it I have totally freed myself from the need of having to interact with anyone at more than a superficial level. I need not familiarize myself with the grocery clerks at the local supermarket, because I have a service that takes my on-line order, and delivers it into my house when I’m not around since I gave access to my house through Amazon.


No longer do I need to go outside and venture into a restaurant for a meal. Instead, I can scroll through menu listings from hundreds of restaurants and select a meal, then wait for the service to come deliver it directly to my door. Still have to interact with a delivery person though – can’t wait for drone delivery to come so I don’t have to interact with anyone.


I never see my friends in person because I am so busy keeping up with my facebook friends, my twitter following, my instagram buds, who has the time to keep up face to face. Besides, if I went to see someone, I’d have to change out of my robe and slippers. No, online connections are so much better than having to put up with actually interacting with others.


Gas stations? Who needs gas stations? You can pay someone to deliver a set amount of gas to your car. Use Yoshi, and arrange for weekly fill-ups at work or home. It only costs a small delivery cost in addition to your gas purchase. Of course, I haven’t interacted with someone at a gas station for a long time since they put credit card readers out at the pumps. And I can arrange for someone to come to my car and do my basic maintenance, like oil changes. Pretty soon I won’t have to use a car at all.


Unless I really need some money to pay for all of these delivery charges I’m racking up. Then I can use my car and drive for the ride services. Yes, I do have to deal with the people I carry, but I never have to interact with a supervisor or co-workers. I don’t even have a supervisor, and I don’t know who my co-workers are, since we are all contractors.


I can’t remember the last time I set foot in one of our local stores. In fact, I was surprised the last time I drove through one of the shopping areas in town. Looks like most of the stores are either closed or are having going out of business sales. Well, no wonder. They can’t compete on convenience with ordering things on line and receiving it within one or two days. I do wonder what I’m going to do with the mountain of cardboard I’m accumulating.


My insurance company has this great new service. If I have a cold or some sort of minor issue, I don’t have to go to a doctor. I can connect with the service and go through a series of questions, then have a brief conversation with a doctor, and then they will arrange for an antibiotic to be delivered to my door for my sinus infection. How wonderful! You do know that 67% of all communicable diseases are transmitted through doctor’s offices. Not having to go out  – that’s wonderful.


I can get my dog walked, even if I’m home. Just have to pay that service. One thing I haven’t gotten rid of though – still have to make it to a vet. No remote app for that – yet.


I’m living the good life.



Note: It seems like the purpose of most technology advances and technology business offerings is to eliminate the need to interact with other individuals. Soon we’ll flit through life like dragonflies, unaware of any other life form. Maybe we hook up and have a brief fling in the air, but then it’s over and we can fly off to our doom unbothered by any other human contact.


Scholarly articles are written pondering whether technology is fueling depression and loneliness. I don’t need a graduate degree in sociology to enable me to say, hell yes it is, and the race to the bottom is accelerating. Just look at how many folks check out of the moment where they are, and look at their phone to catch up with the latest text or facebook post. I’m sitting in a choir rehearsal, and if there’s a break of more than 30 seconds, my neighbor pulls out his phone and gets an update. I will admit, I have looked for a sports score sometimes, but I’m not guilty of seeking constant status updates.


With the social media movement, business has finally found something more addictive than slot machines. We the users gleefully allow ourselves to be parsed, analyzed, and monetized for our commercial exploitation. We voluntarily expose our natures and our most personal thoughts and expressions, and release it willingly, just so we can see how many likes we got on our last post.


You know, I’m really amazed that Twitter expanded their character limit recently. With the ongoing shortening of the national attention span, I figured they’d cut it down to 100 characters (and you can have 20 additional emoticons in order to make up for the loss of bandwidth in cutting the character limit). How many folks have the time to read 280 characters! Sad!


