Monday, May 30, 2011

Is technology always good?

I have been this weekend in St. Augustine, FL with my family. We had such a great time and I was glad I left my iPad and iPhone in the hotel. During these three days I learned a lot, a lot about the human factor for communication. In a time where everything gets easier with electronics we miss a lot. Till today a smartphone or computer can not replace the human factor. We can open our living social or Groupon app to see specials, we can use google to find infos about St. Augustine and we are able to pay and buy tickets for attractions without even to talk to somebody just by using our phone. But how good is it?

St. Augustine opened my wife's and my eyes. It started with the car train tour around 24 attractions in St. Augustine. I played in the morning golf and my family went to downtown. It was already 4:30pm till I met them. Emile and my wife bought already tickets for the tour and did one or two half rounds in the train. I went to the ticket stand to buy myself a ticket, because we decided to do a whole round which is about 60 minutes. The lady at the ticket service (a ticket is $20) was so kind to tell me that the tours are ending at 6pm and asked me if we are back the next day (tour tickets are valid 3 days). Unfortunately we had to leave the next day. She told me it would be waste of money to buy for just one hour a ticket. But my son did want to go on the train (he loves trains). The lady was so kind and gave me a free ticket. I am pretty sure this would not happened with an electronic butler over the phone. I was so pleased I tried to give her $5 tip, but she declined.

During the sightseeing tour we stopped twice and took different trains, the guides on each train had other stories to tell, it was just great to hear different stories about the same attractions. It was so human and individual. We could have bought an iPhone app which tells to each stop the historical background, it might have been more accurate but less interactive with the guide.

After we were done with the whole sightseeing trip, we went to a small coffee shop. My wife bought for her a mocha and a double espresso for me. When the bar tender asked how I want the coffee, she told him what would usually say "Like my wife, black and bitter" and that she usually then responds with "and I like my coffee like my husband white and weak". The guy liked the story so much that she got my double espresso free. Try to do this when you buy a coffee at a vending machine.

On Monday morning I went with my son into the hall of fame of golf, he is under 5 and did not need a ticket. I got with my ticket a free shot to a replica of the seventeenth hole of TCP Sawgrass and a free round of 18 putting holes. And guess what, at both attraction my son got it free too, even if they had a sign everybody regardless of age has to pay.

We had many other situations in and around St. Augustine, which have been so nice and human.

I am not a geek, but I love gadgets and any new thing i can get. And I even had tons ideas about AR when we went through downtown, but at the end I enjoyed the non electronic weekend. This weekend showed me that all these new things will take us some of the most important part in our life. Communication and human not rational behavior.

Maybe in 5 or 10 years the government will establish the "human day" when we are not allowed to use any electronic device for one day. When it comes to this point then something went wrong with us.

Maybe in 20 years we have human robots which can be so irrational and unpredictable that it feels human again. we will then send them on vacation and to work. And then watch all the stories they saved in their private cloud. How appealing.

- Posted using BlogPress, please follow me on twitter @schlotz69

Location:S Legacy Trail,St Augustine,United States

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