The Cost of Convenience
We can do everything online these days— date, attend school, work, listen to new music, and even shop with the option to have our products delivered directly to our front doors. Even if we opt to enter a physical store, self checkout and self serve options are littered everywhere. Opportunities to meet new people in person are being stripped away. It is now considered unusual to make small talk with strangers.
As a society, are we better off now than we were before these convenient inventions?
Looking at online dating, it is easy to say that the popular apps cannot hold up to the quality of meeting someone and dating face to face. The safety factor alone tips the scale. Since these apps are comprised of images and text messages, it is far too easy for users to lie. Those with good intentions can not be confident the person on the other side of the screen has used their own photographs on their profile.
Texting in general is not a suitable replacement for spoken conversations. So much is said in tone and facial expressions. While it may be easier to say something bold through a text message, there is more meaning behind a vocalized declaration. Difficult situations are how humans learn and grow. By taking the easy way out, it hinders an individual’s personal growth.
With a click of a button, thousands of songs and movies are available with a simple internet connection. This abundance of options makes the art of film and music more casual. When everything is at our fingertips without any effort, it no longer feels special. Recently the new streaming service Disney+ has released their new films in theaters and through the app simultaneously. This strips away the specialty of the release date. Fans no longer had to rush to the theaters in hopes of getting a seat before the showing sold out. It is easy to become entitled when we become accustomed to the things we enjoy available at our leisure.
Some of these conveniences can be simply too enticing to pass up. It is considerably easier to apply to a bulk of jobs when the applications are online. If someone is strapped for cash and want to learn something new, there are resources like YouTube online that can be of great help.
This brings up the common question of quantity or quality— which is better? The internet and consistently added apps bring the general population a cornucopia of new ways to pass time. On the other hand leaving the house and browsing a store is easier on the eyes. Without self checkout options, there would be more jobs available for those looking for entry level positions or flexible work. Without the option of online dating, it would not be considered taboo to approach a crush and ask them out on a date. Without social media, bullying would not follow people to the comfort of their own homes. Working in an office or studying at school means there is a clear divide between work and home. The lack of online ordering and ebooks would help revitalize libraries.
Quality of life should be a priority. Humans can survive life for decades without truly living. These conveniences encourage isolation, not independence. A cell phone should be a luxury, not a lifeline.