So we’ve just checked in to the Village Hotel in Swansea for a very rare night away from our tribe just me and the not so better half. Check in was so easy it was a few clicks on an iPad, an allocation of our own room key and Bob’s uncle all done. No queues, no wait, no nonsense but absolutely no personal attention.
So I wonder as I sit here in the foyre of the village hotel is the replacement of people with technology really a good thing?
I visited my doctors surgery just yesterday have to check in there too. Hit the screen 3 taps of a button and all done. No good morning Mrs… who are you seeing today, just a OK take a seat and wait to be called.
I popped to tesco before coming to the hotel this morning and the go to for most seemed to be the scan and go. Swipe your good press a button and good to go. No store person needed.
I get the convenience, I get the money saving but as I sit and wonder are we losing something, something significant, something that we’re now failing to teach our children…. the art of conversation. I fondly remember my wonderful form teacher at school calling me gob almighty all because I love a chat. I continue to love a chat. This is much to the horror and shame of our teenage daughter who winces almost as if in pain as I talk to the checkout girl in tesco like I’ve known her for years or strike up a conversation with a lovely elderly gentleman who sits in the table beside us in Costa. One of the reasons I believe she like many of her friends behave this way is because they converse almost entirely through technology. Although I am aware that this is a sign of the times the few opportunities that would require a young person to chat, like at the doctors, the hospital, supermarket or hotel are also very quickly disappearing. When we take away these opportunities we take away a young person’s confidence in their ability to cope in normal every day conversations.
I see it as a teacher, I see it as a mother we all need to help our kids to practice conversation and not always give them the easy way out. Yes it’s easy to press a button, it may be economical for big business, it may be quicker for those time poor folks with errands to run but conversation can mean kindness, confidence and real connections with real people without the need for a screen.