Unnecessary lightning-fast deliveries are the latest evil in the era of online empacho
I was walking the other day looking for a difficult book to find offline, so I pulled on Amazon, which of course, had it in its catalog. That did not surprise me, what surprised me was to see that the usual countdown of “Place the order in …” that shows the time remaining to order it and be able to receive it the next day arrived until midnight. Normally, When I had noticed that counter, it would arrive at most until six in the afternoon. Now until twelve.
I did the classic “continue, continue, continue” process to move on to something else as the courier van would bring it home to me the next morning, but then I started thinking about it. Amazon (like surely so many other companies) has optimized its processes to cut deadlines to the extreme. Amazon does not compete against another ecommerce, but against our desire to put on our shoes and step on the street to buy something: they are already in charge of bringing it to us in less and less time and dissuading us from entering a physical establishment. No company has landed in Asturias in the last thirty years as Amazon has just done, but it is that the almost-immediacy happens to have logistics centers at the hand of anyone.
Place your order before bed to receive it as soon as you get up
Immediately after that I remembered a fantastic article by Héctor G. Barnés on The confidential in which he spoke of this same story when Casa del Libro and Glovo announced an agreement to deliver books in half an hour.
“How quickly do we need to satisfy our needs? Being human consists in discovering that with much less than we thought” –
I’m the first culprit to frequently yearn for ultra-fast deliveries, but seeing that even at 11:59 p.m. I can order any trinket and have someone deliver it to my door after breakfast the next day seems a bit over the top. Above all, because it is not always necessary, but it is already a standard. There are few more problems first worldists to complain because the deliveries of an online purchase are too fast, but it is like when one abuses the air conditioning: even if he is not an environmentalist, it is difficult not to feel a charge of conscience.
The acceleration of life for unnecessary reasons begins to cause me the same rejection that hyperconnectivity a few years ago
Because behind those ultra-fast deliveries we know that there is a pressure to deliver them on time, a stress that is neither well paid nor necessary at all. Along with deliveries in less than 24 hours (free for members Prime, a subscription that falls into the category of absolute bargain) and those scheduled for later, I would not dislike a third way of the style “that arrives when it has to arrive, I am not urgent.
“That option is called putting on shoes and going to a neighborhood store to buy that object,” some might reply. Well, there is not always in our neighborhood, our city or our entire province a copy of a book in English by an Indian author, to say the least. It is not a question of whether or not to flee from the big platforms, but rather don’t add pressure when we don’t mind waiting three or five days for the order to arrive. Amazon has such an option in some countries, and selecting it adds a small amount to our balance as compensation. The fact is that it has never appeared to me. The paradox of receiving it for free in less than 24 hours, or paying for it to arrive within a few days.
Something similar happens with the occasions when we buy more than one product at a time and it arrives in two separate deliveries because one was available for the next day, and the other for a day later. If for logistics it is not an added problem, I would not mind a box that says something like “I can wait, send me both products in a single delivery within two days”.
Needing absolutely everything immediately, even knowing how hard the delivery profession has become, means contributing to an acceleration of life that is increasingly difficult not to see as an excess. Beyond the link, beyond consummate pleasures so fast that it is eliminated active waiting, which has always been a key part of the experience: the kisses at fifteen were fine, but the best were the minutes before.
The unconditional embrace of low-cost leads us hopelessly to a society low-cost where our work will also end up being it. Letting ourselves be dazzled by ultra-fast deliveries when not necessary continues to speed up our lives. We will see the consequences in the long term, just as we have taken years (some visionaries did know how to see it quickly) to understand that spending the day watching the life that others teach in their networks is perhaps not the best for our mental health, something that has unleashed a growing trend against hyperconnectivity even by those who helped build it.
Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung said that any form of addiction is equally dangerous, be it drugs, alcohol, morphine or idealism. The internet has made us addicted to notifications (which They reward us with dopamine, the same principle that cocaine hooks on) and immediacy. Empachos never end well.