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Do we rely too much on technology?

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I’ve seen many people struggling during lockdown when their WiFi goes down. In fact, in the UK, TalkTalk and Sky Broadband have seen some big issues with celebrities complaining and those who are vulnerable not only losing their internet access but also their telephone access during lockdown Christmas. Not good.

It made me think about whether we rely on technology too much these days?

I remember I had the issue at one book launch in the basement of a cool venue which, as it turned out, had no WiFi and blocked telephone access in the conference room. That made it pretty hard to sell books using my contactless payments terminal.

Equally, Visa and MasterCard had outages in the past couple of years due to a hardware trip and a software glitch. It may have only been for hours, but it was enough to capture the media’s attention and ask the question: does this mean I should always carry cash with me, just in case?

My answer is to always have a range of options. I have three card networks in my wallet – both physical and virtual cards – and cash in the case just in case too.

Thing is that this is also something that can be exploited by clever firms who want you to remember that not everything is about technology, so I thought I’d share today three of my favourite adverts that play into this space. You may have seen them already, but they’re always worth another viewing.

First is the Dutch insurance firm Centraal Beheer, and this advert has done the rounds for a few years but, just in case you haven’t seen it, it’s hilarious:

Equally, there is a fantastic series of adverts by the Norwegian grocery chain called REMA 1000. It plays on the flaws and foibles of voice controlled smart things. This was the first one of theirs that I saw.

But my personal favourite is this one.

Oh, and there’s one more, not so clever but still funny

Who said Norwegians had no sense of humour?

I’m sure other advertisements are using humour to poke fun at technology. If you have any favourites of your own, please let me know.


As readers send recommendations, I thought I would add them.

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Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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