Is Convenience Killing Us?


We are living in the most advanced times in history.  We can sit in one spot for 24 hours and still manage to work a full-time job, attend school, vacuum the floors of our homes, get the grocery shopping done, and have dinner ready without ever leaving the couch. 

In California, LaundryCareExpress will come to your home, pick up your laundry and return it in the next day, clean and folded.  Maybe you can talk the kids into putting it away for you?  Anything is possible with enough money and motivation.

According to their blog, DoorDash, the service that delivers take-out food straight to your home has delivered over 8 million burgers in their first 5 years in business.


Customers may have to walk 5 steps to open the door instead of leaving their house.

Don’t mistake me here: I LOVE technology.  I think it has opened up so many more possibilities for connections, learning, and new developments that have changed lives for the better.  But let’s not lose sight of our growing problem..

Too much of a good thing, can ultimately become excessively bad.

Learning how to use the internet in high school was the most daunting task for me because I hated computers and I wasn’t good at using them.  Fast-forward many years later and I have a laptop computer, an iPad, an iPhone and these sticks that plug into my TV that I cannot live without. They are all connected to that scary internet.  I could sit for hours and stare at all of them without moving.  What is this doing to me?  To US?  How many convenience-based devices do you own?

Let’s discuss convenient food.

Where do you think the most popular place to get a fast lunch is according to most recent research?  McDonald’s? Arby’s? Subway?


Your local gas station. (also called convenience stores)

This trend has become so popular that major grocery store companies are thinking of opening small shops selling packaged food to compete for a share of this market.  Sure, they will probably have a selection of fresh fruits and vegetables just like the 7-11 does.  The average consumer will still grab the plastic-wrapped sandwich instead.

Not everything new and innovative is bad for us.  The number one trend in fitness for the second year in a row is wearable technology like Fitbit and the Apple watch that keep up with our activities and encourage us to do more.  Unfortunately, the average person is still not getting enough movement throughout the day.

FUN FACT:  The default setting on most of these fitness devices is 10,000 steps a day.  However; it was the first pedometer marketing scheme.  That’s right, it’s not a scientific standard.   Dr. I-Min Lee at Brigham and Women’s Hospital looked into the origin of this figure while doing research. “. Lee discovered that theorigins of the number go back to 1965, when a Japanese company made a device named Manpo-kei, which translates to “’10,000 steps meter.’”

Marketing scheme or not, more steps equals longer life.  More movement equals longer life.  Working harder for your food equals longer life.  And of course, exercise equals longer life.

Walking through the grocery store to do your own shopping is adding more movement to your day.  If you have the time, continue to do your own shopping.  Cleaning your home requires you to move.  Again, clean with manual tools if you have time.  Cooking requires you to walk around your kitchen, use hand-eye coordination, keeps the neurons in your brain firing while enhancing your mood.  Cook meals at home.  BONUS: you know what is in it if you make it yourself!

My fear is that in 20 years, there will be studies emerging about how we could have prevented a decrease in life-span similar to what was found in tobacco use studies.  There is already tons of research about how our changing diet has decreased life-span and independent living.  Technology will be the next target.  We already know about the spike in dopamine levels that scrolling Facebook and Instagram give us, making us feel good like a sugary treat or glass of wine or even like a shot of cocaine.  I don’t see these devices going away.  But we should treat them like alcohol and milkshakes: MODERATION IS KEY.

Do I dare suggest that we go on a “technology diet?”

Should we limit our intake of screen-time like we limit our consumption of alcohol, fat and sugar?

Taking the time to make your own meals is difficult to accomplish during our overly packed schedules.  Most people balk at the idea of setting aside a day to prepare meals for a week.  Children and spouses complicate the situation even more.  When you compare the time spent waiting in the drive-thru line with the diminished life-span that eating convenient food can cause, it becomes a small price to pay.

Now add the amount of time after work you spend on your phone….

Although we love our phones and our quick food, we need to love ourselves and family more.  It’s a shift in decision-making and the conscious choice to live better for longer.  What will you choose?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *