When it comes right down to it, part of the reason we invent new devices is to avoid having to do extra work. The phone is a tool used to connect two people together without having to make them travel to one another. If they need to travel we have the car that can move them long distances without making them walk or exert themselves. Are we making ourselves obsolete? Is that notion a bad thing?
After all, we created machines to help us with everyday tasks. And while sometimes this knocks a person out of a job it makes the people using the machine quite happy. Let’s look at the automatic teller machine or atm. It’s convenient and in many cases harder to rob. The atm is also capable of taking care of strings of people with their financial needs and doesn’t get tired. Also, while you may no have a personal emotional experience with it, the machine will give you the same service it gave the last person.
On the other hand, machines make awful mistakes sometimes that a human could probably fix on the spot. Machines can’t give you that interaction that a friendly employee can. And having to deal with a machine when it comes to returns is the worst kind of hassle. Obviously machines aren’t perfect and can malfunction at the strangest times. But do occasional glitches matter when the machine for the most part is handling your light work?
I love human interaction and I’m sure you do too. There is a pleasant feeling when you go to the mall and can be directed around by the help desk and don’t have to memorize a map. It feels good in those rare times when you return a product and the staff is friendly with you while offering good service. It can be incredibly satisfying to hear “have a nice day” after purchasing!
Does human interaction outweigh the idea of mechanical convenience? Do I go to the cashier or the self-checkout? Will the people inside Bank of America be jealous that I gave their atm machine more attention than the human employees inside the bank? What do you think? Are we ourselves becoming more obsolete or do we just use machines for our light work?