Few month ago Starbucks has introduced the possibility to order the drink online and just come pick it up at the store you selected. This is very handy hands down. Those of you who are getting their caffeine fix every morning before going to work know how crowded it can get when 5 office buildings are lining up in one Starbucks shop across the street. With the online ordering you just click couple buttons 10 minutes before the pick up – et voila, your coffee is readily waiting for you just as you come in.
Since I’m usually not a technology pioneer, I never tried this option until this past Monday when I was running a bit late for a morning meeting and wanted to get my tall-extra-hot-coconut-milk-cappuccino before that. There were at least 25 people inside waiting in line, and if I didn’t order in advance, I would either be late or slowpoke during that meeting.
Later that day I got to thinking how technology has been slowly (or not so slowly) but steadily eliminating the personal interaction. Self-checkouts at the grocery stores, texts and emails instead of phone calls and getting togethers, not to mention Amazon.com, which practically allows you to be incommunicado with alive human beings and still have everything you need – from cat litter to jasmine tea – delivered to your door. Oftentimes no signature required, so you don’t even have to interact with the delivery man. All these things are definitely time savers, but what are we saving it for? Aren’t we often saving time by avoiding personal communication to have more time to avoid personal communication?
I totally get it, life is busy. Family, kids, work, studies, friends, chores, manicures, meetings. But sometimes it feels just great to exchange a joke with your barista. To chat for a minute about his college studies. To say the proverbial “TGIF”. To hear a compliment on your new hair style. Just another reminder that what matters is not how many days you have in your life, but how much life you have in your days.
I think I’m ordering my coffee in person tomorrow.