Amazon Prime—the devil in disguise
I joined Amazon Prime about a year ago. For those of you who are not familiar with the mega-online shopping site, it’s nirvana for folks who dislike shopping in real stores.
The prime membership has a yearly cost that is totally reasonable for what they offer. Products have no shipping charges and are delivered within two days, however, if the cost is if the cost is more than $35 you can usually receive it that day. They also have a pickup location (in our area you will likely receive it that day. They also have a pickup location (in our area it’s in Westwood), so you can drive there and get the item even quicker. So, you get super quick delivery, a wide range of products, fantastic prices, free returns, and Amazon television with hundreds of programs and original series.
Sounds fantastic, so where’s the Devil Pete?
Amazon is brazenly and maliciously killing Mom and Pop stores in mass numbers throughout America. Not only small businesses, but larger retailers are also closing locations in Malls every day. As you cruise around your city take notice of the myriad strip malls and notice how many empty shops you see.
My dry cleaner, at a shopping center on the corner of Anza and 190th Street, closed about six months ago. So I switched to one on Beryl Avenue. Yesterday I took a few shirts there for cleaning and they had gone out of business, also. Unfortunately, I am complicit in putting those decent folks out. I realize you can’t get your dry cleaning done on Amazon (although it probably won’t be long before they offer garment-cleaning services), but it falls under the “unintended consequences” category.
One business shuts down, causing fewer people to visit that group of stores, creating less traffic and a drop in potential customers. On a side note, have you ever noticed how donut shops NEVER seem to go out of business in these strip malls. I’ll leave that conundrum for another day.
Anyway, this dilemma is just another in an ever-growing number of electronic assaults making our everyday lives easier, while destroying another cherished slice of our past. For example, Facebook. I appreciate the convivence and ease of being able to instantly view poignant pictures and posts from friends and family as well as sharing my own Narcissistic, self-serving snapshots.
However, if I must look at one more friends photo of their baked chicken and Brussel sprout dinner, with a half-consumed glass of red wine sitting on the dinner table with the caption “wish you were here” I’m going to jump off the Redondo Pier! Or a nonsensical, meaningless text with nine misspelled words from a buddy informing me he’s “stuk n trafk and e will col u after I gat hom” I digress.
I do realize I’m fighting a losing battle, much like Don Quixote tilting at windmills(I often enjoy casually tossing in insightful literary references, such as Don Quixote, demonstrating how well read and worldly I am). I’m frequently torn between what is convenient and what is healthier for humanity. I’m fully aware of what Amazon Prime and other mega-organizations represent to the vanishing world I once lived in.
Meanwhile, I’ll continue to shop on Amazon Prime and I’ll also flip-off any out-of-business dry-cleaning store the next time I attempt to drop off clothing.