Talk to the Computer, ‘Cos the Face Ain’t Listening

Don’t you just hate dealing with computers? Of course not! We’re young! We’ve all heard the stereotypical village elder spitting hot fury out his crusty talk hole as he spouts his anti-technology manifestos while eyes roll. I preface this rant ironically as I am now the bitter old soul with a salty disposition for all things home- button.

We’re independent scholars here in Tacoma. We go to a commuter campus. We’re big boys and girls but every once in awhile we have to stop by the old Academic Advising Center. [Insert sarcastic commentary here.] I inquired as to availabilities to casually make decisions about my life from someone who may not know my major well, but has the links to give me. O thank yee, O gatekeeper to my destiny for these precious links. I couldn’t have done it without you.

So that’s what I came for before I was stopped by the pleasant student working the front desk. I was told that I could make an appointment online, and that was the end of that. So you’re telling me it’s no longer in fashion to make an appointment at the front desk of the place of service? I was so flustered I wanted to spit. Needless to say I didn’t, but I would have had warrant.

“The way of the future,” Howard Hughes would always spout off as a mantra of exponentially moving forward with technology. It should be noted that while I am a subscriber to both Walt Whitman and Henry David Thoreau on Facebook, but I have my share of tech-centric Apple products. Leather bound of course. I even worked in Tokyo, where you can walk into a quaint old noodle joint, with a quaint old noodle chief just teeming with personality. You are then quickly pointed toward a quaint milk white vending machine with about 100 different buttons for quaint little noodle options that you simply press. And then you pick up the quaint little ticket and hand it to the chef. No talking necessary.

Circling back across the Pacific, I find myself in Tacoma, at UWT, faced with a similar robotic exchange of commerce. Except it isn’t quaint and I now hate robots almost as much as Will Smith circa “I,robot.”  Is there such a thing as too much efficiency? I’m afraid that we have forgotten the importance of human exchange. I’m not even going to touch on the technologically illiterate who may be too prideful to admit their lack of tech savvy, single handedly estranging them from reaching the gatekeeper of these precious career shaping links.

Dearest youthful members of Generation Google, might you have added a similar pet peeve as of late? I would certainly appreciate the camaraderie.


Illustration by Danielle Burch