Online vs Standing in Line

Posted on January 30, 2023


Life in the Boomer Lane has noticed that, the more sophisticated our society becomes, the more removed actual humans can be from that sophistication. Science is available for all, at any time, compliments of Mr/Ms/Whatever Internet. Yet, there are humans who staunchly believe that JFK Jr is not only deceased, but he is secretly Trump’s (who is still president), VP. Political data is available in such abundance that it seems as though polls are falling on our head at an alarming rate. Yet, many politicians believe that 1. Americans want guns of any kind to be available 24/7 to anyone who wants one 2. Women want to be told what to do with their bodies, after men are finished with them and 3. People, of course, want to be healthy, but, in the event that they might need to avail themselves of medical services, would much prefer to go it alone and show the world that death is far preferable to being a socialist or communist or any of those folks who depend on the government for their healthcare needs.

Data has shown over and over that a society is more economically viable when opportunities, taxes, and ensuing wealth is more evenly distributed, yet a highly vocal segment of the population holds firm to the belief that allowing the wealthiest segment of us, by whatever means, to become even wealthier, at the expense of everyone else, will result in those lucky folks to, instead of continually accumulating such wealth by adding to mountainous investments and ever-more colorful toys, create an economic paradise for the rest of us.

LBL won’t even get onto the subject vaccines or masks. She suspects that many of those folks who died of Covid vaccine-free, after the advent of vaccines, are every bit as complacent now in the Great Beyond, as they were back when they turned down the chance to be vaccinated.

A corresponding phenomenon is that the more sophisticated a society becomes, the fewer actual human experiences may be available. People can have entire relationships, meet/fall in love/break up, without ever seeing each other in reality. The upside is the cost-saving of a lavish wedding and ensuing services of a divorce attorney. But the downside is an ongoing belief that life, in many ways, can be reduced to a screen.

Taking this down to a smaller, shorter, and much younger level, many children these days have absolutely no idea where food comes from. They assume that it appears in supermarkets and on doorsteps, prepackaged and sanitized sometimes already prepared, and ready to be consumed.

An alert Reader told LBL that she discovered recently that her eight-year-old grandson had never been inside a supermarket. His mom works for Instacart, the Amazon version of grocery delivery. Food is always in ample supply at their house, magically appearing on their doorstep at regular intervals. But this poor, deprived child only had the experience of seeing whatever food his mom ordered, and not the array of forbidden products that would have had little kids of past decades screaming and pointing and hyperventilating, whenever they noticed anything that was obviously in the sugar category.

Being the outstanding grandma she was, and not having thought much about consequences, she told her grandson that she would take him to a supermarket and buy him whatever he wanted. The week leading up to the event surpassed his birthday and Christmas in full blown excitement. The hours spent in Giant equaled a trip to Disney World. Each aisle was walked down at least three times. Each product was discussed in detail. Her grandson had insisted on pushing the cart himself, which grew heavier as the minutes passed. Photos and videos were taken to capture the grand event.

By the time all groceries were tallied, she had spent well over $200. She noted, unsurprisingly, that there was a serious lack of nutrition anywhere in the cart. The only item that could, by a real stretch of the imagination, be called “healthy” were two boxes of chocolate-covered Z Bars.

The haul was distributed between her home and her daughter’s, and like Halloween booty, was intended to be doled out over the months to come. LBL is, of course, aware that this child learned far more on his supermarket excursion than simply where the Sugar was to be found. His grandmother was a lifelong teacher. In fact, she imagines that school trips to the supermarket, in the hands of a capable instructor, could teach kids a lot about all this “stuff” we eat that keeps us alive. It would certainly be more beneficial than LBL’s trips with her own children, in which her kids mainly bashed into other people’s shopping carts, fell out of their own cart, and/or had out-of-body experiences in the cereal and candy and bakery aisles.

Posted in: science, technology