Elizabeth, my wife, and I had a nice evening together this past Saturday. We decided on Chili’s for dinner, as we both really like their appetizers and burgers. Upon being seated in our booth I noticed this touch screen device on all of the tables. I’d never seen them before so I was just a little curious as to what they were for.
It’s called the “Ziosk” and it has applications for reviewing appetizers and drink specials, free games, movies and showtimes, 12 “premium” games that run $1 for unlimited play, as well as an application for paying your bill. The latter got me thinking.
We Americans sure love efficiencies, don’t we? I do, too. I use Redbox, ATMs, the web for shopping, the “Self Checkout” line at the store, and the like. I’ve never used the grocery delivering services out there, but I have talked to a few who have who voiced their approval. Hey, we all have the same 24-hour period so we’re always looking for ways to save time. It’s like beating the house. However, I can’t help but ask “are we missing something here?” I believe we’re losing one of our most important and helpful skills: Communication. It seems more and more of us are chosing the technological advances that take us away from human interaction.
Hey, I’m an outgoing guy. It’s just who I am. Always have been. I can talk to a fence post just about all day. My parents raised me to treat people with respect, no matter who they are, where they came from, what they look like, how they talk, or what they do for a living. Further, I truly enjoying interacting with folks of all types: Actuaries, salespeople, pastors, maintenance workers, cooks, electricians, executives and doctors. They all have experiences and stories that you’re just missing if you don’t take the time to communicate with them. You’re missing some gold, folks. Unplug from your techno-gizmos for a few and you just might remember the good ol’ days when people actually looked at each other and talked.
[Hint: the quiet ones have the really good meat on the bone as they’ve been in the corner sloooowly cookin’ at 225*, untouched.]
I’ve been making an effort lately with people I don’t know at work by simply greeting them with a smile and “good morning” or “hello, have a nice day” as I stroll down the hallways. You know what, folks, they actually smile back and offer me a returned greeting. Ahh, it’s wonderful. It’s like we have this moment or something…something I just didn’t have with that Ziosk.