Thursday, March 26, 2015

Instead of Servants There Are Apps

Should you thank your app, the same way you would thank a servant? Or is the whole point of having apps to do away with gratitude and the need to interact with other humans who are serving you.

Every night I tell Siri: "Set alarm for six am." Most of the time, she answers: "OK, it's on." But every once in a while, she says "I'm not sure I understand." Or "You have three six am alarms. Which one did you mean?" Then I get a little testy, and I try different ways of saying it, like "Set alarm for six am sharp." And then finally she does it and says: "Okay, it's set." And then I say: "Thank you."

But always wonder, should I have said that? Is it wrong to thank an app?

In earlier blog posts, I have mentioned that the middle class used to be characterized by the fact that it employed servants, but now it does not. However, I may be very much behind the times, living in an isolated rural location where even Pizza Hut does not deliver. This morning I read an article that opened my eyes to how service from servants is now being obtained through apps.

The washer and dryer did not solve the servant problem, but now there is an app that picks up your dirty laundry and then returns it folded to your drawer. And this can happen without ever having to speak to a human being.

No, robots have not gotten that sophisticated. There is an army of flesh and  blood people working for those apps. and the world has been divided, in this scenario, between shut-ins and shut-outs. The shut-ins have service without human contact, and the shut-outs get to serve people they never see,

It's a brave new world! What would Jean Laffite have thought about this?


  1. I do not use that many apps as of yet. I actually still prefer to do more things in person as I get older. When I was 18 I had a teller at a bank poke fun of me for not knowing how this particular bank liked their deposit slips filled out. After that experience I started using ATMs, but a couple of years ago I started going in the bank again because I realized I missed interacting with people.

    1. Hi, Julia. I like to go into the bank and talk to the teller, too. I do not like ATMs.