I was in between dropping one of my children at school and having to return for an Open House for the other one. There was a small window of time and I was hoping to get a cup of coffee. Using the Starbucks app, I ordered my drink ahead of time and it was waiting for me when I arrived. I added cream and splenda and I was off.
It wasn't until I got back in my car that I realized I had not interacted with a single human being while I did that. From ordering the drink on my phone, to showing up to Starbucks, to getting my drink off the counter (confirming my name), to adding cream, to adding splenda, and back to my car. Not one word was spoken to anyone. Not. One. Word.
And there are times and places that works. I'm writing this blog post alone, focused, and without interruption. I often do my best writing alone, with quiet piano music playing. I like the George Winston station on Pandora to keep me company while I do my work.
So why did I choose to order that way? I wasn't entirely sure. Was it really about time? I did have a few more minutes when I got back to the school, I arrived a few minutes early. I could have stood in line (it was relatively short) and spoken to a human being when I ordered.
Was it the novelty of ordering using my phone and the Starbucks app? Maybe - I don't often drink Starbucks as I prefer Green Mountain Coffee. Honestly, it's pretty cool to tap your phone a few times and have a drink appear when you walk into a store...
I know I'm guilty of being too "into" my phone and my technology from time to time. I've caught myself not knowing what to do when I'm standing a line and don't have my phone with me. Those are not my proudest moments!
Technology has brought us many advances and certainly has opened up a world of possibilities in education that were not available even a few short years ago. But the critical nature of education comes in the relationships we build, nurture, and maintain. It's the only way that we can move our students and each other forward.
And more than anything else, relationships take time. It really is about time.