When I’m on my morning walk, I listen to podcasts. I like all sorts of podcasts, from spiritual to discussions of murders. The podcast I happened to be listening to yesterday is called the Big Boo Podcast, and features two regular ol’ women in their mid-40s, both with children, who happen to be current with All Things Cool. They also happen to be very Southern and very funny.
In the podcast I listened to yesterday, one of the women was very excited to tell the other about something she had discovered that is brought to you by most people’s favorite store, Target. Her excitement was generated by something called Target Restock.
Target Restock is a feature whereby you go online and fill up a virtual box with essentials you purchase from Target. As you order, you are told how full your box is, though apparently you aren’t required to fill up your box. Once you have met your shopping needs, you pay online, including a $2.99 service charge (unless you have a Target Redcard, in which case there is no service charge). The box is then delivered to your doorstep THE NEXT DAY.
The two of them were positively twitterpated by the fact that they wouldn’t have to haul heavy laundry detergents from Target to their car and then from their car to their house. Target Restock would eliminate the need to visit the store, something important to busy working parents.
I was immediately struck by this whole notion of shopping online from the comfort of my LazyBoy. But it reminded me that Americans (and probably people from other first world countries) are THIS CLOSE to eliminating the need to talk to other human beings.
And as I pondered this notion, I began to think about all of the ways that our lives have been simplified by the internet. I order food to be delivered all of the time without ever talking to a live person. In fact, I order nearly everything online (mostly from Amazon) from my easy chair. What a time-saver, particularly for people with kids and jobs and lots of responsibilities.
But where is all that extra time?
I was a single parent of one child for many years. I worked all day, figured out how to get him to and from soccer or basketball practice, fixed dinner at night, helped him with homework, got him into bed, shopped for groceries on the weekend with all of the other working parents, and so forth. I was lucky because his father did his part as well. Still, when my son was with me, my days were full. If I suddenly could have ordered groceries and other items from Target or King Soopers or Walmart, saving myself from real-live trips where I faced real-live crowds, I believe I would have had time on my hands.
So why do all of these people seem to be so stretched? How are we filling up our days? I’m really asking the question. All of these time saving features don’t seem to be saving us much time.
So I probably won’t be using Target Restock because I’m retired and part of the fun of going to Target is seeing what it is you buy that you didn’t even know you needed. That, and the fact that I have really nothing but time. Aren’t I lucky?