I recently went on a trip to Halifax, Nova Scotia. For anyone that does not know where that is, it’s here. I had never been to the east coast of Canada, but I had been told the people were great, the lobster was perfect, and the air was cleaner than that of Ontario. Also for the sake of clarification, when I mention technology in this post, I’m referring to cell phones, IoT, computers, databases, etc. Basically anything with some kind of electronic pulse too it, that might not be the right term, but I watch a lot of Hollywood movies where they use it incorrectly, so I’ll go with it.
I’m not a big sea food guy on my own, don’t get me wrong I love seafood. But it’s not as easy to cook and figure out when its done like the main-stays like chicken and beef. My first instance, was actually having a full steamed lobster. With no idea how to even begin eating this or taking it apart you kind of just jump in. You have to work for your dinner. It was incredibly fun, and felt rewarding. Its fun the difficulty part, and you can see with my crooked face that I’m having the best time. The convenience of uber back home and it delivered all ready to go just is not as enjoyable its convenient and easy, but not nearly as fun. I would eat lobster more often for the difficulty and the happiness it provides. (The cost however would probably bar me from doing that.)
It is very small town living in NS, people like their simple lives out there. They would spend days fishing on a boat, or walking along the Halifax pier, or enjoying the gardens of the city. It was interesting, as I saw less people on there phones, mostly just tourists, rarely did I see a local with their head looking to there phone. Perhaps its because most tourists use it for google maps out of fear of getting lost, or need to capture specific moments, and locals do not need this service. However, when I’m in Ontario, even the locals spend a lot of time looking at their phones.
It’s interesting to me how little a lot of them interacted with cell phones which have become a staple in modern day life in Ontario. I enjoyed it, everyone gave their full attention to you when you were speaking to them. You never felt rushed in a conversation. And everyone was super friendly.
During the trip, we had booked a boating tour online. We had scheduled a fishing boat tour. They were one of the few that had opened slots. 7 AM. Okay, it’s going to be a super early morning for a vacation, but to be out on the water at that time is amazing. It’s so peaceful.
Well it started off rough. They had quadruple booked the time slot. A boat that can carry 6 people…had about 18 people show up. There was 4 groups of people. 6,5,4, and 2.
There first comment was “Oh the website must have screwed up”, then it was “This happened last week too.”, and finally “I just drive the boat.”
You could tell these were not the people who scheduled it, and was actually run by someone not there. Apparently they have had multiple problems with the 7 am slot. They had already taken all our money, and well the owner was impossible to get a hold of on how to rectify the situation.
This is exactly what I expect when you have someone whose not technology savvy to try to implement technology in there businesses. It also made me realize there probably wasn’t a lot of technically savvy people in the area either. My girlfriend instantly was like “Why don’t they have it set up so they cross check the database to see if there is a booking at that time” or something along the lines of that. Which I had to remind her, a lot of these individuals do not know technology or use technology at all. They acquire it, and just pray it works. No matter how simple it is. They also have a limitation of the network of people they would have access too to help them through any issues they run into.
We eventually got on the boat…how? Well, the group of 4 actually ended up being chosen to go, and since we were a group of 2, we could fit on the boat with them, no problem. Was it luck? Was it skill? It was skill if anyone asks, but truthfully it was luck.
But this earlier problem really started bothering me. How do you get people to use technology to make their life happier and easier, when they are already living a relatively easy life (Not about social challenges etc, but more about pacing of their lives)? They did not really have a need for technology, and in this particular instance it made their life more difficult than if they just had a first-come first serve, or register in person requirement.
How would technology have to be designed differently to accommodate the people who just did not embrace using technology like those that have. It made me really think about the inevitably of technology. And in the last month, I’ve actually started to change my opinion, I don’t think technology and people being involved in technology is inevitable. Technology’s purpose to me is to bring happiness to peoples lives, and I think so many Nova Scotians’ already seemed to have all the happiness, with there small town life.
I feel this trip reminded me of the importance of technology, and I kind of felt the need to share and remind people about this. Technology is supposed to improve our lives. And its very easy to let it consume our lives. When we code and do things, it needs to be with purpose. And the technology that makes things easier does not always makes us happier.