A 2018 'Memory-Hole Post' (But Still Very Much Pertinent Today & Beyond)
I went to our local Target store last week to purchase a sporting goods item that was listed 'on sale' (via a newspaper ad insert)... When I lugged the cumbersome item up to the cashier's station to cough up my Federal Reserve Notes ($240 cash), I was absolutely astounded to discover that all 9 or 10 of the store's checkout stations were closed and void of any human cashiers... There was a lone Target employee there who was directing customer traffic over towards the self-service checkout stations, where I then had to learn how to tally-up my purchase utilizing a 'bar-code scanning gun', and then feed all 12 of those flimsy / wrinkled-up twenty-dollar bills into the machine (one bill at a time) adding up to the grand total of my $240 purchase (including sales tax)... The whole buying-experience felt entirely empty and impersonal for an old-school guy like me who is used to dealing with human beings [and not with machines] when it comes to purchasing goods and services (i.e. with the exception of an occasional beverage or candy bar machine transaction, and pumping self-service petrol into the fuel tank of my car).
In my humble opinion, our populace is gradually being dumbed-down, lethargitized, and desensitized by all of these shortcut innovations being brought about by today's high-tech device manufacturers and the Silicon Valley brain-hacker types... 'If' and 'when' the 21st Century 'Carrington Event' rears its ugly head and the Internet grid finally collapses like a queue of plastic dominoes - a large percentage of our computer-dependent populace will [then] be rendered wholly incapable of figuring their way out of a wet paper sack, because the GPS applications and the mechanical/synthetic voices of their Siri and their Alexa artificial-intelligence robots will become silenced and void of any type of useful/tangible information to be offered whatsoever... “The illiterate square-heads of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” [SM]