he text came in around 10 am on Saturday morning. “Your package is 8 stops away!” I looked outside and saw the two inches of snow on the ground with more falling rapidly. I scrambled for my snow boots and quickly swept some snow off of the steps, sprinkling some salt down to ensure a tort lawsuit didn’t greet me courtesy of Amazon.com. That’s all I’d need was to drunkenly order some $8.99 dishwashing brush and end up with a $20,000 lawsuit because I didn’t scrape the ice off the steps.
There needs to be a way to pause these deliveries. Deliveries for mail order, groceries, and household staples has been great. It’s been revolutionary. But there is absolutely nothing I need delivered to me during a snowstorm.
Technology has changed the world, but the machine built by technology is hard to slow down once it gets going. What we need is a pause button for technological advances. We need a way to hit a “stop the presses” button to allow life to happen before we get back on the bandwagon.
There was a recent story about farmers who have become frustrated with the overwhelming series of data at the fingertips to the farming community. Forty year-old tractors are now back in vogue. Simpler is easier, in some cases. Sure, you might be able to increase your yield a fraction of a percent, but you’ll have to press 200 buttons to do it. Farmers have never been the type to enjoy that type of nonsense and maybe they’re right.
Technology has permeated everything. Schools. Business. Agriculture. Healthcare. Government. Transportation. We’ve been asked to start to trust self-driving cars. We’ve been asked to rely on students given only a laptop. We’ve been asked to rely on computers to diagnose our medical conditions. It’s a big leap and in many cases, it causes us to forget what it was like before that technology happened.
Hospitals still need to practice writing charts by hand. Tesla owners are still required to keep a hand on the wheel. Students still fill out the occasional worksheet – although their handwriting is HORRIBLE.
For me, I suppose this means that I need to remember to get off my butt and drive to Target to get my $8 scrub brush instead of rely on the Amazon box delivery service to walk up my icy steps on a Saturday morning. Or, I guess I need to buy a snow shoveling robot so I never ever need to leave my house.
(More dependable than an $8 scrub brush, Chris Kamler can be found on Twitter as @TheFakeNed. You can also scrub him up on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube)