There are more people on this planet than at anytime in its history, yet it appears we are determined to reduce the amount of contact we have with one another.
Millions of words have already been written about how the rise of social media means society runs the risk of creating future generations that are unable of forming proper relationships. I heard a lady give a radio lecture as to why the likes of Facebook could lead to an evolutionary blip, meaning youngsters might well struggle to communicate as well as their forebears do.
I share her concerns, but it isn’t just social media which is in danger of us holding us back as the advance of all technology endangers the most basic of human instincts.
Last week I went to my bank to transfer some cash to a chap who has just completed work at Tapp Towers. I was quickly seen by a very nice member of staff, a lady who has served me in the past. But before she carried out my request, she attempted to steer me away from future visits. Her argument was that an app on my mobile would save me time. “I want to get out of the office and speak to somebody”, is something I would expect somebody’s gran to say but it is how I feel. I am not afraid of progress and do perform basic banking functions online but there are some things which I believe are too important to do on a smartphone.
My mood didn’t improve whenI dropped into my favourite shop, only to find they had done away with most of the manned tills. While I don’t have a problem with self-service checkouts, I do want to be given the choice and I do object to being patronised by a young chap who cheerily attempted to guide me away from the only human cashier on duty. I declined and she seemed delighted a customer opted for fleeting human contact.
My brief rebellion against progress came in the same week we learned that sex robots, designed for the lonely and the elderly, are under development. I am not sure about you but the prospect of getting up close and personal with Metal Mickey (or Michaela) leaves me cold. There are enough of us on the planet so perhaps we should try a little harder at human relationships.