With approximately 2.5 million currently unemployed in the UK (and around 8.5 million more just managing to make ends meet with part time work whilst pursuing full time employment), it must appear a bitter blow to job seekers as online shopping increasingly causes in-store roles to become obsolete.
There is no denying that the technology era is well and truly flourishing with developments such as online shopping a prime example of how technological advances have fast become an essential part of our day to day lifes. Once viewed as an innovative addition to the shopping experience, online buying has quickly been accepted as a social norm over the short period of time that it has actually been in use (only noticeably since the turn of the century).
However, take a moment to consider why it was necessary for technology of this nature to be developed in the first place: because online shopping seems to me to reflect a very distinct 21st century mind-set. An impatient mind-set, preoccupied with the hectic schedules that govern our day to day lifes and the constant illusion of wasting precious time.
As a generation more driven than ever to achieve our personal goals and the typical 21st century person’s demands on technology are increasing, we want the mundane tasks such as shopping to be completed as quickly as possible with as little disruption to the general flow of our day as possible. And if technology allows us to order our groceries or a friend’s birthday present from the comfort of our living room, well the general consensus would appear to be “why not?”.
While there’s no denying that online shopping may prove a life saver for older citizens and those unable to make journeys to/from shopping centres, impatience would appear to be the motivation for the majority of online shoppers.
As we relish the time saved queuing up in stores, the last thing on our minds will be the fact that we have, in essence, made a job role unnecessary; that of the cashier who would have served us had we made the effort to hit the high street.
While stores such as Tesco that can rely on online and in-store buyers to further its profits may well be prospering, the increasing trend towards online shopping is not a prospect that will look too good for current retail workers in smaller shops with masses of online competition threatening their prosperity. With HMV, Jessops and Blockbuster all folding within the space of a week, online stores seem to be flourishing at the expense of the high street favourites.
It’s sad to think that more and more retail workers (one of the biggest sectors of employment) will eventually be rendered useless by our own technological innovations. While some will argue that online shopping simply reflects our progression as a technology savvy society, it still seems more meaningful to hit the shops and search out that perfect gift for a friend rather than simply scrolling through a few web pages and clicking a mouse. And who knows, it might just put less pressure on smaller companies and ultimately human jobs.
This content is one individual's opinion and does not represent the opinion of The Galleon. If you disagree with this article or have any further comment to make please email firstname.lastname@example.org.