Last week, I was working in the florist when a customer came in. The exchange went something like this:
Susie: Hi! How can I help?
Customer: I’m looking for a bunch of white lilies please
S: Sure, let me make you one!
C: They’re not very bright are they.
No, they are white lilies
C: Let’s try some gerberas. Yep.
S:*makes another bunch*
C: That’s not quite what I had in mind. Actually I saw these tulips on Instagram, can you do something like that?
S: *makes another bunch*
C: You know what, on second thoughts there was this beautiful arrangement I saw on Pinterest….. etc. etc. etc.
Why am I telling you this? Because it got me thinking. It’s so easy in today’s society for everyone to be an “expert”. The rapid transformation of media from centralised to distributed information flows has meant the user becomes the centre, and can readily access the information they require. Consequently, there have been fundamental changes in world perception, culture, daily life, and many other aspects of human existence.
In the distant past, the customer could enter the shop, see what products were available, select their product, and then leave. The move towards a decentralised mode of communication has caused today’s media to saturate our daily lives.
And beyond that, it has changed the dynamics of labour, forcing the workplace to move from industrial labour, factory machines and assembly line format, to information machines and information processing.
Could a profession so labour intensive and creative such as floristry ever become completely automated? Perhaps a robot might do a better job reading minds than I can.
The background music is too real…