Information Over-ask

What’s your phone number? What’s your email address? What’s your zip code? Why do I need to provide all this information if I am purchasing something with cash and not applying for a mortgage loan? Everywhere we turn, it seems everybody wants our information, and we all know why. It is compiled and analyzed into a market strategy used to sell us more and more things that we neither need nor want.
     Recently, after procrastinating too long, my husband decided that he needed a hair cut, and fast. He went into a “Walk-ins Welcome” salon. Before even saying hello, the lady at the front desk said, “Did you register online for a cut?” Bob shamefully replied, “No.”  The two older gentlemen behind him were asked the same question. It was clear they had no idea what she was talking about. Next, instead of asking what kind of cut or service he would like, she said “What’s your phone number?” Bob complied. The older gentlemen revolted. One, with a snicker, gave a six digit number instead of the anticipated seven digits. The other, with a defiant look in his eye, flat out refused. I silently wondered what his phone number had to do with his hair.
     Can you have too much information and too little intuition?  When a person enters a place of business, a friendly greeting seems like an obvious expectation. However, more and more, we are greeted with an immediate request, if not demand, for our information, with no apparent regard for the fact that we may not care to share it.
     We live in the Information Age, in which our personal data is coveted because it equates to access and marketing power. I am not opposed to all the ways technology has changed our lives. Admittedly, I love my smart phone and can’t even imagine living one day without it. However, like most things in life, striking a balance is key. Remembering to say hello and have an actual conversation with the people right in front of us is more essential than gaining data to be plugged into that vast, invisible storehouse called the internet. Conversation and connection are part of what makes us human.
     Shore Local Newsmagazine is bucking the trend. Although we value our website and digital content, we love creating a tangible publication that can be paged through or left on the coffee table to revisit later. Photos and features of the people, places, and exciting events in our community are of paramount importance to us. This issue highlights some of the innovative and effective programs in our area that are responding to the opioid crisis and aiding addiction recovery.  We also celebrate the commitment and generosity of Chefs on a Mission as they hit another milestone. As in every issue, you will also find listings of fun activities for the whole family. We hope you are enjoying a fun, safe, and memorable summer.

By Cindy Fertsch