I’ve been using computers since I was a kid. One of the greatest things about computers has been word processors. I remember reading articles about how it was so much better to use a word processor than a typewriter. The very best thing about using a word processor is that when you make a mistake you can go straight to the error and fix it. You don’t need to re-type a page, or a line, just go straight to the mistake and fix it.
And yet, after years and years of using computers and word processors, if I make a mistake, I will backspace the entire line and re-type it to fix my mistake.
Why is this? Why can’t I just move the cursor to a word that’s spelled wrong and just change it? One of the many things that’s wrong with me.
I wonder, sometimes, if we’ve grown too fast too quickly. If having a world full of huge corporations, mega-malls, tiny computers and other things is more of a burden than a blessing.
You could open a store today, perhaps your own grocery store. If you were in a spot that had people around and it was far enough away from a large chain so it was more convenient for people to go there then you’d probably do fine. But it’s only a matter of time before a Wal*Mart or Super Target, or HEB, or Kroger’s, or something moves in. Then that will become more convenient because they’ll carry more items at cheaper prices than you’d ever be able to charge. Soon after you would be forced out of business.
People demand convenience, at any price. There are even convenience stores designed to be convenient. They’re small, carry a very limited amount of items, and are grossly expensive. But they’re usually built into a gas station so you can get gas and that bottle of ketchup you forgot to get. There’s no sense going all the way to the grocery store just for one item, but if it’s down the street that’s fine. There’s no reason for someone to do without until the next big shop when you can get it at the corner for only twice the price. It’s okay to pay double the amount for something as long as it’s only an item or two.
So we demand convenience and we are impatient. We don’t care how much it costs unless it costs too much.
But do we have too much, too quickly? Can we really afford iPods, cell phones, GPS units, and all the other things that we like to have because it makes life more convenient?
American workers are protected. There is a minimum wage that a worker will get. But it would be too expensive to manufacture an iPod in the U.S., so that work is sent to another country. Now the American worker makes no money at all. Maybe even loses her job. All for an object that plays music. Multiply that by everything else that we use on a daily basis and you really need to start wondering if iPods, or any MP3 player, is really that important.