Today it is all about the electronics: smart phones, tablets, and laptops—you name it and most people have it. It is almost as if there is a constant cord connecting people to the Internet, and they just can’t get enough. Everyone is waiting for the next big thing so they can buy it and learn all of the things it can sync with and do that will lead to making life easier for them. You may think that all of this plays into the head of consumer product businesses, as they are making money selling all of this technology; however, now more than ever before businesses are slaves to the consumer because if they are not offering the technology and convenience that is being sought, it is all over. This is especially true for the businesses that do not make tablets or smart phones but rather have to ensure their product works with these devices seamlessly such as print journalists, hosted VoIP providers, and even banks.
Does There Need to Be an App for That?
It really does seem like there is an application, to be used on your smart phone or tablet, for everything. Sometimes, the app almost seems redundant. For example, banks are needing to make online banking as easy as possible for their customers and you would think this would just mean a functional mobile website, but that’s not all. Many banks are not only rolling out mobile sites, they are creating apps to make it even easier for the consumer—now they don’t even have to type the website address.
All of this ‘convenience makes you wonder if it is really a passion for technology driving this, or sheer laziness. If your tablet has a web browser why can’t you just type the address to the bank’s website? Why does there need to be an app just to save a few nanoseconds of typing?
Apps are also stripping us of human interaction, in the case of the banks; online banking has essentially eliminated the need to actually go to the bank. There once was a time where many people knew their bank teller’s name—that is a thing of the past. There are many people who are disconcerted by the elimination of human interaction. A blog on TechCrunch spoke of a new app that eliminated the need to order your drink at a bar from the bartender, you could just choose it through the application and suddenly your bartender is akin to a robot servant.
All Work and No Play or All Play and No Work?
Another area that has collided with technology is the workplace. Everywhere people are setting up their devices so that they can have constant access to their work email, even documents. The office’s hosted VoIP provider has to allow access to phone calls to office numbers from wherever the person may be located. This has made work completely portable and for some it has resulted in overworking, while for others it has offered freedom to slack because they can access and complete the work at any time.
Where Do We Draw the Line
With technology slowly taking over more and more aspects of our life it is troublesome to think where that will eventually lead. Businesses have to keep struggling to satisfy the want of convenience by the consumer, but some of these advances may eliminate what once was—the bank teller, the bartender. These devices and technology advances can be great but it is important not to let them consume you, and they are certainly no replacement for actual human interaction.
Lauren Biddle is a writer who has contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. You can also follow him on twitter @Biddle23 to see what else he has to say!