Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hey, You, Get On That Cloud

Quick, what's the name of that little French place in the east 50's where we had that great affordable lunch?

And, where the heck is Timbuktu?

If you said "Let's google it" in response to these questions, raise your hands. Hah! All of you.

But, what if we have different problems:

  • we're not getting all the cable channels we thought we'd ordered.
  • the central AC shuts down right before that big heat wave.
  • someone's hacked your amazon account and has used your credit card.
All of those things happened to us recently and we could not google up an instant solution. 

So what, you might say. Nobody can do that. Well, we'd like to point out that google, Twitter, Facebook, itunes, netflix, etc. have raised our expectations for instant problem solving and lowered our patience level. Why is this significant?

Recently, The Times's front page, we read about a mother of a NYC private school boy, who spent $35K on an outside tutor for a class in a school that costs $38K annually. She did this to insure that the boy gets and A. In other words, she wants to "google" up an A and she's willing to pay for it (will she follow the boy to college and go to work with him later too?). 

If we want a definition, a photo, a how-to guide, a diagnosis - we google it.

Other things take more time, but we expect them instantly and do not like it, when they take more time. It's such a pain to be distracted by having to steer, brake for a light, avoid collisions, while all we really want to do is text our pedicurist about that appointment right now!

Here are some other things we want to google and get right now:
  • a cable appointment at a specific time.
  • a moderate doctor visit fee that we can just pay ourselves.
  • the house, apartment, job, car, come to think, woman or man to die for.
  • affordable pet health insurance.
  • Moderated TV commercial volume (we won't quit on this!).
  • someone in charge to take global warming seriously in the US. Finally.
  • a ban on Congressional use of Facebook, Twitter, etc. And, no more "Weiner"  jokes, which are an affront to the integrity of hot dogs everywhere!
Apple has just announced a new service to replace their rare failure, MobileMe. Everything is going to The Cloud and we will no longer need to bother physically syncing our devices to share music, calendars, contacts with...ourselves. 

As brilliant and sensible as this Cloud solution seems, we can't help thinking that it will further shrink our human patience. Will we be able to go to a Cloud for cable, cellphone service, banking errors, electrical/plumbing repairs, college, marriage, and on and on some day?

As the man sang, "Hey, You, Get Me Some Of That Cloud."

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