“It is raining today, and I need an umbrella. Let me just get onto amazon and order it!” And in exactly 30 seconds, I got what I needed, and with amazon prime delivery, it would be at my doorstep on the same day. I thought to myself – “That was quick and convenient, and I didn’t even have to put in the effort to go outside!”
And then, I spent the next thirty minutes browsing through amazon and ordered 4-5 items including clothes, accessories and watches. This worked perfectly, for someone like me since I despise the hours wasted in stores. Online shopping gives me a chance to sit in my room and see multiple stores at once, without needing to walk around aimlessly in a mall. That would be one day from my life, I would never get back. On the other hand, online shopping is a dream come true! There are only 3 simple steps:
- Browse online
- Choose the items
- Pay for them
Could it be any easier?!
While I smile to myself, about that F.R.I.E.N.D.S reference, (All hail Chandler Bing!) I cannot but wonder, what I lost out in that transaction.
I lost, a reason to go outside, in the real world.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I will probably continue to shop online, for the most part. However, the loss in this choice, is definitely something to think about. If we turn back time, to the 90’s, where the online world did not exist, our neighbouring areas were our world.
Back then, as children, the only stores we could access were the ones near our home. Right before summer vacations were ending, I used to go to the local store with my mother, to buy all the school supplies.
It was a magical world where there were stacks of colorful lunch boxes and lines of water bottles, which made my face light up. Then, after touching and opening 10 boxes, I would choose one. This was not before a lovely banter with my mother about how I did not need a new and expensive lunchbox, but I insisted that I had to buy a new one, with my current favorite cartoon character.
That was a beautiful time, when simple instances became memories.
This is because, we would use all our senses to understand and interact with the world.
Today, two forces stop us from this interaction:
- The alluring world behind the screen and
- The innate desire for convenience over effort.
We make several choices, simply by a click of a button.
Every time, a decision is made to do something online v/s going out and doing it: We form a math equation in our head. If I were to do this physically, I would lose ‘x’ in time and ‘y’ in effort and ‘z’ for the time I could use to do something else.
However, this equation, does not account for the beauty of the world outside which does is neither a part of convenience nor effort, it is beyond what we can measure.
It is a real experience.
Therefore, for every choice made by clicking, you lose an opportunity to create a memory or the chance to observe something real.
So, if it is a rainy day – Get up, and go outside. Walk and feel the raindrops on your face and go buy that raincoat.
It is okay.
Go and get wet.
Choose an experience.