I don’t know how it’s in different countries since I haven’t left the US for the last 4 years, but here the technology is taking over.
There is the iPhone of course that gives you everything that you need (it just doesn’t say when it’s your peeing time…yet). Smartphones and apps are like a perfect modern relationship – they have this amazing level of belonging to each other. One device and you’re set with everything.
Even the morning routine going to Starbucks changed. There is a special app, of course, I don’t even reach for my wallet anymore – I just scan my phone to get a coffee. And many people order and pay on their way to a coffee shop – You walk in, with your headphones on, don’t talk to anyone, just grab your coffee (it’s in front of your order with your name) and leave. No one asks you of anything.
You want to grab some snacks or something from a pharmacy, you just walk into CVS, take what you need and go to self -check out and it’s done. No need to talk to a person behind the register. Maybe that’s why their policy is to scream to you “Good morning” that can sometimes cause you a heart attack.
Buying stuff was never easier. When you go to the store you just swipe your card and that’s it. In most places you don’t have to even put your pin code anymore, you don’t have to sign anything (and some places don’t even take cash anymore). The receipt prints out almost before you even swipe.
I don’t even have my membership card at my gym. I just walk in, put my finger on and I’m ready. If I want to buy a shake at my gym I don’t have to bring my credit card – I just put my finger and it goes straight to my account. Another cool thing at my gym is a drying machine – I put my swimming suit, close the door, keep it for a few second and it’s dry. Miracle!
When we meet with friends and then it’s time to pay a bill, we (well, they), just do the math, we put one card down and the rest just reaches for their phones and pay this person with the Venmo app. No more: “You will give me money the next time” or “I just have to run to the bank” or “I don’t have change”.
Not to mention all these communication tools we got, with Facetime on the top of it and online dating that I wrote about already before.
There are many amazing things about technology and it really makes our lives easier, but what terrifies me is that everyone is now just starring at their phone. You still can spot some people reading books on the subway (it’s quite common actually), but the majority of people will be just blindly starring at their phones forgetting that there is a real world around them. What drives me crazy is people walking down the street and checking their phones. I understand checking an important message, but some of them are playing games or cards! I can sense that person from a mile, because they walk slowly and move from right to left, like a drunk person. I’m a step away to just slam this phone on the ground, I swear, I ran into so many people who were doing stupid things on their phone that my patience is gone. I have a huge desire to just smash those phones, I’m not kidding. I don’t mind technology, but I mind these empty looks it created. Did you notice that? Don’t you feel that when people look at you it feels like they’re looking through the phone screen? And this thing scares me a lot.