Apps indulge our misanthropy, and I love them for it
Fortunately – or unfortunately – I’m not as socially detached as Swanson, but there are certain aspects of the lifestyle that appeal to me. Namely, I avoid unnecessary conversations like the plague. I’ve gone days without hearing a voice or opening my mouth to speak once, and those were some of the best days of my life.
All this time I had to talk to people to get by in life. I have to call someone and have at least five minutes of conversation to get food, taxis and movie tickets. It’s especially annoying because the person on the other end of the line very often can’t understand what I’m saying or gets my contact info wrong.
But now things are changing. With a few simple touches on my phone, I eliminated the need to speak to a person! Apps like Zomato Order, Food Panda, Uber, Ola and BookMyShow take tasks that once involved talking to a real, often annoying human being and free them from unnecessary human interaction. A few taps on my smartphone screen and I’m done. It’s nice.
Before, if I wanted to book a taxi that was not a regular city taxi, I had to call a radio taxi service. I would be put on hold for 10-15 minutes and then I would have to explain my address and destination to an operator who was probably from another city and therefore had no idea of local areas and landmarks. An hour before the indicated time, the taxi driver called and I had to explain how to get home. Finally, I should pay cash at the end of the trip. Now I identify my address on a map in the Uber or Olacabs app about 30-45 minutes before I need it, the driver uses GPS to easily get to my location and the charge is deducted from my wallet in line.
Let’s take another example. Previously, I had to either go to the box office and buy movie tickets in advance, or book online and pick up my tickets at the online reservation counter. Now I get an m-ticket via BookMyShow which just has to be scanned at the cinema entrance by a machine. Human interaction was minimized and none of my time was wasted.
It used to be that I had to call my local pizzeria and explain my order and often spell out my address letter by letter. Now I choose my food from an online menu, my address has been saved on the app, and I can even pay in advance if I want. The delivery guy places the package in my hand and leaves, with no more than a few pleasantries being exchanged.
Even for the less asocial among us, the benefits are obvious. Using apps to manage these simple tasks saves time, promotes efficiency, and allows you to have less cash on you when you go out, which will make mugging a much more enjoyable experience, if it happens. Even if you show up late for the movie, you’ll still have time to quickly run to the bathroom or buy a tub of popcorn. Even if you forgot to go to the ATM, you don’t have to go to bed hungry. Even if you are in the middle of nowhere and don’t know how you got there, the taxi will still show up to take you.
Therefore, I take my hat off to you, dear app-based services. You allowed me to sit at home and stare at the wall with a sandwich in my hand. You indulge in my misanthropy, and I love you for it.