The irony of technology

When I moved out to California, my father (and mother) were kind enough to float me a loan until I got on my feet and started to make a little bit of dough. Now that I am all settled in, it is time to start paying them back. Oh joy!

As any right thinking, tech-savvy twenty something would do, I shot my Dad a text message. I asked him if I could use Chase QuickPay to send him the coin I owed him. The following exchange took place:


Hilarity of my father’s texting ability aside, there is an interesting insight here. In my mind, there is nothing safer than an electronic transfer of funds. Between QuickPay, Venmo, and Paypal, I use the web to expedite all of my transactions, without so much as a second thought. It is just a reflex at this point.

On the other hand, my father, someone who has had a cell phone for over 15 years and has been using the Internet even longer, still doesn’t feel secure when using this technology. And, with recent breaches at Target and Michael’s (among countless others), it makes sense to doubt these systems.

So, why does our generation blindly trust this technology? Why do we consistently put our faith in intangible numbers? It is now common-place to spend an entire week’s wages without physically holding even a cent of that currency physically. It is all the addition and subtraction of an account balance, a mere number.

Some people have experienced life-changing results from using only cash for a month. To folks that have spent a majority of their life prior to the days of online banking, this seems ludicrous. Cash was all they had 10 years ago. Yet here we are, splitting and pooling our Ubers, while using Venmo to split our AirBnB’s.

It is no wonder that my father is a skeptic.

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