Amazon: a blessing and a curse; why we can’t easily minimize

Amazon Prime is my jam! I adore being able to buy with one click the many pantry items I can get much cheaper on Amazon.com.  And to get them in 2 days, well, that often feels like a blessing. I save money on products I need to keep my family healthy. And I don’t have to get in my car to buy them.

It does seem like a win-win.

I do not use Amazon or any other online store to buy unnecessarily. And that is key. I am not sure if it the minimalist in me that gives me that will power in a sense. But I don’t buy for the sake of buying. And certainly don’t buy things unless there is a real reason for them. As a minimalist, for me to buy anything means some good thought has gone into what it is I am going to purchase. And as someone who requires organization in order to have peace in my living space, good thought also goes into where the item is going to be stored once it arrives at my house 2 days later.

That is a key to keeping things tidy and neat: question what comes in and know where is going to be housed.

There is a curse, however, that comes along with the blessing of being able to get what you need in the blink of an eye. Truth be told, this whole idea of being able to order whatever you want and get it so quickly is actually probably more of a curse than a blessing. It is, in my opinion, why most people find it so hard to minimize, or at the least, make sense of what they own.

There are just so many ways to not only buy more, but to buy more quickly.  It can be quite addictive, and financially troublesome.

As a result, people are inundated with stuff. In part, it is definitely due to the ease in which they can purchase said stuff.  They are overwhelmed, confused, suffocated even. And this makes it harder to keep things tidy and neat; even harder to lighten the load and live more minimally {aka with only what you really need and that which serves a true purpose}.

I do think there is beauty in the technological advances that allow us to save some time (and money) in purchasing what we need online.

However, there is also a real detriment if any one of the following comes along with it:

1. We buy more because of the ease of buying

2. We don’t question what we really need because of the ease of buying

3. The instant gratification we feel with “buy with one click” is addictive; so all reasonable thought about true need goes out the door.

I think all three of these instances is occurring and at rapid speed – especially in the United States. And while it keeps someone like me in business, it doesn’t serve any one well to be suffocated by stuff.  I don’t care how cheap it was, or quickly you could get it. Too much stuff that you don’t need and won’t use is putting you on the road to sickness.

Too much clutter means you must expend great energy to make sense of what you have, and where it will be stored in your space. Or expend energy to simply navigate your cluttered space.  Either way, you use valuable energy to manage “stuff”.

Either way it can be a pretty heavy weight to carry around.

And it can make you sick – literally!

As if that were not enough, Amazon just announced that it is changing it’s shipping speed for Prime members.  No more 2 day delivery. Nope. Soon Prime members will enjoy one day delivery.

Sounds like a blessing, right?

I just don’t think it is.  This quote from this article says it all: “Amazon is hoping that decreasing the amount of time it takes most orders to arrive will encourage customers to make more purchases from its e-commerce website.”

And that is where the real curse lies. It will fulfill that need for instant gratification and encourage customers to make more purchases. It will encourage a culture of “more” and make it harder for people to question whether they really like, need, and will use any thing that they can get instantaneously.  That kind of gratification is hard to beat!

If you want to lighten your load and really live deliberately, and on purpose you must pay attention to all the things that are put in your path to make the feat difficult. Pay attention to all the ways you can, and perhaps do, obtain more and more – easily and quickly.

It’s okay to embrace technology and use it for good. Use that one day shipping to make your life easier.

But beware of how that blessing can quickly turn into a curse if you let it.

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