Thoughts on the future of shopping:

I am making every attempt to be progressive, and I consider myself a futurist, but I have to ask: Why we are eliminating the in-person shopping experience altogether? I suppose it could be helpful to try things on in the metaverse and purchase them there for them to be shipped to me. This, I actually understand. I certainly understand it better than simply shopping online for clothes that you can’t try on. I have talked to many people since online shopping became commonplace, who purchase a few sizes online and then ship the ones back that don’t fit. While I get that we have to look out for ourselves and do what makes the most sense for us, this just seems wrong. It’s a waste. It’s people in a warehouse picking things in three sizes and then shipping them to an address, then people will try them on, and return the ones that don’t fit, to be put back into the warehouse. I can’t imagine that it’s great for the companies to waste so much time and energy on the sale of the item and environmentally, it doesn’t add up. Also, and arguably most importantly, where is the human interaction? There’s an expression that goes: “I love humanity, but I’m not sure about humans.” Well, I fell like we have to take control of the future of humanity and if we can no longer exist with each other, save for the few of us who still work with others, what’s the point? I mean it, where does it go from here? I opened a general store in a small town because I thought I could help counter the automation “progress” and encourage pedestrian life and community building. I did this right before people starting using “click and go” grocery shopping. People would rave about how easy these grocery pick-up points were – how great it was that they didn’t have to interact with others. It hurt my heart, not for my business, but for humanity. Now I find myself using the automated cashiers because the line ups are too long to experience human interaction. There is a Ministry of Loneliness in the UK. Mental health is suffering all over the world. How do people meet friends, mentors, lovers, partners anymore? Is it working? It’s all connected. It’s up to us. We are the ones writing the script for the future. Personally, I want human connection in real life to survive even if it’s not always easy and comfortable.