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Personal Touch vs. Touch Screen

March 24, 2016

What should we expect when dining out? Be it ‘date night’ or simply dinner with fabulous friends, we expect and desire a certain level of courteous, friendly service. Why else would we bathe, comb our do and basically make sure we don’t scare small children when we appear in public. (Oh wait, that’s me!) All kidding aside, it makes sense we’d put a certain amount of effort into such an enjoyable occasion as sharing a meal in a restaurant while being the grateful recipient of cheerful wait staff, right? Exactly!

So imagine my surprise as my spidey sense started tingling recently when I heard Linda, from the Y, mention her disappointment during what should have been a relaxing dinner with her handsome hubby. Apparently, a server employed at the large chain restaurant forced...yes, forced...them to use the miniature table computer to order their meal and then pay for it. Obviously, the eatery conglomerate issued techy menu-matics for each table. Impressive? Not really. Even less impressive and arguably outrageous is being required to use it and deprived the option of personal service. Still very unsettled when Linda recalled the incident she stated, “Personal service is the reason we go out to eat. Otherwise we would have stayed home.” Grade A Choice point, Linda.

Dickens, has technology deep-fried itself into such a scalding conspiracy we are being force fed, not a dollop mind you, but a tasteless mouthful of such a huge helping we either choke or spit it out? Is either do-it-yourself or go home silently becoming the flambé we parboil our next dinner out on? Has the personal touch been simmered down to nothing more than a greasy touch screen? Are we unsuspectingly being teleported into a Star Wars episode where entrees resembling globs of bluish edible sustenance materialize at the touch of a button? Has my train of thought derailed?

In fact, while Baby Boomers are frustratingly trying to download the latest EasyBakeOven app most Generation X, Y and Z-ers devour a technological feast of mega proportions savoring every super-sized morsel on the buffet down to the last gigabyte; even offering up the complimentary blech afterwards. Meanwhile, there are those among us who would prefer to cautiously sample a decadent fondue before totally immersing in ooey-gooey culinary gadgetry potentially resulting in nothing more al dente than a bushel of sticky fingers.

So keep the wet wipes handy Boomers because technology isn’t staying home and ordering in anymore. Dickens, we already use satellite navigation to guide us from point A to point B. Plus we video chat, pay bills, order products we’re too embarrassed to purchase in person, secure travel reservations, watch reruns of our all-time favorite shows, keep up with our friends’ drama on social media, download funky music, earn college degrees in the privacy of our own home and even rely on computers to match us with the perfect life partner with whom our first date will most likely be dinner.

Of course, unlimited benefits abound from mainstream advances in technology. Unfortunately, there are detriments also and the first item on the menu: people drifting farther apart socially. One day we’ll be woken by our home computer gentle prompting, ‘rise and shine,’ then bathe in a temperature controlled shower, dress in a digital apparel compartment as our complete dietary need is prepared and poured into a titanium sippy cup which we drink as we’re carried via conveyer belt to our virtual office where we are joined by colleagues gathering via satellite to discuss the day’s agenda.

However, until that day comes shouldn’t we have a choice to use the touch screen menu-matic or enjoy one of life’s most pleasurable attractions of being human? The personal touch.

Can you imagine…unappetizing greasy touch screens?

Smile you deserve a break today!



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