‘Imagine you are visiting a new city and get lost on your way to that famous must-see museum. In times of yore – actually just about 10 years ago – you might have had to consult a friendly local to direct you. Today, with all the friendly locals still very much around you on the street, you might find yourself reaching for the powerful fountain of information in your pocket – your smartphone. Directions to the museum, recommendations for the best places to have lunch and much more are literally at your fingertips, anytime and anywhere you go.
Such convenient access to information is no doubt useful. Our map apps might well be more reliable (and more likely to be in our native language) than the confusing directions of a stranger. And we run zero risk of getting into an unpleasant interpersonal interaction. But could there be costs to this technological convenience?’