Credit card snack machines tempting

Katrina Mossberger

The vending machines scattered among the buildings on campus are a quick source of food to satisfy a hunger rumble, especially during those long three hour night classes. They’re full of delicious snacks, most of which are not great for your health. The vending machines in Manzanita Hall and Sierra Hall are now accepting credit cards, breaking my last line of defense for denying myself a snack between classes.

It can be seen as a burden, making it harder to deny yourself some food to save money if cash is left at home. Others, however, find the ability to use their plastic at a vending machine liberating, able to buy food at any time. It is a hassle when you truly need cash and have to find an ATM to make a withdrawal. These new vending machines have cut out the middleman.

It seems wrong on some level that even vending machines have made the switch to credit cards, deepening our love easy credit. Using your credit card in a machine also seems a little iffy. I’m sure I’m not the only one who wouldn’t want to put their credit card in a machine and never have their tab closed by accident. I don’t like the idea of paying for the entire day’s worth of purchases because of a potential weird computer glitch.

With the ability to use a credit card at a machine, students will be more apt to buy more junk food and spend more money. It’s easier to just give in and buy a pack of frosted doughnuts and a bag of Cheetos instead of deciding between the two when you can just swipe. Not only will it increase the chance you’ll over-eat, but that you’ll over-spend. Counting out each dollar as you put them in the machine keeps you aware how much you spend. It’s a lot easier to ignore when you’re just swiping a card.

Despite these misgivings, these new vending machines are definitely more convenient. No more digging in the bottom of pockets or purses for change, just pop in your card and you’re done. Companies want to give their customers as much convenience as possible, so they’ll spend as much money as possible. We students want greater convenience because we’re busy and rushed. Even a little break at the vending machine is nice.

These credit card accepting vending machines are moving right along with technology, allowing us greater convenience. Japan has had the new vending machines for a while now, and they sell much more than just snacks and soda. The U.S. is bound to follow.

I’m sure sometime later in the semester, despite my misgivings, someone’s going to catch me using my card in those machines to buy chocolate covered doughnuts because the convenience is just too hard to resist.