Shopping. It’s something that is universal in societies everywhere and it’s something that everyone enjoys doing. And whether we realize it or not, we spend most our lives working so that we can eventually go shopping. Whether it’s buying clothes, groceries, a new car, or even a house, we work to get money so that we can spend it on things we need or want.
Technology. It’s an integral part of our society. We measure the progress of civilizations based on their technological advancement. But what is it really? In simple terms, technology is any invention or discovery that makes life easier for people. Take the wheel for example – it is one of the earliest technological advancements of humanity that allows people to travel more efficiently and is such a useful tool that we still use it to this day. A more modern example and one of immense social significance is the internet. Now I don’t think anyone would disagree that the internet has revolutionized every aspect of society as we know it – and if you do still have doubts, just remember that you wouldn’t be able to read these words otherwise.
Now you’re probably wondering what shopping and technology are doing at the top of this article, both in bold as if they were equally significant and/or somehow related. Well firstly, technology – by it’s nature – is involved in literally everything, including shopping.
Don’t believe me? Go look back through previous articles and click on a few of the hyperlinks below the images. Where does it take you? Amazon.com – an internet website that launched almost 20 years ago where most people nowadays do their online shopping. Starting off as an online bookstore, Amazon quickly diversified their products and in the 2000s when internet usage became much more common, Amazon became one of the most popular websites to do online shopping.
In recent years, thanks to tech-advances like PayPal and Bitcoin, internet transactions are becoming almost as common as in-person transactions and as a result, the shopping industry is forced to accommodate. Almost every store (clothing, grocery, etc.) now has a website that shows what products are in stock and what certain prices are. Some grocery stores, such as Safeway even allow you to do your grocery shopping online and have it home delivered!
Now like all things related to technological advancement there has to be some sort of “Is technology ruining our lifestyles?” debate. Well since the question is always out there, why not address it, right?
So, “Is Technology ruining the way we shop?”
Now this may seem like a really ridiculous question. Online shopping is simply so much more convenient. You can compare prices of products from different stores, see what certain store branches have in stock and ultimately purchase your desired products, all from the comfort of your own home. You don’t have to worry about the “store’s hours of operation” or be inconvenienced by driving around town just to get to different stores.
However, like all things tech related, there seems to b a certain lack of personal connection. Part of the reason some people go out physically shopping is so that they get to do a little bonding time with friends or family. Some people like to go to clothing stores to get the opinions of people on their outfit selections, and get trendy new fashion ideas.
Now I know I didn’t answer my own question but when it comes to physical or online shopping, each has it’s merits. The former represents the social aspect of shopping and the latter shows the efficiency and convenience of shopping through technology.
In my opinion, a marriage of these two merits is perhaps the ideal shopping experience. The social aspect plus the ease of the technological convenience.