I have been reading a LOT in the past few month. And unlike what I said over a year ago, I’m serious about reading the classics that I avoided as a young person. I’ve read “The Three Musketeers” and absolutely loved it. It is now one of my favorite books. In my excitement over a sequel being released, I re-read “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which was as good as ever. And now, I’m reading “Fahrenheit 451.”
With all of these books, I have read the physical copies. I have went to the local library and selected the print edition, devouring them with much fervor. As I sat down this evening, looking at the cover of “Fahrenheit 451,” I briefly thought about the fact that I’ve would have to go to the library to return the book when I’m finished. Like with so much recently, my very next thought was influenced by my new perspective on health – “Well, it will get me out of the house and keep me active.”
Then it hit me – convenience tends to lead to sedentary existence. I don’t have to go to the DVD cabinet, I can sit on the couch and just push a button on my Roku remote to watch, rent, or buy a movie. I don’t have to go to the library or the bookstore, I can sit on my bed and download one to my Kindle. My husband has an Amazon Echo – if I want to turn on the radio, instead of getting up and finding the station, I can be anywhere and just say a command, and the music starts playing. If I need to purchase something, including groceries, I don’t have to do anything more than a few swipes on my smartphone and my desires will be delivered to my door within 1-2 business days.
All in the name of convenience. Yet we continue to have more health issues, socially deteriorate, and further alienate ourselves from the people who live next door – and yet we wonder why some cannot feel empathy for the suffering of people who are thousands of miles away.
I’m going to continue to go to the library and read physical books. I will go to the store and purchase things. I will consider it a blessing to walk down many aisles to get all of my groceries.
There was a strange foreboding in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer when one of the characters said, “If you’re not jacked in, you’re not alive.” In the information age, an act of revolution is to actually go outside and not live your life from your couch.
Convenience. Is it really worth it?