The internet is destroying civilisation as we know it.
Just heard today that another major store in my town is closing down. I find this quite heartbreaking.
We recently lost our Marks and Spencers, not that I bought much there but it was nice to have a good old solid business you could rely on. This is a John Lewis store. I live in a place where there are two parts – the ordinary chain store land of shops and the quirky independent land of shops. The second is a little more upmarket than the first, not by much but there is a difference. If you want to feel good about yourself, want to treat yourself or get something a little different you go to the second part. The first part is where you buy in bulk from cheap chain stores, dodging the chuggers.
So, it’s pretty clear I suppose why this is happening, more and more people shop online. I do. Locally, car parking charges are shocking. About £4 – £5 for a couple of hours. So if I want something small I have to pay the privilege of £5 to walk into a shop and buy it, or I can browse online in the comfort of my own home, and have it sent to where I work – oftentimes much cheaper, often arriving in less than 24 hours and in some cases returns are free and very easy to arrange.
I don’t know if it’s nationwide but I know business rates are really high too. So, online shopping, parking and the shop needing to pay business rates, when so many online businesses don’t even pay their fair share of tax. The bricks and mortar shops on the high street can’t compete anymore.
Bit over the top isn’t it? well, how is this going to end? When you go anywhere now you are met with a sea of people not talking to other people but looking at their phones, talking on their phones. The high street is where you go for a wander and bump into people. Shopping on Amazon is not the same.
So, for those who enjoy the social aspect, what is going to happen? We stare at a screen all day, shop online at night and then wait in to get stuff delivered. Go on facebook or watch TV or Netflix while waiting? What is that going to do to social cohesion? If you do not have a high street anymore, how do you meet or see people? What do you do when you want to actually see or feel what you are buying?
Am I over reacting? I don’t know anymore.