AKA The World of Shut-ins
The on-demand world we now live in provides everything and anything we could need whenever we need it. Delivered over the wire or to our door.
But is this driving us to a world of isolation, depression and anti-social behaviour. Or is it liberating us to be truly free?
In the late 90’s Carnegie carried out a study into new web-surfers and discovered they talked less to friends and family and became isolated. For a technology that gives you access to everything and everybody it was a paradox.
Home-working, startup incubators and digital nomadary (is that even a word?) is driving us away from regular contact with the same groups of people. And people are naturally wary so it’s no surprise that in 2 hrs working at Starbucks the only social interaction is with the barista making your flat-white with cinnamon sprinkles.
Time will tell if we are able to adapt to this level of isolation, and whether digital services will evolve far enough to satisfy our basic human needs for contact, touch and interaction.
But there is the other side of coin, those that provide those on-demand services: delivery folks, taxi drivers, laundry companies, supermarket pickers, deliver-in chefs etc.
To-the-door-delivery of “stuff” has exploded, and we’re starting to see huge income disparities between the middle-classes and the rest of the workforce who now service them in 10 minute slots.
You’re either you’re behind the door, receiving your stuff in your glorious homestead/apartment/new-build or you’re running around outside, servicing their needs and dreaming of a day you’ll be able to afford to live like this. We’ll call it the “Shut-In Economy”, where in the on-demand world, you’re either master or servant.