Living in a DIY World
By George Anderson
It may be true that, if you want something done right, you should do it yourself. On the other hand, some say, being asked to do everything when you’re shopping, banking or involved in other tasks of daily life is getting to be a pain.
According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, Americans are getting a little sick and tired of self-serve while filling up their gas tanks, banking or checking out at the store. They want someone to wait on them, thank you very much.
Nichols Fox is writing a book on the topic — The Case Against Efficiency. “We’re exhausted doing all this work,” she said. “There’s just so much that we have been asked to take over. I think we are reaching a breaking point here.”
Dennis Galletta, an information systems professor at Temple University’s Fox School of Business and Management, disagrees. “I think nowadays people are less patient. People not only want this technology, they demand it.”
Paul Croce, an American studies professor at Stetson University, says each position has merit. “It’s putting on the citizen, the non-expert, a task that is potentially complex,” he said. “That’s a responsibility that can be freeing but can be a real burden for a lot of people.”
Cherie Kerr, a public speaking and communications consultant for ExecuProv, said there’s a price being paid for all this self-sufficiency. “People are just not connecting as much as they once did, or as they should,” she said. “A lot of people do not want to talk to people anymore.”
Moderator’s Comment: What are your views on the expansion of self-service technology? Are consumers getting tired of being asked to do it themselves?
Is the rise of self-serve technology matched by a decline in our ability to communicate with one another? –
George Anderson – Moderator