Of course, not all the abilities gifted to us by the web are desirable but many are. I love being able to pay my bills online (at least until the global internet meltdown happens and I lose all my money). A quick check-in at ten at night beats trekking along to the bank in your lunch hour and spending that entire hour standing in line with your cheque book to pacify British Gas.
The other thing you had to fit into your lunch hour — because, naturally, all the banks closed at 3.30pm (the time they still consider the financial day to close) and weren’t open at all at weekends — was to get hold of some money.
Until cash machines started blossoming during the 1980s, getting your hands on actual cash was a procedure. Millions of us would have to travel to our local branches to get some money. You’d have to go into the actual bank even to check whether you had any money you could take out. Satisfied I was solvent, I could write myself a cheque — payable to “Self” — and cross my fingers the queue process wasn’t going to take the entire lunch hour.
When was the last “Self” cheque written in Britain? I wonder. Of course, if you wanted to go to a bank and write one now, it might take much longer just to find a nearby branch than to queue in it.
You might be unlikely to do that, however, as the UK has 70,000 cashpoints, from which we take around £10 billion every month.
But why even bother with the cash? You can purchase directly on the web. Many of us do just that. In 2017, we’re spending around $750,000 on online purchases.
Far easier than the original selfie.