My Lazy Saturday: Is “App-solute” Convenience Worth It?
It was Saturday, April 9th, 2016. I remember it like it was yesterday. My world would never be the same.
When it all began
It started like any other Saturday: I slept in. When I finally woke up, I was starving and the weather wasn’t cooperating with a walk to a nearby brunch spot (okay, maybe it was more like lunchtime). I had recently created a folder on my iPhone specifically for quick food delivery services. Two of my most frequently used apps: Sprig and UberEats. (Get the inside scoop on these apps & more in our guide to food delivery apps.)
Unfortunately, UberEats doesn’t have instant delivery on Saturdays. Did they seriously expect me to wait more than five minutes for food? Blasphemy!
Meanwhile, Sprig was in the process of scaling their business. That meant they definitely may have collected enough data to know I would be hungry at that very moment. And so I ordered a meal on Sprig. Fifteen minutes later, there was a man at my door delivering me a healthy(ish) meal.
The fateful Saturday continues
Later that day, I tried to Chromecast Netflix from my phone, but something was broken. My internet was down! This hadn’t happened to me in years, but being the expert problem-solver that I am, I did what any tech savant would do.
I pulled the plugs out of the sockets of my wifi router and my Chromecast, waited for a minute or two, and plugged them back in. No change. I called my building to see if there was a building internet issue; there wasn’t. They directed me to our internet service provider who, after conducting some tests, concluded that my wifi router was the issue. Now what?
The weather was crappy, it was a lazy Saturday, and I didn’t know where the closest electronic store was. Then I recalled hearing about Amazon launching a new app, Amazon Prime Now. I downloaded the app and quickly found a selection of wifi routers, chose one, and began the checkout process.
Next day delivery was free, but wait a minute. One hour guaranteed delivery was $7.99. Sold. And the waiting game began. I began impulsively checking the app for the next 45 minutes, tracking everything from the processing and preparation of my order to the location of their closest fulfillment center.
Was this a hoax? Then, literally 45 minutes later, someone knocked on my door. I had experienced this anticipation in the past; however, every time in the past I was waiting for food and starving. Just imagine me in a Snickers commercial.
This time, it was different. I opened the door and was handed a bag as if a meal were in it…and in it was a wifi router. It was possible. My world would never be the same.
A week later, I had more time to reflect upon that Saturday. It was incredible that I could have the things I desperately needed (A.K.A. brunch and internet access) speedily delivered to my own front door with just a few taps on my iPhone.
Still, I wondered if this privilege was truly a good thing. Where is our society headed if our conveniences continue to improve at such a rapid rate? If I couldn’t have a wifi router delivered in less than an hour, would I have left home to try and buy one? Would that excursion have offered me both the mental and physical benefits of leaving the house and walking to a store?
I think there is an inherent tipping point to apps of convenience. Apps like Sprig and Amazon Prime Now are beneficial so long as they don’t instill extreme laziness. Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed that fateful lazy Saturday–but I wouldn’t do that every single day. Relying on apps to bring food and entertainment means that you’d never have to venture outside your home to get these things.
Will convenience technology impact our mental and physical health? What about virtual reality? Will VR advancements take precedence over advancements in actual reality? It’s all very interesting to ponder. We live during a time of aggressive change.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a frequent user of these apps and I know firsthand the benefits they offer. I’m not saying we shouldn’t use them–we should just take the time to think about what it means to incorporate these convenience apps into our daily lives. And then you can get UberEATS to deliver Chipotle to your apartment.
Are convenience apps the downfall of our society–or are they the best thing humans have ever made? Let’s talk about it. Tweet us at @Perfect_Search.
Ajay Pattani is a lifelong resident of Chicagoland and is fiercely passionate about his white wine. If he could be a spokesperson for any product, it would have to be white wine. Ajay says if he could be good at one thing, it would be reading minds. If you could read his now, he’d most likely be thinking about white wine.