Originally posted on my blog https://evenabrokenclock.blog


Autumn Cote Added Dec 16, 2017 - 2:24am
Please note, the second best way to draw more attention to your work is to comment on the work of others. I know this to be true because if you do, I'll do everything in my power to draw more attention to your articles (there is a lot I can do and would like to do on your behalf).  
The Burghal Hidage Added Dec 17, 2017 - 1:20am
The worst dog you meet today is probably still more trustworthy than any ten people you've met in the last week. 
Utpal Patel Added Dec 17, 2017 - 5:37am
I think most technological advancement allows us to go through life with less superficial interactions with individuals and focus on more meaningful interactions.  It’s not like brick and mortar shoppers are having long-winded discussions with 17-year old cashiers.  Thanks to texting, all those conversation where we say we’re running late or where to meet get handled with ease.  Thanks to Facebook and Twitter, we can keep up with people we would never have time to keep up with if it wasn’t for those websites.  That doesn’t mean all technological advancement is healthy, but I’d argue our lives are mostly the opposite of what you’ve suggested in this article. 
Dino Manalis Added Dec 17, 2017 - 7:41am
We all need to interact sometimes, it's human and healthy!
George N Romey Added Dec 17, 2017 - 8:33am
We are already becoming lonely people and will more so. But the big question is how do we support ourselves with so few jobs? The Blade Runner might be our future.
Leroy Added Dec 17, 2017 - 8:36am
Social Security and other such programs have allowed us to disconnect from our parents.  We don't have to worry about them anymore.  They are no longer dependent on their children and their church in their old age.  The government takes care of them so we don't have to.  When they pass away, all we have to do is collect our birthright.  We have become a very sterile society.
The Burghal Hidage Added Dec 17, 2017 - 8:44am
Hmm. yes. like urine is sterile :)
Neil Lock Added Dec 17, 2017 - 1:06pm
Broken Clock: An excellent and very thought provoking article. Thank you.
We humans are by nature social animals. But in my view, the current, centralized political system forces us to be too social. So at one level, being able to live with less interaction with others is a good thing. (Oh, if only we could all live without having to interact with politicians, tax bureaucrats and other criminals of their ilk!)
On the other hand, when we interact with those we want to,  the results are usually positive on both sides. It's called trade.
To sum up:
If you're lonely, don't call Hub.
Get your shoes on, go to the pub.
Dr. Rupert Green Added Dec 17, 2017 - 1:43pm
How dare you express your antisocial views with your tome. Are you saying you are better than regular Americans who engage in good American pastime of chivalry, caring, and compassion?  Not so sure about sharing. Still, you make me think, never make wave in a restaurant regarding the food served with a demand for a different serving. Who is delivering your food? Do you curse at those "illegal immigrants" crossing the border with their "tuberculosis" and such?
Do you support Trump ban on Muslims? Go in the Black community and see who is in every corner shops serving up their burgers. If ever you decide to socialize and engage in multicultural appreciation, visit the basement of those stores and see who is preparing the containers to deliver your food. More venomously or is it ominously, visit the kitchens and see who are the people, not in your neighborhood, preparing your falafal.
opher goodwin Added Dec 17, 2017 - 3:40pm
Technological hermits.
My habits are all insular. I am a writer. The world passes through my keyboard. I live vicariously.
wsucram15 Added Dec 17, 2017 - 9:42pm
EABC...another good one and TBH...definitely dogs are more trustworthy than humans.  holy cow... All animals are...even lions and tigers.  You know whats coming at least.  LOL
Opher..you go out and around..its how you write.
I have stores I love to go to, but they are small stores. One of my favs is closed now (2015) and it sucks.  But I did frequent the store at least once a year. FAO Schwartz.
I even went out a tad bit this year for Christmas, but ended up cyber shopping there wasnt anything on the shelves.   Small books stores are cool when you can find them and record stores. 
Ahhh..Merry Christmas... Keep Mom and Pop in business.
Even A Broken Clock Added Dec 17, 2017 - 10:45pm
Thanks, everyone for your comments. I've been tied up the past two days getting ready for a performance of Messiah that we just had this evening and I've not gotten back to this site.
Dr. Green - I wish there was a category that we could apply to say that a post is satire. My tongue was pressed so hard in my cheek that I gave myself a cheek hernia when I wrote this. I'm hoping you were also a bit satirical in your response, but just in case you weren't, let me assure you I share none of the views in the first part of my post.
I do believe that the way business is going, the only business plans that can be funded are those that offer to take human contact out of the equation. Just on the issue of shopping - I went to a couple of small businesses that we have had relationships with for many years. The proprietors knew my name, asked how my wife and children were doing. We caught up. Now I may go to these places only once or twice a year, but there is an ongoing relationship that exists. You don't get that with a checkout on an online shopping site.
Even A Broken Clock Added Dec 17, 2017 - 10:46pm
Burghal - I'd add cats as being more trustworthy than people too, but probably not as much as dogs. Dogs are just more enthusiastic about their humans.
Even A Broken Clock Added Dec 17, 2017 - 10:49pm
Utpal - Believe me, the advantages that the social media play are definitely valuable. I just think that many folks are immersing themselves too much and living vicariously (not necessarily through their writing like Opher) rather than living in the minute. That's why I enjoy doing music. It forces you to interact with many people. Like tonight, where we had 14 instrumentalists accompanying a chorus of 85, and had a standing room only crowd. That sort of activity beats the heck out of following up on a facebook string.
