I remember the first time I was truly blown away with gratitude around modern day advances making my life easier. Circa 2006, I was preparing for a trip to Cambodia and being on a budget, I had wrangled this ridiculous flight plan with a handful of layovers. I would be in solo transit for many hours both coming and going. As I packed my bags, I downloaded the first two seasons of Grey’s Anatomy and borrowed a travel-sized CD player to accompany me en route. I remember being completely astounded that such an option was available. This was many years before Netflix launched their online presence. Binge watching was only available through multiple trips to my local BlockBuster Video - years before it was part of our everyday tapestry.
I just couldn’t believe that not only could I book a flight across the world and experience a whole new outlook on our planet, but also I could be fully entertained while navigating the journey! I remember thinking - how much better can it get?
Sure, I too complain about "First World Problems." You should see the panic in my classroom when the WiFi goes out. The last outage prompted a student to lament, “What are we going to do? It’s just like a blackout, except for the lights.” I, too, get frustrated when tech lets me down. But, I am also one to stop now and again and truly appreciate the wondrous convenience of modern life.
I love my "First World Pleasures."
I am grateful every time Google Maps guides my to my destination, helping me avoid traffic jams along the way. Remember trying to find your route on the old Rand-McNally in your glove box. Thanks GPS. I love you.
I am still amazed when Siri properly texts my husband through voice recognition, leaving my hands free to unload bags and toddlers from the car.
I can’t remember the last time I watched TV or listen to the radio to get the weather. Now I can obsessively check the temperature on my phone right before stepping outside and layer my clothes accordingly.
I love my online shopping. Not only do I never have to step into a Walmart to struggle home an oversized box of diapers, but also my orders arrive in these amazing giant cardboard boxes that the kids and I turn into spaceships and playhouses. Not to mention the joy the get popping the bubble wrap. Win-win!
Uber is awesome, especially when I get home late and I need to get our babysitter home safely. I love been able to track her whole journey and getting an update when she reaches home.
These days, banking is a breeze and can be completed while I watch streaming TV shows (seriously, when was the last time I actually watched a program in “real time,” commercials and all?) in my temperature controlled house. I actually get annoyed that I can't yet deposit cheques on my mobile app. I mean really, you want me to go to the bank machine?
It’s a toss up whether I adore the amazing efficiency of Click and Collect the most (ordering my groceries through an app and then having someone put them in my trunk while I wait in my designated parking space) or is is the wonder of Starbucks Mobile Order, when I get to saunter past the milling crowd at the pick up point and grab my perfectly designed coffee.
We have come a long way since banging our laundry on rocks in the river, and I’m ever thankful that I live in the days of iPhones and Google.
The other day, as I awaited my Click and Collect groceries, I took a moment to cash in my points on a free, mobile ordered Starbucks and I thought, “Does it get any better than this?” I’m sure by next year, it will.
Thanks, First World Pleasures, for making my life so convenient and giving me more time to spend doing the things I truly love.