Checking out at the grocery store today, one of my favorite cashiers mistakenly allowed the handheld food scanner to travel down the conveyor belt and like the oversized child that I am I scooped it up and begin to make beeping noises with my mouth mimicking the checkout process. That’s when he proceeded to tell me that Kroger was actually allowing their guest to roam the store armed with scanners for a person-less checkout, shame.
I don't approve of this. Why? I'm emotionally attached to the people at my local grocery store and seeing them makes my day.
The exchange made me think about all the machines that have entered my life in the past five years and the opportunity or lack thereof all of my devices have created.
Yes, listening to Marianne Williamson and Oprah on my wireless Beats headphones during a workout is lovely because not only am I distracted from the pain of slow moving on the elliptical, but I also use that time to learn something meaningful. However, if I am truthful, the unintended consequences of our technological advances put me in a place of deep resistance to where we go next.
I simply don’t want to lose any more interaction with real people due to technology.
I should also throw out that my work and ability to concentrate has suffered as well but that is mainly due to technology changing the writing industry as a whole.
How does one prepare themselves for the encroaching faceless robots? By building non-negotiables into your work and life routines. For instance, with the help of my writing squad, my alarm clock is set for six o'clock every morning. Once it goes off, its time to write like hell. Thus, my early mornings are for writing, prayer, and mediation.
The rest of the day is for discovery, emails, phone calls, and the “time waster” that is my phone.