The “click” culture

With the digital commerce taking over our lives, we have truly entered the “click” culture. Four years ago, when I came back to India, I was positively surprised that I could order everything via phone, even groceries. The local grocery shop, medical shop and laundry guy, almost every kind of service was just a phone call away.

However, in last three years, my shopping habits have transformed with the rise of online retail. Today, there is every kind of imaginable online service available to me. When I moved to a congested part of the town, I found it really difficult to go shopping even for basics. So I started ordering my groceries online. Being a health food junkie, I also order raw juices online. If I am pressed for time and don’t have time to cook, I order ready made food. If I need to travel somewhere, I order an Ola or Uber. If I need books, I order from Amazon’s kindle store and the list can go on.

While there are options to call for an exercise expert home, I think I am going to let this one pass as I need to get out of my home. AlsoI love the breeze and the group ethos of a class.

The fascinating aspect of a digitally connected world is that it has made everything just a “click” away. Even conversations with friends are just a click away.

What is the reason that this “click” culture is taking hold of our lives? Is it our laziness or a realization that we don’t need to spend time on such seemingly meaningless mundane tasks? Or is it the inadequate infrastructure of Mumbai, which makes it difficult to complete any of these tasks in a desirable timeframe? Or is it that we have a new appreciation of time? Or is it that an online transaction is less stressful than dealing with a real human being?

Today, when everything is just a “click” away, how our consumption of these products and services changing? Have we become impulsive in our consumption or more relaxed or both?

I don’t know the answer to many of these questions, but one thing is clear, the more we become attuned to this culture of acquiring products and services, there will be a definite change in our relationships to almost everything.

I would love to know what you think of the “click” culture. How has your life impacted by it?

Minimalism is not giving up, but adding value

Often minimalism is confused with not consuming at all. People think minimalism means living a boring life without enjoyment. It’s viewed as an antithesis of what a consumerist society stands for, that is giving up materialistic pleasures and pursuits. While that may be true for some minimalists, it is not necessarily true for all.

Minimalism to me means giving up possessions that don’t add any value to our lives. Filling our lives and places with mindless consumption attests to a particular habit of acquiring things because we can. It also reflects an emptiness within when we are no longer clear about what we really want to do with our lives so we focus on acquisition of stuff because that is easy. This habit feeds a particular pattern of making money, acquiring stuff and then looking for a place or an occasion to show off our new stuff. Over time, this becomes our life mission.

Minimalism then is a way to become aware of this mindless materialistic pursuit so that we can restructure our life and priorities. If through this process we realize that all we want to do is acquire stuff so be it, but often we discover that there are certain needs and goals in life that are being unmet because of mindless consumption. Clearing out stuff allows us to pause and reflect on what our true desires and callings are. And once we have arrived at a balance between our inner and outer selves, we can reset the button to live a meaningful and mindful life. Except that it is easier said than done.

It is not easy to be a minimalist, to give up your possessions and most importantly, not to acquire new ones to fill the space that has emptied out. Like any new habit that takes time to form, minimalism too takes a while getting used to. It can be a difficult process but it is worth it.

At least that’s what I am discovering. Having too many options in my closet meant it took me an awful lot of time to get ready and I would inevitably end up late everywhere. Second, it meant that I was wearing the same stuff most of the times, as I would get too overwhelmed when going through my closet and often won’t remember the rarely used stuff. It was too much of a load on my memory. Now with fewer options, I find it easier to dress up and am able to actually dress up.

I would love to know, what are your apprehensions about minimalism or struggles with minimalism?