I walked into a popular fast-casual restaurant the other morning—my “office” for the next few hours. My car keys in hand and my laptop under my arm, I headed to the cash registers.
“Good morning, ma’am,” a friendly employee interrupted me.
I smiled hello.
“Would you like to try our kiosk?” He gestured to the new iPad-like device up front.
“You can order for yourself,” he explained.
“Um…no, thank you.” I smiled good-bye. Then I continued on my path to the cash registers. A chatty young lady (her name tag said Ashley) greeted me and took my order (breakfast sandwich and small coffee).
Is it old-fashioned or out-of-style to want to talk to people? To prefer human interaction to touchscreens?
Is interpersonal communication going the way of Pokémon cards, VHS tapes and landline phones?
“Would you like to try our kiosk?”
Honestly, sir, no. I’d much rather spend a few minutes in conversation with the cashier up ahead. The real-life human being who can ask me how I’m doing, and then let me return the pleasantry.
I’m not a crunchy-granola-type person (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). I have a smartphone, I’ve self-published e-books, I shop online. I appreciate technology.
People matter though. Human interaction matters.
“How are you doing today”—maybe that moment of communication makes a difference to a company’s bottom line. I don’t know. I do know, though, that there’s value in human connection and the empathy that that connection stimulates.
Communication makes a difference too.
“Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.” (Rollo May)
Which would you choose, friends, a person or a kiosk? Tell me why.
Photo credit: StockSnap.io
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