I cannot imagine life without the internet. My suburban living arrangements give me access to wired broadband service through either cable or fiber-optic. If I lived in a rural area, I would have to go for something like Blazing Hog’s 4G rural internet service. There are just too many things I do online.
There are definitely some things I would rather do in-person. But for those things that I prefer to do online, there really is no comparison. It is online or nothing for me. Need examples? Here are five things that are better done online rather than in person:
1. Renewing My License and Registration
I am in my late 50s. I got my driver’s license when I was 17 and my first car when I was 18. I have dutifully renewed my license and various registrations ever since. Both are tasks better done online.
In the old days, going to the DMV was an event. One could literally sit at the DMV for half-a-day waiting to go to the counter just to pay a fee and get a new registration. Half-a-day, people.
The last time I went to the DMV in-person was in 2013. I had no choice. I had to visit because I had recently moved to a new state. Needless to say, I haven’t been back since.
2. Paying My Bills
Paying my bills in person is a real drag. I haven’t done it since the 1980s. Back when paying bills in-person was a thing, you wrote checks or purchased money orders and then dropped them off at your creditor’ offices. Thank goodness paying by mail became a thing. These days though, I don’t even pay by mail. I handle my bills online. No more checks to write or envelopes to stuff.
3. Filing My Taxes
When I first started paying taxes back in the early 1980s, people either filed their returns themselves or hired a professional tax preparer. Do it yourself and you had to go visit the local IRS office or library to pick up paper forms. Get ready to stand in line. If you hired a tax preparer, you would have to plan an office visit that could take several hours.
I would much rather file my taxes online. I keep all the pertinent data in digital form, leaving me to do little more than cut and paste into my tax software. In no time at all my return is completed, filed, and forgotten about.
4. Utilizing Customer Service
These days I would rather utilize customer service – any kind customer service, by the way – through online means. I am not a fan of retail customer service desks. I am not a big fan of trying to solve a problem over the phone. With online support tickets, I can take care of anything faster and more efficiently.
5. Doing My Banking
Last but not least, I think banking online is far superior to the in-person experience. So much so that I cannot tell you the last time I stepped into a brick-and-mortar. I utilize direct deposit for all my income so there is no running to the bank to cash checks. In the unlikely event I do receive a check from someone, I deposit it online via a mobile app.
The internet offers plenty of opportunities to avoid doing things in-person. Doing them online isn’t always the wisest choice, but it works extremely well when it is. It works so well that there are certain things I plan to never do in person again if I can help it.