CEO Dad’s Tuesday Tirade….
In a startling development that could have major ramifications worldwide, citizens of the Philippines have begun sending money to each other over their cell phones.
Families who work outside of their home in the Philippines use the service (which costs only a few cents compared to an expensive wire transfer) to send money to their families, and local people send money to their kids, who simply have to send a code from their mobile phone to a nearby bank, go in, confirm the code and get their money. The service is especially useful because the recipient does not need to have a bank account to take advantage of it.
As someone who deals daily with work/life balance issues, I urge my readers to take serious steps to stop this feature becoming the norm in America. Write your Congressperson, march on Washington…if you have to, start building a giant wall between the Philippines and the nearest point of entry into the States. Anything to keep this disastrous idea from making it to our cell phones.
First of all, when I think of a group of people without their own bank accounts, I think of young children. The overwhelming urge for the work/life challenged to get on with their busy day and throw money at a problem is already great enough. You come home tired, emotionally unavailable, and when your offspring have exhausted their attempts at trying to engage you on a human level, they go to the fall back position you always force them into: giving them money. Now, if cell phone developments proceeds apace, they will be able to text message you any time of day requesting moolah, and all you have to do (preoccupied as you are with this or that meeting/presentation/conference call) is enter a code that lets them walk into the nearest bank and snag their cash. Problem solved. The kids love you, and you didn’t even have to be there. Once again, so-called advancements in technology make it easier to avoid human contact, and go for the quick fix.
This also has serious implications for anyone involved in dysfunctional co-dependency with a friend or relative (let’s just say, for the sake of argument, a deadbeat second cousin who won’t look for work no matter how long he’s been crashing on the pullout couch—oh, and if you’re reading this, “Arthur,” that was purely hypothetical). You know you should address the larger issues that keep you locked into their neediness, but if you can make it go away for another few months with a quick text message (not even any talking! The way we like it!), there’s another sticky point you can forget about and concentrate on being a mover and shaker.
Whatever practical use this new cash-transfer-via-cell-phone feature has in other nations, we in the land of addictive personalities and conspicuous consumption do not need the temptation. It took about two weeks for the Blackberry to become the Crackberry, and that’s without the added feature of access to fast cash. I mean, do we really want that geek in the Verizon commercials to start saying “can you pay me now?”