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The Shut-In Economy

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posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 05:27 PM
This article offers a critique and a look into the new 'Shut-In Economy:

The story takes place in Silicon Vally of course but it speaks to the increasing isolation born of the emerging technology of instant online ordering, scheduling, and delivery of just about anything a person might need. I live in a medium city in fly over country but even here we are starting to see it happening.

Many of the people I know do not really answer the phone. They expect a text to set up a potential call. Calls after all can take up valuable time and many of us schedule our human interactions for the most part. It is just courteous to give as much notice as possible if there is a need to reschedule a phone call or a face to face. Now there are apps for just about any needs and we are constantly finding more and they often alter our social and business conduct.

I get home from a few quick errands and the UPS guy has dropped off my Amazon Prime packages, I set my items on the center island in the kitchen, my kitchen computer wakes up, I swipe the screen with a gesture to login and tap on an app to enter the grocery items from my list marked as done. My dishes are put away and my cleaning is in my closet. This is relayed to me in an app so when I reach for something I know it is going to be there. I never had to speak to another human. Even at the store I went through the self check out so no human interaction there. I feel like pizza tonight so I pull up an app and order my pizza. No person on the phone no human interaction. The delivery person I interact with for a split second. He does not expect to handle any money because the pie and tip are already deducted from my debit.

Tell us your stories of increasing technology based isolation ATS.

edit on 03pm2015-03-26T17:31:35-05:0005313America/Chicago31331 by machineintelligence because: Syntax challanges

posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 05:51 PM
Well, since I live on the edge of nowhere (I used to live in the middle of nowhere) I have found increasing reliance on having even basic items delivered to my door; For example, I just got a toaster today. Sure, I could have driven to the next town over to buy one in a store, but the selection would have been a crappy 2-slot white toaster or a slightly less crappy 2-slot white toaster. Instead we got what we wanted and didn't have to go for an hour long trip. It's fine too, because I don't like other people very much. I'm a special kind of introvert.

Even so, a lot of things I want or need I literally can't buy from a local business, I'd have to order it online. There's mostly tourist shops around here, and they don't carry computer parts/electronics.
edit on 26-3-2015 by Aldakoopa because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 07:01 PM
A few years ago our Nieghbours across the street from us went on holidays leaving their teenage son alone at home. You already know what is going to happen next so when all the party guests show up we are keeping an eye on our property to prevent any damage.

Nobody in sight because they are all in the house, but about 9pm or so they all came out like bees out of a nest and the next thing we see is hilarious to say the least. It had to be 15 to 20 teens all standing in the front yard and every one of them and I mean every one of them had a cell going. They were texting and sending videos to each other and also showing movies and recording each other.

Funny thing is there was no talking, made us both kind of sad because what ever happened to people sitting together and listening to music and talking.

I guess that is the new socializing now.

Regards, Iwinder

posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 09:57 PM
a reply to: Iwinder
Things certainly have changed since my parties when Mom and Dad were not home. At least they were quiet right? Of course when I was a kid you never saw someone under 18 with a tattoo unless it was a fake press on type.

posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 11:05 PM
What's the point of the OP? If you live alone when you get home you'll be alone?

20 years ago, with a push of a button I could turn on the TV, the radio or a computer. I would go to the grocery store get rung up without talking to the cashier or the bag person. Do my laundry, wash my dishes, cook my food.

Doesn't sound much different than now, except for the apps and internet shopping, but you could always mail-order.

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 03:59 AM
a reply to: daskakik

Im sorry but there is nothing from 20 years ago that is relevant in this conversation. I would further limit the relaxant time-frame to less than ten years and perhaps it is more accurate to limit the active time-frame to fewer than 5 years. The technology is changing that fast. Prepare to become irrelevant I am afraid. Most people will.

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 03:59 AM
double post created it self with one mouse click. weird

edit on 03am2015-03-27T04:04:45-05:0004043America/Chicago04331 by machineintelligence because: stupid system makes double posts on its own.

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 04:23 AM
a reply to: machineintelligence

I have only left my house 2x this month, each time for 15 minutes to get food, not leaving my vehicle.

