Tuesday, October 2
The Tech Glitch
I have to say that I don't see our government as a technology "power user." However, this became even more clear several weeks ago when I attempted to buy a treasury bond for my niece. This experience was already feeling a bit heavy because it was the first time this idea had come to mind for me, and it reminded me that this was my grandfather's favorite gift to give throughout much of my childhood. This memory made me realize that only the aged think of this as a gift option, and this would make me aged. But, then, to make it even worse, the timeless tradition of buying treasury bonds has been catapulted out of the Stone Age and into modernity. My nostalgia for times past came to a screeching halt when the bank informed us that banks no longer sell treasury bonds. Why don't our financial institutions sell these financial products? Well, that is because the government decided to throw the entire process into the trusting hands of...the internet. This seemed a good idea until I reached the "Treasury Direct" rabbit hole/web site. In order to buy bonds, you must create an account. In order to gift bonds, the recipient must have an account. Regardless, you purchase your bond and then you can only electronically transfer it to the recipient 5 days later. This is a very brief version of a very difficult process.
I agree that technology can be super great. I mean, what would we all be doing with our endless minutes of life if it weren't for the ability to bounce from app to app, site to site and e-mail to text? And what would I do when I end up in Jebbia's, looking to buy a fresh herb and have no idea what I should be looking for? Without Google images, these moments would force me to actually speak to a store clerk. In any case, though, I do think there are some things best left untouched by the digital age. The treasury bond purchase process would be first on that list...and the up-and-coming driverless car may very well be a second.