The Dark Side of Convenience

There have been many inventions in recent decades that are meant to make life easier, but they are damaging our relationships and communities. Here are just a few conveniences that are causing communities and relationships to crumble.

Cell Phones

Many people talk on the phone while checking out at their local grocery store. How is it not common knowledge that you should end the phone call and tell the person on the other end that you will call them back when you are free? It’s extremely rude to be on the phone, even texting, while a cashier is cashing you out. Show a little respect and engage in conversation with the person that is serving you. Thank them!

There is also an issue of people turning into zombies when they use their phones as they walk places. This problem is prevalent on virtually every American university campus. Students use their phones, and headphones, to avoid interacting with people. You don’t get the nice nod with a, “Hi. How are you?” We are distanced even further from humanity, and lose our humanity. We need community to survive. We are social beings. 

There are more extreme examples of the problems that phones cause. One only needs to look at the increasing traffic deaths due to distracted drivers who are texting, or otherwise using their cell phones, while driving.

Frozen Dinners

It may be convenient to make a quick, (somewhat) tasty meal, but what we’re losing to gain this convenience is family bonding over a shared meal. This is directly impacting the families of America, and most people don’t even realize it. I strongly believe in food’s unique ability to bring people together; it’s one of those things that bonds us all. A family dinner around the table is a very powerful thing.

Self-Checkouts

Self-checkouts at grocery and other stores are extremely convenient, especially when you’re in a rush! However, we miss out on that short, friendly conversation with our neighbors. I understand the positives of self-checkouts, but I think that meaningful human interaction is important to continue strengthening our communities. This is a wonderful opportunity to share a smile and a, “have a nice day!” with someone who may need it.

This is only a short list of things that make life easier while reducing our ability to connect with others around us. I hope this post increases appreciation of the conveniences that we enjoy, and raises awareness of how using them in the wrong way can harm our relationships and damage our communities.

Please comment with things you believe are damaging to relationships. How do you think we can change the way we use them to promote stronger communities?