I am not depressed though; I like it. I am going to a convention this week though.

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 11:47 AM

originally posted by: machineintelligence
Im sorry but there is nothing from 20 years ago that is relevant in this conversation.

The OP makes a big deal about laundry, dishes and food prep. I just compared how it was done before tech and how most people do it today. What is the difference? The fridge has built in post its?

edit on 27-3-2015 by daskakik because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 11:55 PM
honestly anyone who uses technology to avoid human contact sounds depressing to me. I got rid of my cell phone at the new year. I like to call from my house phone (which is an antique rotary stand up type I just had to have) to order my pizza and pick it up in person. Or if I dont want to wait, I go to little ceasars and get the hot n ready. I always love to talk to whoever is helping me out. In my experience from having dealt with customer service at the largest retailer on Earth for a decade during the busy hours in the entertainment department, Striking up conversation with strangers can and does cheer up a lot of people and brightens their day.

When me and my old friends find time to have a night to ourselves away from the family, we usually play cards or dominos, drink beers, smoke stuff, and just laugh and talk about crazy stuff in our day to days. After about three hours or after 1am, whichever comes first, we enjoy to hit the streets and walk the neighborhood and see who we encounter. Maybe we'll go to the pool hall, strip club who knows.

If I need a replacement part for a product or want to buy something, I usually wait till my day off and try to find it at a flea market, thrift shop, retailer, make it myself, or order online in that order. Thats right, ordering online is MY last resort. In fact, in an effort to support the post office, I now MAIL my payments instead of using the online bill pay. Come on dudes, we cannot lose the post office. They have been faithfully loyal at bringing our correspondence for centuries, we can just abandon them now.

In fact some of my days off consist of me and the boys riding our bikes down the road and stopping to say hello to many of the small businesses along the avenue and the people who work there who I have enjoyed meeting and talking with. As a result, my son is not at all socially awkward or shy, and jumps right into a group of kids at the playground or mall to say hello and say wussup.

All this, and I am only 29. I believe our futures are determined by how we see the past. I do love my robot vacuum cleaner though. I also have a robot gutter cleaner (man that thing is damn handy). Next step is a robot lawn mower, but a decent one starts at a few thousand. I give it five years before I see the first under $1000 robotic lawn mower.

Then shall open my entirely robotic land scaping business bwahahaha

No homeowner will ever be scared of their insurance going up because of an illegally employed person getting injured on their property, and without staff to pay, I can undercut everyone in my community.

Any technology though that replaces my interaction with a friendly fellow citizen I try to stay away from. I love people, and can befriend virtually anyone in person. I dont take virtual friendships seriously anyways.

I have to confess though, I do use Fandango to purchase my movie tickets and pick up at the kiosk. This has more to do with me not wanting to wait in a long line when the people at the window decide thats when they want to figure out what they want to watch. occasional user of self checkouts if the lines are shorter.

Also, you would be surprised how often people still ask others in person for directions when lost. I get the question almost every day that I decide to just walk or bike the streets. And here I thought everyone had a GPS or a smart phone by now. Oh wait, I own neither at this time.

I really really wish there were still pay phones in the city though

posted on Mar, 28 2015 @ 12:15 AM
Its an irony that our society is imprisoned by the very objects that were suppose to bring freedom and joy.

posted on Mar, 28 2015 @ 12:56 AM
a reply to: DYepes

I'm sure a lot of people still do many of the things you do. I remember a spot on a news show, aired sometime in the mid 90's, about a couple that lived and worked together out of their apartment and despite being right next to each other, they would text instead of talk. This OP reminds me of that piece, take the most extreme case and try to present as if it were the norm.

So people spend hours chatting, surfing the web or playing games on their smartphones, how is that any different then talking on the phone, listening to music, watching tv or playing video games for hours on older tech?

posted on Mar, 28 2015 @ 02:38 AM

originally posted by: machineintelligence
a reply to: daskakik

Im sorry but there is nothing from 20 years ago that is relevant in this conversation. I would further limit the relaxant time-frame to less than ten years and perhaps it is more accurate to limit the active time-frame to fewer than 5 years. The technology is changing that fast. Prepare to become irrelevant I am afraid. Most people will.

