Are we sabotaging effective communication, relationships and taking away needed down time?
I recently had business travel that brought me through the Minneapolis airport. I had heard it had been updated and was wonderful. I was eager to check it out.
When I got there, I was famished and decided to look for a nice place to sit down and eat a relaxing meal. That’s when it started. Every restaurant I could find was set up the same way. No matter how many were in your party, you each sat down having an iPAD right in front of your face. There was no server to come greet you, or ask what you’d like to drink. Your menu was on the iPAD, along with a myriad of other apps, sales ploys and popups. If you had a question, as I did, you could click the “I have a question” button. Someone eventually came over, acting as though I couldn’t read, and in 4 words or less answered and walked away again.
You weren’t able to place your order until you had put in your credit card number, at which time they automatically highlighted an 18% tip. I’m not sure what for as the iPAD had done all the work so far. Maybe it should be for iPAD maintenance! I placed the order and my food was set in front of me by a real person. They smiled and left. All during my meal, this iPAD sent a barrage of “buy-me-now” ads.
I feel as though I am surrounded by screens all day. There is the smartphone screen I need to be glued to, the computer screen, the TV screen and the list goes on. To sit down at a meal and be forced to share my dinner space with another screen that is permanently placed and cannot be moved or taken away felt controlling. Can you tell I resented that just a touch?
We talk about millennials and how communication skills may be in danger as they are on their devices constantly. I’ll wager it was someone older that can take responsibility for this. As for me, airports where servers come up, smile, speak to you and take your orders personally, will get my frequent flyer miles. Maybe it’s just the skies that are friendly now…