It’s Wednesday morning. This time my day as well is completely filled with things to do. While the masses were trying to get to the job in time during the morning rush hours I drank my morning coffee and went on a seaside jog. Morning coffee, jog, and shower - my ideal recipe for a fresh start of the day.
My plans today include giving keys to the Airbnb guests. As I mentioned already, my uncle owns several properties in Riga and I help to manage them. This time the guests are Latvian youth, which is quite unusual. They want to spend a birthday in a relaxing place with a guitar. This will also be the first time when I won’t be showing the apartments personally as we agreed to meet in a small pub. I don’t know why exactly this place, because it wasn’t close to neither the Airbnb apartment or my home. The client just asked for it and I was trying to get a good Airbnb review.
My to-do-list was filling up one by one. The time to give keys had come and I had to hurry. That was the moment I noticed that my phone was almost dead, as well as the fact that the charger in my car recently broke. How was this possible? I couldn’t understand - did I just forget to charge the phone during the night or I had used it so intensely that the battery just gave up? While I still had the possibility I rushed to write down the persons name - Kārlis, phone number and the location of the pub where we had scheduled our meetup, which was due in 15 minutes. Damn! I didn’t even know where exactly in Riga was this pub located and what will happen if my phone will be dead by then? At that moment I was trying to remember how to turn on battery super-saving mode on my Samsung phone, when the screen turns black and white, turns off almost all applications and functions, and only lets you use it for calls and messages. While turning it on my phone battery drops from 2% to 1%. I thought about going in a shop and buying another charger or power bank. Unfortunately, there were no such shops nearby. And I don’t even have any time for that. I hate being late! To be late for a meeting with someone means that you don’t respect their time nor the person themselves. As in any other business, Airbnb reputation is really important. The feedback will determine how many guests the Airbnb will continue to receive.
At that moment I understood that without my phone I feel handless. Usually, I would type the address in Waze so I could get the fastest possible route and would put on my favorite music in Spotify. When there I would call Kārlis and without any hassle, give the keys.
I could only hope my phone would survive enough so I could at least call one time.
To solve my navigation issues I talk to a young guy, who while walking on the street was looking in his phone all the time. What an unusual sight to see nowadays, huh?
I shouted, ‘Excuse me, can you help me out?’ The guy almost dropped his phone out of surprise. I continued, ‘Can you show me one address in Google Maps?’
So I found out where the pub was located and tried to figure out the closest route all on my own. This time I couldn’t focus on any other thing, only the route. I found the pub relatively easy and there even was a parking space free in front of the pub. Just as I was ready to call Kārlis, my phone gave up, showed the Samsung logo and shut off. And oh so wonderfully I was also without any possibility to pay for my parking with Mobilly, so I tried to fit everything in 15 minutes so I wouldn’t get another nasty surprise.
While going in the pub I was naively hoping that the only one there will be Kārlis. I noticed two young guys sitting at the bar counter, who were chatting between themselves. I was almost sure one of them was going to be Kārlis. I went to them and asked for Kārlis, but instead of answering they looked at me, confused. I guess that won’t do. Desperately I looked through the room and noticed that there was one more room with tables and there I found a group of young people drinking beers. Next to one of them, I noticed a guitar case. Found them!
When everything was done, I went out of the bar. I sat in the car and was happy everything turned out so great. At that moment I started to wonder about how I have become so addicted to technologies. How many phone numbers do we even know by heart nowadays? Do we even know our loved ones’ or parents’ numbers? To be frank, I have known only my own number for a long time. I know some people who don’t even know that. What would we do if Facebook didn’t remind us of all the friends’ birthdays? I even have an app that tells me today’s name days. How did people even live without all these technologies that we can’t imagine our life without? I remember my dad used to know every street in Riga and all possible shortcuts to not get in traffic jams. Nowadays we don’t need to worry about it, because Waze will guide you through the fastest routes. It would be interesting to research how much time it saves if you are not the only one who drives through those shortcuts, but all the other people who use Waze as well.
But...is it truly bad that we have countless helpers who ease our life? Is it bad that while driving home, tired, you don’t need to think about the best route home, but can think about what to get in the grocery shop, or quickly make plans for the evening? Is it bad that you can remember all the birthdays of friends and acquaintances, congratulate them and at least not lose the connection?
Of course, I don’t know where technologies will bring us and what will happen in the future, but it has changed our lives a lot. But we can’t forget what are the true values of life and how important it is to communicate with people in real life. At least in the moments, we spend dining with friends, or talking with parents the best thing would be to put down the phone and spend at least half an hour genuinely talking and laughing. In my opinion, we need to find the golden edge of the cloud or the fine line between the time when technology serves man and man serves technology. We need to find the ideal balance between real human values and modern technologies because in any case both of them will influence our future.