The purrs of smooth engines and the coughs of not-so-smooth engines on the city streets makes for a perfect cacophony—the concrete jungle. With the hustle and bustle of modern-day living, it doesn’t take Einstein to realize that the modern youngsters are looking for convenience.
Be it in grocery shopping, entertainment, housing, travel, relationships or even food; the one thing that would make up any rotten day is some convenience! And why not? After all the time we’ve invested in securing a future and perfecting our lifestyles, a little ‘ease-to-access’ doesn’t seem like too much of a demand. Whether we are from a bloodline of Nawabs or just another part time worker, we do quite a few things based on their convenience, or ease. How effectively it can be done seems to take a backseat on the priority bus.
Consider a couple chit-chatting away in a quaint little coffee shop. The man, being the man and to impress the lady leans back stylishly and gestures a call with two fingers
“Waiter!” He calls as if he owns the place.
The waiter, in his anxious rush, trots over to the table to take their order.
Now think about it for just a minute, what is the role of the waiter in the first place?
It is to wait on the customers.
Why do the customers need to be waited on when they are perfectly capable of collecting their orders themselves, using their own two hands?
That’s right, folks; because it’s just easier that way. As long as the work doesn’t pile up on us, we’re golden! Figuratively, of course. Now certainly, it’s no crime to want for things to be convenient—it’s more of a culture; which we’ve developed over the years of evolution.
During ancient times, it was no trouble to walk ten miles past the woods, round the mulberry bushes and beyond the wasteland to get to the river and fetch potable water. Definitely, people would call it “stupidity” if someone were to do so now, with all the plumbing and the pumps and whatnot. Certainly better this way, isn’t it? Because it’s just more convenient.
Progress and time saving are two very useful outcomes of adopting new and convenient methods. We get more work done, in lesser time, and sometimes, with a lot more efficiency. It gives us a chance to do so much more. This “convenience culture”; which every breathing being has adapted to, is helping the word move to greater heights.
We see so many examples of day-to-day things, innovatively made easier. Moving assembly lines, digital cameras, smartphones, portable Wi-Fi, canned drinks, electricity, cars, bikes, social networking, and the list is never ending. Look to the first thing you see and think about its earlier ‘versions’. If you see a digital clock, think about when it used to be just a pendulum clock, occupying the opposite wall. If you see a suitcase with rollers, think about when it used to be a bulky wooden trunk that one had to heave around.
See a Ducati? Those wheels used to be stone rollers.
Technological advancements have played a crucial role. Work has become lesser a burden and people find more time for life.
Another beautiful example was one that I came across a few days ago, in Chennai, near a bus stand. My father and I were starved and miles from home, when we spotted a nicely lit place with wooden-panelled walls on the inside. Past the glass doors, we saw touch-screens that clearly read “pick your order” and some queer looking conveyer belts. We looked at each other for a moment, than up at the billboard.
It read Food Box—A convenience like never before.
Dad and I were obviously scratching our heads, wondering why there were conveyer belts at some usual food court. Then, deciding to follow our senses and let our curiosity wander, we walked in past the glass doors and let the cool air greet us. We did as told and placed our orders by selecting them from the touch screen and waited.
The conveyer moved.
On it, came travelling a tray, sealed shut with a plastic cover, with steaming food on the inside. What was more was the fact that the order was delivered in less than ninety seconds! Now that was quick, considering we had only twenty minutes to finish up and board the next bus home.
It was a refreshing experience, and we had a long chat on the bus about how something like this could put the usual fast food chains out of business! The innovation had a lot of potential. People could grab their food—from a large variety—and rush out. It might not sound as exciting while reading about it but, it truly was convenient and saved us a whole lot of time.
Taking the shortcut, however, doesn’t always make life easier. As the saying goes; too much of a good thing isn’t good. Ironically, that is very true. Despite the apparent positives that “convenience culture” brings, there is a huge load of negatives. If everyone keeps up with this want of not doing anything that’s difficult, or challenging, as spectacular it sounds, it would actually kill our mental capabilities and decrease our physical strength.
For example, when an astronaut spends over a month in space and returns to earth, it is observed that he has lost his bone density. The explanation to this is that the lack of gravity in space makes it easier for the astronaut to move around—convenient? Seemingly so but, when you think that you’d lose your bone density, the idea of walking in zero-gravity doesn’t seem so appealing.
The challenges we face in everyday life are like gravity. They weigh us down, yes, but only so we can grow stronger. A very disastrous side-effect of the “easy way out” is laziness. Instead of decreasing bone density, we face decreasing brain density.
The choice is ours, really. Just because something is easy doesn’t mean that it will make us stupid, but just because something is hard doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be done. Of course, one could argue that simplifying complexities is a key sign of intelligence, but either way, one does have to challenge the situation first.