The Tyranny of Now
Expecting to get what we want when we want it has become a realistic desire. Whether it is goods purchased over the internet, last minute trips abroad or food delivered to our doorsteps, the market economy has encouraged us to believe that it is reasonable to have our desires met by same day delivery. There are now companies offering to deliver groceries to our homes within 10 minutes of receiving an order. This is the demand economy and things will never be the same again. A frictionless reality is being created, one where consumers no longer communicate with the producers of their food and goods but with the delivery companies or apps that get the items to their doors.
Covid in many ways sped up this change, with many more of us embracing delivery instead of going out to shop. In other ways it has made people more determined to forge and to protect relationships with their food producers and their local suppliers. Covid exposed the fragility of the UK’s food system, and it was local suppliers and producers who stepped in to make sure that customers got what they needed when the supermarkets were struggling. But what now? As things feel a bit more like normal, how do you really feel? I have a sense of unease, despite the fact that there are some positives. The future of local food feels rosy. Local independent shops and suppliers are doing well. I guess that this sense of unease comes from the reports that our food supplies are struggling and that operators within the food and drinks sector as a whole are fishing in an ever decreasing pool of workers to fill vacancies, both these issues have big implications for us as consumers and workers. On top of this there is the behemoth of climate change and the inevitable changes to the global food system that will need to take place if we are going to stand any chance of combatting the devastating effects of planet warming.
These subjects are too large to cover in one blog and I want to look at important areas in more detail in later pieces but in the meantime what I wanted to do was to start a discussion, fan flickerings of thoughts and ideas about how we can individually make positive changes that will collectively make things better. These changes can be made in our roles as consumers, parents, businesses, voters, members of communities or neighbours, any which way. But let’s try and make a difference. The cost of doing nothing is too great and humanity has always thrived in the face of diversity.
Expecting to get what we want when we want it has become a realistic desire. Whether it is goods purchased over the internet, last minute trips abroad or food delivered to our doorsteps, the market economy has encouraged us to believe that it is reasonable to have our desires met by same day delivery.