Monday, May 31, 2010

Is 'customizable culture' a good thing?


Can you have too many options?
Does it benefit you to hyper-specialize?
Should we want, nay - demand to have everything "our way?"
This question was inspired by my trip to Starbucks this morning, to furnish my lovely girlfriend with a coffee to help her grueling 4 a.m. shift. In line, I witnessed people with orders so complicated they had to start ordering when they were third in line. Some required them to visually check the concoction before accepting it. And when one person's orders were not to their liking, they turned into rude jerks within seconds.
So do we win by having these incredibly complicated orders? This goes far beyond coffee - the leading technological culture is all about customizing setting to our whims - think iGoogle, or Ipod skins. So, yes, these customizations fit us better and serve our needs better, but do we lose the ability to compromise, to deviate from our norms, when we are given complete control over what we buy?

2 comments:

shesthesheriff said...

We are the laughing stock of the other developed countries because of this shit. I'm not against lattes, but Starbucks crossed a line-by mcdonaldsizing their stores people no longer feel as embarrassed as they should ordering a 2% half caff white chocolate peppermint/gingerbread mocha. A local coffee shop employee could probably give you a look or talk a little smack without fear of the corporate hammer dropping on them.

I don't usually like king of the hill but the episode where Strickland gets banned from the strip club 'Juggstore Cowboys' kind of reminds me of this post lol.

Dianna said...

Yesterday at Starbucks, a guy asked for his iced latte to be half soy and "extra cold." C'mon.