As a “later-in-life” mom, the mothers of many of my sons’ friends are about 10 years younger than I am (or more). Even with the age difference, we have a lot in common and I am lucky to call them friends. On the other hand, I do often feel a bit old – many of them truly grew up with much of the technology we take for granted these days. I, on the other hand, remember when we got our first “remote control” for the TV and it was a giant box attached to the TV with a cord – it could barely even reach the sofa.
I often describe myself as young enough to find all of the new technology fascinating, but old enough to wonder if it is all really making us better. I resisted getting a smart phone. For years, I had an old “pay-as-you-go” cell phone. I bought 1000 minutes a year and often didn’t use them all. My first foray into smart-phone territory was my iPod Touch. I found myself using it non-stop when connected to Wi-Fi. (With youngsters around, it was difficult to get out the laptop without little fingers sneaking up behind me and smashing the keys non-stop.) It wasn’t long before I was checking e-mail constantly and becoming an expert typist on that tiny little on-screen keyboard. It was all downhill from there.
Yesterday, for the first time, I tried the new Walmart Scan & Go feature. You just download the Walmart app for your iPhone, scan your items as you shop and then, in theory, check out in seconds at the self-check register. I was like a kid in a candy store. I bought things I didn’t need just because I wanted to scan more items. The app kept track of each item and showed me my estimated order total so I could stay on budget (good luck with that). They even have new scales in the produce department where you can weigh your items and print out stickers with a barcode (like the labels you get when buying deli counter items). You just scan those barcodes and you are set.
Oh, and if you really want to blow the budget, you can spend the $4.00 to buy Walmart’s reusable grocery bag that hooks onto the sides of the cart. As you scan each item, you just drop it in the bag. When you get to check out, there is nothing left to do but pay.
The “oy vey” moment came when I got to the register and realized, after getting help from several employees, that I had been scanning everything into my “List” and not into my “Cart.” We could have just scanned our items the normal way and headed home – but I was determined to make this work. We got out of line, spent 5 minutes trying to figure out how to scan them the correct way and went from there. The second time was the charm and we were able to finish up our transaction as promised.
I can definitely say that this did not save me time on first use. I’m not even certain it will save time in the future… but, it sure was fun. I will definitely be a regular user. It made the shopping trip more entertaining. I can even get Big I to help me scan in the future.
I am adding this to my list of Favorite Things.