FRAZIER: Echoes of human interaction amidst the robot revolution

Published 4:00 am Saturday, November 11, 2023

When trying to furnish my youngest daughter’s apartment while she was still in school, we drove out to the Hotel Furniture Warehouse on Highway 61 South.

Since I had shopped there before and bought a couple of pieces of furniture to repurpose, I knew it would be the perfect place to buy quality furniture at discounted prices for a college apartment. We got lucky and found a couple of nice chairs and a coffee table.

Fortunately for us, the chairs matched the décor well enough that we didn’t have to have them reupholstered, but I did wind up chalk-painting the cute little coffee table.

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Those pieces of furniture served her well, so much so that now that she is married, she and her husband are using the chairs in their home. The coffee table, however, was a bit small with their newly acquired sofa, so I brought it to my house intending to repurpose it for my sunroom.

Remember, I had already chalked painted it, but throughout living in a college apartment, it had acquired a few more paint colors — my daughter enjoys painting — and her dog made a meal of one of the corners. So, I knew I would have to redo what I had already done.

In the process of working on this hotel furniture piece once more, I began to consider the idea of chunking it. I mean, it would certainly be less work to replace it rather than to repurpose it.

While I was contemplating what to do, another thought came to mind — one that you may think is totally unrelated — but since I have a brain that can dive into rabbit holes, this notion to replace the coffee table also got me thinking about the city’s new garbage trucks.

I know it’s crazy, but it’s OK since I live with a therapist.

It occurred to me that with these newfangled trucks with their mechanical grab-and-go arms, people were replaced with machinery.

Perhaps these trucks are saving us a few bucks, but I miss my friendly garbage men who would wave at me, and who would not only dump out the trash in my garbage can, but they would also toss in the overflow that I sometimes had sitting beside it.

I certainly hope these friendly fellows didn’t get the boot and were just “re-purposed.”

We are living in a time when human contact is becoming scarce, and people are being replaced with robots. Texts and emails have become the norm for communication. No more picking up the phone and talking directly to someone.

I personally like hearing someone’s voice on the other end of the line.

Then there is this new artificial intelligence. While there may be some pros to this new technology, I am afraid there will be plenty of cons.

I think we must stay cognizant of the importance of human contact. Even Albert Einstein was worried about technological advances.

He once said, “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”

With that being said, I think I will head out for a can of paint. Repurposing that coffee table seems like the smart thing to do.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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