Is Our Reliance On Screens Making Professional Relationships Too Impersonal?
Technology has taken the world to new heights over the last few decades. Since the invention of the internet and widespread use of home computers that developed out of the rivalry between Microsoft and Apple in the 1980’s and onward, technology has developed at an almost unimaginable speed. Without the internet and laptops, Facebook wouldn’t have been developed on a laptop in a Harvard dorm room.
Thanks to companies like Amazon and others, you can now purchase almost anything on the internet and have it shipped to your door. Tech tools like Slack, Asana, and Zoom have made working from home possible for many people during the pandemic. Being able to order food online has helped people avoid crowded places and adhere to quarantine regulations. In many ways, we owe a lot to technology and have certainly benefited from it. It’s true that these technological innovations have given us a lot, but we have also lost the ability to socialize or have personal interactions.
People now spend the majority of their time interacting with others over the internet, rather than in person. In a sense, computers have taken away face-to-face professional relationships. These professional relationships have been disappearing even more since the coronavirus pandemic began.
A Sense of Community in Professional Relationships is Gone
Gone are the days when everyone in their town knew the local plumbers and electricians. These types of professional relationships and the sense of community that they created have mostly disappeared. It used to be that the people who were in service professions knew all of their clients personally and were often on a friendly basis with them. You knew the local service professionals names and would say hi to them when you saw them at the supermarket buying their groceries for the week.
If you go even farther back, this was even more the case. Have you ever watched an old western movie? Everyone in the towns where those movies take place knows each other, and the local Sheriff has a professional relationship and friendship with everyone, even though he is in a position of authority. It’s often the outsiders who cause the trouble, and when it’s not the problems are solved more quickly.
In the 1950’s there was a great sense of unity. After World War II, people were ready to form strong communities and build one on one professional relationships during a prosperous time. Also, the time of personal computers in every home was still a ways away, so when someone needed a professional to work for them, they simply reached out to that person personally, either on the phone or through meeting in person.
Now that computers and smartphones are so prevalent, people communicate almost entirely through screens. It’s great that you can hire someone with a click of a button, because it makes everything easier and quicker. Because we can so easily search for the “Top 10 Plumbers near me” on Google, we no longer rely on personal professional relationships. Most people now hire someone off of a list who they don’t even know. In many ways this leaves them more vulnerable to scams and in position where they may be nervous because the person who will be doing repairs in their home is a total stranger.
OneBook: Bringing Back Personal Professional Relationships
At OneBook, we want to bring back the one on one professional relationships that used to exist between service professionals and their clients. We want people to feel a sense of community when they hire someone to fix their faucet or repair their broken electrical circuits. That doesn’t mean we are getting rid of the technology that has made everything more simple. There are benefits to the use of technology to hire people too. We just want to provide a more community centered user experience online.
We provide customers with profiles of service professionals they can choose to hire, and by hiring only service professionals who have been through our detailed vetting process. This way, the service professionals who can be hired on the OneBook platform will be people that customers will want to be friends with and who they know they can trust. We offer the best of technology and a sense of community through our easy-to-use platform and easy booking and payment system.
Our goal is to take away any potential stress associated with hiring a service professional, and create an environment where service pros and customers can build lasting professional relationships within local communities.
OneBook aims to combine the benefits of technology with the feeling that you are hiring your neighbor to work on your home; the best of both worlds.