Human interaction more valuable than any app

Please don’t tell me “we have an app for that” or “you will need to create an online account to do that.” I don’t want to hear it. If I downloaded an app every time it was suggested, I’d have 500 apps on my phone and have to keep track of thousands of passwords.

That suggestion tells me you’d rather pass me off to an impersonal website or app rather than help me now. I took the time and made the effort to come see you or give you a call, I’d prefer to complete my business now, thank you.

Rather than help me at that moment, you’d rather I just go home. Want to lose a customer? Tell me that I can only do something online or through an app and that you won’t help me in person.

I know I’m a curmudgeon. I know I’m an anachronism. I prefer cars with manual transmissions. I make coffee on the stove instead of using a K-Cup.

I’m not against new technology, but sometimes I think the old fashioned ways are just better. Manual transmissions are more fun to drive. Coffee on the stove tastes better and creates less pollution. I don’t like using my phone for airline tickets — I’d still rather print them off. It’s my luck that my phone would break or disappear right before I need to board a flight.

I don’t want to create an account, give you my credit card number, and list all kinds of personal information on your app or website. You assure me that it is convenient and easy to use. Somehow I doubt that.

I don’t want my financial and medical information flying through the cloud only to be stolen by criminals. Thieves have already purloined my information several times. My information is much safer locked away in a filing cabinet.

Mail me the check. Send me the forms to sign. I’ll even pay for the stamp and envelope to send it back to you. I’ll take security over convenience any day.

I’ve heard horror stories about how people learned they had cancer or other serious illnesses by reading it on a chart online. That’s so impersonal. That is the kind of news we should hear from another person, a doctor, to guide us through the next steps.

This issue goes beyond the fact that I am obstinate and cantankerous. When services and communication are only provided online or through the use of an app, it is making life much more difficult for many people.

A recent survey revealed that 25% of Bartholomew County households have no internet service. The digital divide is real and significant. People who live in rural areas often don’t have access to the internet. Internet service is also an expense that some people just can’t afford.

Providing information and services through online formats creates an obstacle for the elderly. Apps and websites are often confusing and difficult to use. That is not helping some of the most vulnerable in our society.

As we have endured the last year of life during the pandemic, many of us have come to realize how important it is to have that human touch. I found out that many people are left out if the only option is to interact through Zoom.

When it comes to human interaction, there is no app for that.