I recently posted a link to what Mark Shuttleworth had to say about the ‘wearable computer’ .

His comment that “we spend more time talking to our friends and our families through a computer than we do in person” got me thinking about how impersonal communication has become. Add ‘customers’ to the previous sentence. How many times have you been at an establishment (say a bank) and have had the consultant stare at the computer screen while attending to you? Funnily, this happens at my local supermarket as well – because the cashier is looking at the terminal screen and not the customer. Of course, they need to access data – but should it be all the time, at the  exclusion of the customer standing right in front of them?

Take out the human element in a conversation, or any interaction between two people, and it can quickly degenerate into something else.

Could the high levels of impersonal communication today be linked with  abysmal levels of customer service that we invariably experience?

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