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The Starbucks Effect on Tech

This seems like an odd title, and you’re right. What the hell does Starbucks have with tech? Besides social media, apps. or emojis – nothing. It’s more of an idea that sprouted forth from my caffeinated mind. People generally buy things based on convenience. Even though there could be better products out there, many people believe Starbucks is good coffee.

This is going to hurt, Starbucks is terrible coffee. You’re probably in two camps after that sentence. One, you’re questioning if I’m right; or, you’re nodding in agreement because you know it’s true. The Starbucks effect is in tech too. Most people are tech illiterate. In a world extremely reliant on tech, people do not know how these machines function. Now that I have established an interesting premise for the Google rankings, let’s move the meat of this article.

Sugary Drinks, Meet Shiny Tech:

Most people who go to Starbucks get the flavored drinks. It’s obvious from how many flavored drinks they bring to the market. That means people do not taste the burned coffee. Now, don’t get me wrong, Starbucks, in the beginning, did great things for the coffee scene. That time has long passed. Starbucks is solely reliant on flavored drinks. These drinks have six to seven pumps of sugar in each drink. Coming from a barista, that’s quite a pick of sugar. I usually only put two in a 16-ounce cup. While you’re slurping the delicious sugar, I’m going to talk about Apple, yes, that Apple.

Apple has done a wonderful job conditioning people to not care about inner workings of the computer. Most people will buy an Apple because it works. If you ask them what CPU does Apple use? How much RAM does a MacBook have? Have you done some comparison shopping? Usually, it’s a no. My generation is bad at getting the shiny tech and not caring about the research. It’s the same as Starbucks. They have great flavored drinks that are so sugary, you cannot taste the coffee. Great coffee does have great taste. Great tech does not have to look sexy.

The Reason:

Most people seem to treat shopping for tech like shopping for coffee. That means whatever looks good and “works” or “gives me that caffeine hit;” must be a good product. It’s funny that we do not care about researching tech or coffee. We consume or use them every day.  It’s a reason why I called my blog/podcast Digital Coffee. They go well together.  However, the problem I have with my generation and America is they know little to nothing about the tech they use or the coffee they consume. We are busy with our lives that we think it’s not as important to know about tech. Being around tech has made everyone, more tech illiterate.

Starbucks and Apple have done a great job making the appearance of their products look appealing. Looks do matter. Most PC manufacturers have changed their designs to look more like a Macbook. Recent laptops look great on the outside. This was not the case 10 years ago. Apple, like Starbucks, rarely talk about the inner workings of their product. Their marketing the look of their products. It’s all about the outside. The new flavor or color. I do not care about rose gold. Ugh, I wish that was never a thing. Starbucks announces new sugary drinks all the time. One example: The S’more frappucino. I look at that and wonder what the espresso taste like. You cannot tell under that several layers of sugar. The consumer has come to expect that if it looks good on the outside it must be great.

Why This Matters:

It matters because people should know how coffee tastes. They should know what a CPU and RAM are in relations to how a computer works. It will also bring an appreciation to how far we’ve progressed in tech. The other reason is because of the government wanting to spy on everything you do online. Even the case of Net Neutrality, it took John Oliver to get people to care.

It was a great video summarizing the importance of a free and open internet. However, why should we only care when a popular personality tells us? In the same way, why does no one care their coffee? How are the beans roasted, or how they do an espresso shot? The government is not going to stop trying to find ways to spy on people.

They are not going to stop taking bits of our freedoms away. More importantly, understanding how technology works make people understand how to build them. Building a computer makes you have a sense of pride in the tech you own. It was built by you, you can upgrade it, and you do not have to spend $2,500 for a new one. Knowing more about tech also makes you scrutinize more about why it costs this much for this product. It also helps consumers not be taken advantage of when buying a new phone, tablets, or laptop.

So, next time, when you get that cup of coffee or look at that new tech; learn something about it.

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