It’s too hard

I think we’ve got the model wrong.

I’ve been thinking about the overwhelming task that modern living is these days. The long list of things we must do to maintain a family and a household. It’s not just the bills and the day to day routine of work/school/housework/travel/cooking/eating/sleeping. It’s the complexity of managing the myriad of responsibilities that have fallen upon our bowed consumer shoulders. It’s about the choices, the plethora of confusing, time consuming, ridiculous choices we have awarded ourselves.

Let’s start somewhere familiar. The supermarket. Milk. Like the lady in the corner shop says: low fat, extra dollop, high protein, lactose free, soy, rice, full cream – the list is endless. Then there’s the phone, once a simple issue of getting it connected and paying the bill, it has now become a tsunami of offers with bundles, mobiles and internet access all provided by small, medium and large competitors whose services and rates are utterly incomparable.

Then there’s the energy company – do you go for the cheaper one with it’s ‘couldn’t care less’ call centre in the middle of Dheli? Or do you pay more and go for the company that’s all green and sends you expensive, slick promotional material? Or the one that promises to actually read your meter and not just guess how much power you’ve used?

Then there’s the password issue. Every bloody thing needs a password. Your loyalty cards, your access to government internet sites, your ticket booking systems, your laptop, your pc, your mobile, your credit card, your debit card, your memberships of any description, your partners free time – all in the name of privacy. Really? I’ve had to make new neuron pathways in my head to understand how to use these many ‘simple, easy to access, faster’ ways of doing business with the company’s that ‘value my time and patience’ while they are experiencing ‘technical difficulties’. 

Then there’s the social networking. Some people say ‘You can get me on mobile,’ only I have a teensy tiny plan that doesn’t allow for long mobile phone conversations. So then it was SMS. Not anymore. ‘You can get me on facebook.’ Even then they don’t respond. I leave voicemail messages that aren’t returned. I write letters that get chucked with the recycling as junk mail.

It”s all too hard.I want my time back, I want my life back, I want some damned simplicity in my world, and I would gladly give up some of my ‘choices’ to have it.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Colleen
    Aug 05, 2010 @ 06:30:39

    I have been asking the question for years to people who say ‘it’s all in name & for progress’ – well I would ask progress to where? I guess you have answered part of that question Kate but still it continues….
    Julia’s ‘imfamous/famous’ speech ‘moving Australia forward’ – just where to exactly??? may just finish up in NZ as quoted in the letters page of the ‘Age’!!!
    Love to you all & keep up the good work,
    Coll xx


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