The End of the World as We Know It

butterfly on handIntro: I was talking with my wife tonight, and the subject of Automated Teller machines came up. She mentioned that she paid extra one month for having an interaction with a real person, a real physical human being. My reaction: total disbelief. So, I investigated, and here’s what I found. It’s true.

From CNBC:

Banks now want you to pay for face time, as more institutions charge fees for what was once the ritual for withdrawing and depositing your money: interacting with a teller.

In December customers with “Virtual Wallet” accounts at Pittsburgh-based PNC could see a monthly fee added to do their banking in a branch. Among the ways to waive the $7 charge: be a student, hold a minimum balance of $500, or pledge to bank only online, by mobile or at an ATM.

“The question is, what are consumers going to be willing to pay for?” said Neil Weinberg, editor of The American Banker. “What is a premium service that they’re willing to see fees from? That’s the experimentation.”

Let me get this straight. I’m supposed to pay extra for interacting with a human being. And they’re marketing it as, well, if I want the extra service, I should be willing to pay for it.

Sorry, folks. That’s the end of the world as we know it. We are programming our children into being little screen-time interactees, and future resolutions will simply be rearrangement of screen time. Please, let’s get the kids out there playing in the mud, playing turf warfare on the playground, wrestling for style points, instead of sticking a screen in front of their malleable little faces and imploring them to play the online game and let mommy or daddy get on with the adult business at hand.

I’m not trying to self promote here, but I have already laid out my parenting strategy in my book The Practical Guide to Weekend Parenting. And I can tell you without going back and looking, I stressed both physical and intellectual and emotional activities to strengthen the bond between parent and child. And in all 3 of those situations, not once is there a break in the face-time between child and adult.



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