I’ve been lamenting lately about how life has changed in the short time I have been on this earth, and how life and the day-to-day seems to be changing faster and faster and faster. The way of life today looks almost nothing like what it was 30 years ago, and 20 years from now it will look even more dissimilar. We have had so many advancements in technology, social media and social norms which mostly have been positive, but with every action there is a reaction, and some are not as positive. Mostly I wonder if all of the advancements in life have actually brought new challenges and stresses instead of making our lives more streamlined. Basically, the easier life gets, the harder it gets.
The Easier Life Gets, The Harder it Gets
The other day while spending my entire morning chasing my tail doing errands and trying to get things done, I starting bitching to myself, “Isn’t the internet supposed to make my life easier? With all these services, shouldn’t there be less chores? Why do I have to make 37 different stops to check off my to-do list when everything is supposed to be automated these days??” I started making a list in my phone of all the ways ‘advancements’ have made my life more difficult. Here is the short list:
- Amazon vs. the endless stream of boxes that need to be broken down and taken to recycling
- ALL ONLINE SHOPPING vs. the exact same thing as above
- Women’s empowerment vs. What women actually want (i.e. maybe we don’t WANT to work long hours… maybe we just WANT to be moms?)
- Rent the runway vs. returning the orders to UPS
- Deliveries vs. tracking shipments, dealing with returns, printing labels, scheduling pickups or dropping off
- Online everything vs. remembering and updating password that get hacked, trying to keep them somewhere you won’t forget but also away from potential thieves
- ‘We Don’t Use Paper Bags’ vs. ‘Good luck finding a place for your 1490 reusable bags in your home’
- Uber vs. wasting time waiting for a car instead of driving yourself, wasting money that could be spent on public transportation
- Gel Nail polish vs. having to go BACK to the nail salon to get it removed
- Every baby service and class available vs. the stress of paying for it, supplying food, making sure they have adequate social time, music time, outdoor time, STEM time, alone time, pool time, story time, nap time…
- Back up cameras vs. no one knows how to parallel park any more
- Iphone charging suitcases vs. batteries that blow up mid air (I see you, AWAY)
- IKEA is cheap vs. IKEA is a pain in the ass
- Electric cars vs. needing to find places to charge them
- Smart Homes vs. why do I need another device spying on me, it never connects to my WIFI, no I do not want you to ship me more Amazon stuff unknowingly, and now my child can control the music in the house?
This may seem just like a list of gripes, but I have to ask, are all these ‘improvements’ really improving our lives? Listen, I’m guilty as hell when it comes to trying out new technologies, but recently I’ve had to step back and reverse my habits to a more ‘primitive’ way of life. What does that mean? That means, using Amazon as little as possible, and actually going to Target or wherever to get my shopping done, without insane boxes and returns to deal with. It also means being ok with my child not having all the classes and ‘developmental’ activities that they say she should have. It means skipping technological items like smart luggage, mindfulness apps, and streaming services that clog up my brain, my phone, my wallet and my home.
But hey, for you it might look different. I like renting books from the library because it saves me money and shelf space, but costs me an extra drive. You may prefer to buy on your kindle. The point is that I’m making a change to cut back, not just on clothing purchases, but on technology consumption, new products that seem too good to be true, and services that end up causing me more stress in the long run.
What about you? What modern conveniences have you shaking your head?