I’m a huge fan of buying things online.
I think I got that way after moving from a big city to more rural surroundings.
In most cities you can usually find whatever you want with minimal effort once you get to know the place. But as places get smaller, you tend to have to drive around a lot more to find something that isn’t a Big Box staple or only appeals to your particular lifestyle niche.
You save time, money and the impact of your carbon footprint by searching online and having it shipped to your door (more often than not free of charge).
Last week I bought something from China that arrived in less time than parcels took when I was a kid after you ordered stuff out of the Eaton’s catalogue.
It arrived in great shape, exactly as ordered and transportation didn’t cost me a penny –- though I did wonder if the environmental impact of air freighting something from Hong Kong might be a little more serious than if I’d spent an afternoon driving from mall to mall.
But online shopping appears to be the way things are going. And while I don’t understand the economic models or what it likely means in the long run for brick and mortar stores, the price of real estate and careers in retail, it’s sure as hell convenient.
I’ve also gotten to know some real nice people who work for the Post Office, UPS and Fedex, who I otherwise wouldn’t have encountered. And being greeted by my overly enthusiastic dog seems to perk up their day as well.
There’s also a kind of magical excitement about opening the package, hoping what’s inside matches the quality and promise of what was advertised.
I also love buying books and software that don’t even get shipped but just instantly download to your hard drive or Kindle – even if that’s not as much fun for the dog.
I hear that if you own a 3D printer you can just type a few lines and make your own car parts and heart valves, although I’m certain you still need some outside assistance having those installed.
Perhaps the day is coming when we won’t have malls, or aisles of products to choose from or even trucks to bring purchases to your door.
To be honest, what I’ll miss most is the thrill of seeing one of those packages coming up the drive. Although Korean filmmaker Kyungmin Woo has a decidedly different take on that…
Enjoy Your Sunday.