Here's a thought what happens when the cell phone become the eyes and ears that could be use to collect pics to send out to some central data collecting center and then combine all the other data being collected from public camers of the city and county. There could be so much group think mind games going on by those passing out the official BS to the people using their phone to help build a better world.

posted on Mar, 30 2015 @ 01:47 AM

originally posted by: daskakik
a reply to: DYepes

So people spend hours chatting, surfing the web or playing games on their smartphones, how is that any different then talking on the phone, listening to music, watching tv or playing video games for hours on older tech?

Screens take away your visual sense because they are focused on that screen. When I am talking on the phone I still have great situation awareness of my surroundings. I tried texting while I was walking to the trash at my apartments, no good for my awareness. I have to stop every so often just to look around at my surroundings and observe every detail, person, and variable. And lets not forget how many people die every year from texting and driving, or even just walking into traffic because their eyes were on the screen.

The other senses tend to ignore what your eyes are not looking at if the eyes are very intently focuses on something else. Not to mention studies are also demonstrating that younger generation are growing up socially awkward in person to person interaction because they have very little exposure to it. Its more screen time than people time for the younger crowd, and that should be an ominous sign to anyone.

TV and video games are essentially the same, but at least for the most part the average person is within a familiar structure when partaking in those activities. I dont think talking on the phone is the same because you can still look at everything around and observe your environment, making you less vulnerable to a surprise. Listening to music is fine unless you are walking with these soundproof headphones. I have seen three instances of someone being attacked from behind because they were in the zone and had their senses cut off from those headphones. I interfered in one.

I judge new tech by a standard of how can it make you vulnerable in the wrong situation. I also dont like having a mark, er microchip/tracking device, umm of yea cell phone in my hand or up to my head throughout the day. Call me paranoid, but that sounds just a bit too biblical to me, and I do not even profess to be Christian (although i respect the teachings and their prophet)

posted on Mar, 30 2015 @ 02:29 AM
a reply to: DYepes

I get what you are saying but the Op didn't put any emphaisis on multitasking.

posted on Mar, 30 2015 @ 04:42 PM
OK here goes, I am 56 years young and only have a flip phone (for more than six years) because of health issues at the time. I keep it for the same reason and the fact that it is a PayGo style and I refuse to lose the unused balance on it so I top it up each year. I can text on it but it is such a painful process that it's not worth the bother.

Given that intro many of you just want to shoot me now and get it over with, but I will continue.

1) I do not use on line banking or auto withdrawal payments, much prefer to stand in line and pay my bills in person for the sake of a rubber date stamp as proof. Yes, I will take money from an ATM, but refuse to give my money to it.

2) Still use cash for most purchases as it keeps me grounded and aware of how much I've spent. Plus, I've been able to pay for my goods and get out of the store when the debit machines go down. Does happen, and I've been at the end of a long line up and rather smugly waltzed the the front of the line while others complain.

3) Don't mind going to the grocery store and waiting on line at the till, heck I'll even let the person behind me with only a few items go ahead while I unload my cart, not in that big of a hurry. Plus, you can't grumble about the cost eggs to your smartphone like you can with a teller.

4) I like to go into the shop for my lunch rather than sit in my car at the drive through. I can then take my time deciding what I want. Also, this way I can see if the person making it did in fact wash their hands after handling cash or the garbage.

5) How many jobs are lost when everyone is doing everything remotely/online?

6) Would I by a toaster online? Nope, I need to pick them up, feel the weight, shake the $#!+ out of it to test durability and see for myself if you can fit 4 slices in it, find out how and where you dump the crumbs. Was never one to order from the Sears catalog back in day (that's the 60s - 70s).

7) I like to exchange small talk with people I see, smile and say have a nice day. Even hold a door open for someone younger then me.

I like to think humans are social creatures and can still interact and carry on conversations with people they know and don't know. You can learn so much by observing body language, but you got to look up and at someone first. Most young people today walk around looking like vultures due to "forward head position" cause by walking and texting.

I'm not a hermit or a loner, I interact with people all day long, not just technology. Just my thoughts.


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