If you’ve been reading here for a while, you know my mantra that technology should enrich and enable your real life. It’s something I believe with all my heart, and I love looking for great examples of how that’s happened with various bits of geekery. Unfortunately, there are also great examples here and there of technology either getting completely in the way of real life, or of eliminating real life altogether. Enter Charlies Kitchen.
My friend Stefan Constantinescu came across this story about Charlies Kitchen, a dive bar in Cambridge, Massachusetts that has introduced TextMyFood, a new system that allows guests to order their food via SMS, without ever having interacted with a waiter. The server can then respond via SMS as well, which is even more absurd. It’s something that I see in society in general, and even, unfortunately, have experienced myself. How often do you text someone who is in the same house as you, to avoid yelling through the halls? Have you ever IM’d your spouse from the opposite sofa?
I’m all for technology – quite obviously – but we as humans are going to have to be responsible and know where to draw the line, at some point. I see it on Facebook constantly, as well. The ‘older’ folks (over 20, I’d say) who grew up without a cellphone until they were 16+ still type in complete sentences, usually with proper punctuation and capitalization and the like. Kiddos under the age of 20? Most of their status updates are hardly legible thanks to the ‘txt spk’ shorthand.
Would you like to be able to order your food via SMS? What about a small touchscreen tablet on the table where you tap in your order? Do you see that as a convenience, or of a signal of the oncoming idiocy increase?