A Society of Convenience

I’m all for a bit of good technology. Heck, I am dying to get my hands on a pair Google Glass and the Cicret wrist band, but when does it become too much? When Staples® began its Easy Button™ marketing campaign, I thought, “I wish it really were that simple!”

Samsung, LG, and GE will soon launch Smart refrigerators that are programmable and let you know when you need milk, eggs, juice, etc–for a hefty price, of course!  What is available these days are robot vacuums, cars that park themselves, and smart phones that are basically pocket-sized computers, TV’s, and stereos.  With Smart Home Systems, you can automate just about everything from lights to door locks using your smart phone from anywhere in the world. It’s the stuff that I dreamed of as a kid when I watched shows like Star Trek, Buck Rogers, and Battlestar Galactica.  And then there was Hal from 2001 Space Odyssey, which set me straight.

When was the last time you walked into a video store? Do they even exist? I have been using Netflix for about 7 or 8 years now, so I don’t even know if video stores are still around.  Between Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Netflix, I don’t even need Cable television, but I do still use their Internet services.  Has anyone recently bought an album in a brick and mortar store? I certainly haven’t!  Several chain grocery stores have latched onto the desire for convenience and now have online grocery shopping.  That’s right, you can sit at your computer, tablet, or use your smart phone to order your groceries and choose a delivery time.  Pretty convenient huh? In this era of online ordering, Amazon wants to make it even easier and more convenient to order the items you need.

Amazon has taken the Staples® Easy Button™ marketing ploy and turned it into a reality.  The Amazon Kindle Store now features the Dash Button that is connected to your wi-fi and Amazon account.  Currently, there are different products that you can order with just the push of a button. Low on coffee? Press the Maxwell House button. Low on detergent? Press the Tide button. No need to worry about sitting at a computer to order your products.

And my grandparents thought that vending machines were a great invention! Ha!

I’m a big fan of innovation spurred on by capitalism, but sometimes I just need to sit back and let the advances of technology soak in.  Is it too much too soon? Will this spur the next phase of consumerist gluttony?  I really don’t know.  I prefer to hunt for bargains and “discover” new things while I shop.  I enjoy the personal contact with sales people, cashiers, and floor managers.  I don’t mind waiting in line, where many good conversations have begun with complete strangers. I like watching the little kids discover the candy aisle.  The weirdo in me also likes to see what garbage everyone else is buying. I’m in no way saying I am perfect, or that I don’t partake in the many conveniences of modern technology, but there are just some things that I never want to give up for the sake of convenience. I order plenty of things on Amazon and other websites, but that’s never been about convenience for me.  I just like a good bargain.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Technology and Convenience. Please feel free to chat away!

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