Germany is famous worldwide for its technological innovations. It is the birthplace of the first modern automobile, helicopter, motorcycle, diesel engine, printing press and the MP3 format, and home to companies such as Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Bosch, Siemens, Lufthansa and MAN – just to name a few!
So there is no doubt that Germany is definitely a country at the forefront of modern technology…
… but what about the “Otto Normalverbraucher” (“average Joes”) out there?
Well, that’s a bit of a mixed story.
When a new Apple product is released, there are as many Germans lining up outside the Apple store as in any other country (if not more!). When you walk along the street you’ll see the top of everyone else’s head, because they’re so busy checking their phones. If you don’t know the answer to a question, someone will tell you to “Google es doch einfach!” (“Just google it!”).
Whilst technology seems to be a part of every German’s life, just like in Australia, there is one major difference which you will notice when you visit Germany. Germany has a cash culture. Most people choose not to pay by debit or credit card. This is largely due to privacy reasons – it’s not the bank’s business to know where I’ve been at what time and what I’ve been purchasing! Similarly, quite a few Germans originally opted-out of Google Street View – why should everyone be able to see what my house looks like from the front?
Whilst Germans haven’t quite learnt how convenient card payments can be (don’t you dare start a conversation with a German about how great contactless payments are – they will reply “Das ist nicht sicher!” (“That’s not safe!”)), overall we’d say that this myth is mostly:
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