Past few years have seen a new trend that has upgraded our lifestyle with the numerous applications for online shopping. It sure feels pleasurable while you shop.
Just stop to think for a minute.
Yet is the convenience fun or strenuous for us?
Is too much convenience good for our mental and physical health?
If you take shopping for groceries, for instance, there is so much we miss now.
Not too long ago, we used to walk down to the nearest local market to buy our weekly groceries, vegetables, and fruits.
Of late there has been a spurt in online delivery what with the Big basket, Amazon prime, Grofers, Flipkart, or Myntra, etc. we seem to be enjoying shopping by few ticks and click of boxes.
I do recognize that with an upsurge in our lifestyle we tend to hinge on to convenience rather than physical exertion.
The hard work gives way to laziness. The next step we follow is to open the phone, click on an app, tick boxes, and pay to receive your weekly/ monthly stock at your doorsteps.
What are you missing? –
- A walk to and fro to the closest market in your area that kept you healthy.
- Lifting two or three bags filled with the week’s groceries ensured that there was no wastage of food supplies. It made your arms and legs strong too.
- Monthly stocking of biscuits, wafers et al. taught us an example that you need to consume in fewer quantities and not binge.
- The idea of touch and feel to check the ripeness of tomatoes, break the ends of lady’s finger or squeeze the bananas a little to ensure you are not conned.
- The fun of spotting new things at first glance. We miss the riot of colors and patterns that are seen outside each shop as shopkeepers hang out their wares.
- You could see a few familiar faces from the neighborhoods to chit-chat amidst shopping.
- The thrill of bargaining with the shopkeeper even if it was to reduce Rs.2/-. Asking him to add a few peas, or a cucumber by saying ‘no.no.no.’ your weighing scales are improper, etc. Each time you received a bill for your purchase of clothes the first phrase would be “can you give a discount?”
- Finding some foot space amidst crowds gathered up for sale, selecting products/merchandise that had reduced rates, nattering with the salesperson, or cashier randomly while you munched a few ‘chaat’ stuff and sugarcane juice from the street side.
- All the while it helped you build the tactics to negotiate, and you upgraded your strategic skills. Your mathematical skills got upgraded too.
- Even during those once in a blue moon visits, to restaurants or roadside vendors- like a ‘sandwich ’ or *‘chaat-walas’[street food] you had the power to request him saying “Bhaiya, ‘thoda aur”[little extra] – spicier ‘chutney’ or maybe more sauce to gain an edge.
- At times pleased with your visits and talks you might have just received little more ‘puris’ from the ‘Paani puri’ vendor.
- You learned very early in life how to interact with people and established a relationship with the vendors by being loyal to most of them.
Recent changes –
With the recent spate in online delivery, I too believed I should begin ordering online and decided to download the app.
After learning the process of click, ticks, and payment, I began to add all those groceries and fruits to my wish list. Halfway through, there was a power cut for a few minutes.
What a waste of time and energy- I thought. Would it not be easier just to walk down and pick up all those items? Now, I didn’t feel the inclination to step down. So, I decided very patiently to wait and see if I can finish the payment.
As I checked once again- Lo! And behold the list is empty and I had no choice but to add all those products back in my list. Now it showed two delivery options where I could either take the whole stock or in part in two shipments! I was actually at my wit’s end by then. I needed my order supplied on the same day so I clicked express delivery with extra delivery charges!!
So the next step was to hit the payment button but as I hit the ‘place order’ button and pass the payment option; I was asked for OTP. Now I waited for the message, and by the time I have received and clicked on the OTP there is buffering that tries my patience. I wait and wait counting up to twenty, and finally, I arrive at the page that says “There is a problem on the server and your payment is not through’. They thank me too for shopping with them!
At this point, the only thought that I can have is ‘what are the ways to slay……’Arggh..
The whole purpose of me ordering online was to ensure payment gets done via my Credit card so I would not have to keep cash aside and avoid nit-picking for the exact change, etc. [what- due to Demonet life changed].
Well, so there ends the so-called convenience in my life and I now prefer walking down the road to order for monthly groceries and also make payment while I meet them face to face. A smile here, a small talk there with a few sales person in there adds to the personal touch. The supermarket store is nonetheless happy to deliver home at no extra cost within half an hour. As far as clothes or other accessories are concerned I still prefer ‘the touch and feel’ concept rather than buying online and then being disappointed. It is still fun and also therapeutic to walk around shops/stores and while you experience shopping.
All said and done we do want convenience in our lives. Everything comes at a cost.
It is best to keep little things inconvenient in life. It keeps us fresh and active.
Do let me know if you find online shopping strenuous or fun!
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