Much as I dislike going to the mall, it does get me out of the house and talking to real people.
I ordered some DVDs online from a big chain that has both online and brick-and-mortor; they were a bit old, so they weren’t in the physical store. Online is great for less popular titles. They were scratched, so I returned them, to the physical store, and at the same time ordered the replacements. They couldn’t do an exchange, it had to be two steps.
Then came the credit card bill. The refund for the return and the amount charged for the replacements weren’t the same.
It cost $10 more, per DVD, to talk to a live person!
Sure, you can argue that it costs the chain less if I do all the data entry myself, using a line I’m paying for, under lights and in a building that don’t affect their bottom line.
But, what does that turn us into? Unsociable denizens of the cyberworld who live in the dark, can’t make small talk, never see the neighbours.
Another small step in the decline of civilization.