The other day I was thinking about all the things that used to be but are no longer.
For instance, I have a vague recollection of “Full-Service” gas stations. By the time I started driving, gas stations had two lanes, “Full-Service” and “Self-Service.” At the “Full-Service” side they checked your tire pressure, your oil level, and washed your windshield. My mom was always suspicious when they said, “You are a quart low.” At the “Self-Service” side, you were on your own and the “Self-Service” gasoline was always a few cents cheaper. When you fill your tank these days there are no choices about service. I suppose that is why we no longer refer to gas stations as “service stations.”
I remember the TV repairman. If your television broke, you called one of these guys to come out and fix it. A television in the 60’s was an amazing thing. Digital technology was still being invented, so televisions consisted of vacuum tubes. The repairman would take the back off of the television and turn it on. He would look for the vacuum tube that was not “lighting up.” He would replace that tube and mysteriously you had television again. The TV repairman traveled with this big square case of vacuum tubes. He could fix almost anything right out of his case. If you were lucky enough to have a tube out that was one thing, but sometimes the repairman had to take the television to the repair shop. Where did the repair shop go?
When your television doesn’t work today, you call customer service and have some person in lower Noengishastan explain to you how to “reboot” your television. There is nothing in them now, but circuit boards.
With each new technology introduced human interaction is diminished. Once to get money you saw a teller. If you needed stamps you went to the post office. There was no drive thru at McDonalds. If you wanted a mattress you went to the store. Now there are machines or the Internet to take care of your needs.
I am certainly not lamenting technology. I love it and use it every day.
I am saying, maybe you need to invite a friend for a cup of coffee and a nice conversation, before someone figures out how to replace that. (I know the technology already exists to do this, too,)
The church is a place where we use technology, but conversation is more highly prized. If you come to our place on Sunday we have donuts, coffee, and wonderful human interaction.
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