Making everything convenient also makes everything—including us— uniform and boring. Let’s look for seams, for the slow, the difficult, the inconvenient.
“Convenience seems to make our decisions for us, trumping what we like to imagine are our true preferences. (I prefer to brew my coffee, but Starbucks instant is so convenient I hardly ever do what I ‘prefer.’) … Convenience has the ability to make other options unthinkable.”
— Tim Wu
It’s as though everything today has to be smooth and easy, convenient, frictionless, and seamless. But sometimes friction and seams are good, they force you to stop, they make things unique. Sure, it’s convenient to order everything with one-click through Amazon, but is it pleasant? Joyful? Are you growing and experiencing? Are you challenging yourself or what’s expected of you? It might take longer to walk somewhere and buy from your local shop, maybe you won’t even find the exact thing you’re looking for, but maybe you’ll find something unexpected and better. Maybe you’ll even bump into someone or have a nice chat with the salesperson, clerk, butcher, or barista when stopping for that impromptu coffee you decided to grab on the way. Life often happens in the inconvenient seams of the world.
What are you missing when picking convenience over serendipity?