Even A Broken Clock Added Dec 17, 2017 - 10:50pm
Jeanne - I try to go through our local independent bookstore even though I can order things online, and probably cheaper. It's just that there are things more important than saving the most money. I agree with your post.
Dave Volek Added Dec 18, 2017 - 12:22am
About 1994, the owner at my local computer store was predicting all these changes. He figured five years for all this to happen. He was right, but a little late.
Personally, I look forward to the menus where I just point-and-click on the menu items rather than trying to communicate my interpretation of the menu to someone who seems to have another interpretation. My greatest anxiety comes from trying to coordinate restaurant orders.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Dec 18, 2017 - 7:17am
So often I'm bored stiff by those I encounter when out and about. Their interests lie in gossip rather than ideas. Many have no sense of privacy. Mine or theirs. I often find myself wondering how 99.825% of them find their way to the toilet in the morning. Appropriately I have several people that insulate me from them especially the bureaucrats. Doing so leaves me positive and enables me to dedicate time and energy to those who are worth it. 
George N Romey Added Dec 18, 2017 - 8:07am
Bezos plans to roll out his Amazon stores. No cashiers, no service people just kiosks. Traditional retailers will be at a huge cost disadvantage. Many won’t survive. Even shopping will start to become a non human contact event.
Mt. Moix Added Dec 18, 2017 - 9:14am
You can add to this dating websites and apps. There is no longer a need to actually meet by random chance someone you may find you're interested in because you can look at a picture and a profile and swipe left or right. I think this is why a quarter of millenials surveyed think someone inviting another for a drink is considered sexual harassment. I don't know whether or not your posting is facetious, but in my opinion, some of these things are good on some levels while others are creating a less interactive "me" centered society.
Bill H. Added Dec 18, 2017 - 10:24pm
EABC - You have probably read some posts I have done on this and many related comments.
Our technology is turning us into zombies who no longer know how to interact with others. When I go to a mall, a family event, or even on a nature hike, it seems that virtually everyone under the age of 40 is staring into a smartphone at all times. When I am out walking or hiking, it seems that most of them love to use their phone as a means to avoid saying "hello", or even cracking a smile when you are approaching them.
I watched my neighbor's 10 and 12 year old kids turn from smiling, cheerful, super-personality youngsters into zombies after being issued their smartphones several years ago. 
George N Romey Added Dec 19, 2017 - 8:21am
Bill look at the little children that are totally absorbed in the phone they were provided at age 2. I predict 50 years from now most people will weigh 300 pounds waiting for a basic income check while on FB before they drop dead at age 40. Glad I won’t be around.
Bill H. Added Dec 19, 2017 - 11:43am
To think that today's smartphone was actually based on a group of Amateur Radio Operators back in the early '80s playing around with a new technology called "Packet Radio".
I was part of a large group of Hams that built the original TAPR TNC-1 kit and helped setup a node on a local mountaintop that eventually became part of a network that allowed the first coast to coast packet radio contact to take place. the data rate for this unit was 300 baud on HF radio and 1200 baud on VHF radio. The circuitry that took up a 10" x 4" x 6" box now resides on one single IC about 1/4" wide along with about 6 other functions in today's smartphone.
History of packet radio
Even A Broken Clock Added Dec 20, 2017 - 11:00am
Bill, thanks for the interesting story on the background of mobile communication. Your mention of the size of the electronics reminds me of the time in the early 1980's when a friend had a laser that he brought over to my apartment. The laser was a standard ruby red, but had to be plugged in, and was an aluminum rectangle about 3" square and 18" long. We were playing with the laser light around the room, and sure enough, my cat started jumping up after the fairy dot. Now all of the apparatus for a cat laser toy are found in the 1/2" diameter tube about 2" long, and costing all of $1.99.
wsucram15 Added Dec 24, 2017 - 12:02am
EABC...Happy Holidays to my pick for this years kick ass writer of the year.  Now I love everyones stuff...but you came out of left field with some seriously good articles this year.
SEF and Opher, along with George are right there with you.  Some others also.  But you have to give EABC..a hats off this year.
Merry Christmas also the the person who added 20 people to my twitter feed, it jumped up..  LOL....  :)
Katharine Otto Added Dec 29, 2017 - 12:39pm
I have to agree with Jeanne that your articles are always interesting, informative, and varied.  
I'm one of those people who relishes human contact, because I live alone and isolated.  In fact, I don't want strangers coming to my house, for any reason.  I'd rather go to them.  Once someone knows where you live, they know.  I'm not suggesting all UPS delivery-men are ex-cons, but home delivery isn't all it's cracked up to be, and it's not all that safe.
I like the idea of low-overhead kiosks, if that's what Amazon is doing.  It would be an easy business model to duplicate, on local levels, and a good use of empty commercial space.
Jeff Michka Added Jan 29, 2018 - 8:15pm
Social Security and other such programs have allowed us to disconnect from our parents.  We don't have to worry about them anymore. -Leave it to a rightist to figure a way to work SSI and medicare hatred into every conceivable argument about anything.  Don't worry, your pard, Paul Ryan is still with us, Leroy.  He'll work to get them privatized and restore families, so when the economy crashes, they'll just go away.  BTW, are you now feeling safe from attacks by transgendered people in public restrooms?

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