The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Grocery shopping woes

The only household chore I do well is grocery shopping.

I am that person that walks up and down every aisle. I do stare at the wall of yogurt flavors like a child in a candy shop. And I will find any excuse to make it to Kroger at any time, day or night. But like usual, I still have some personal grievances to discuss.

My first concerns some basic road rules. I feel for the elderly, really I do, but when grandma clogs my cereal aisle, I have to restrain myself from resorting to road rage. I’m not sure how it happened, but somewhere between the parking lot and the entrance of the grocery store, a thought occurred to me. Maneuvering your cart should mimic automotive driving. There is no explanation for the mass chaos that occurs at the end of the aisle.

Coming to a full stop, looking both ways, checking for wayward children and only then proceeding through the intersection is not only admirable but common sense.

And remember the days when we had the option of paper or plastic? The days when our answer reflected personal preference rather than environmental perspective and political orientation? Those days are long gone. Now I’m judged by how I respond to the question.

And I’ll fill you in on a little secret: It’s a trick question. When asked paper or plastic, you should respond, “canvas.”

For those of you who are loyal readers, you may be anticipating my next grievance: exploitation of the consumer through self-checkout lines. These lines are the contemporary alternative to the traditional cashier. In order to save money, grocery stores have employed machines that speak to you in a stereotypical manner appropriate for suburban shopping – a white, middle-aged, articulate and feminine voice. It’s quite soothing until an attendant has to be notified and the process is halted because of my inability to bag the groceries appropriately. But why should I be punished for performing a sub-standard job that I am not trained, employed or paid to accomplish? After supporting Kroger with my hard-earned money, I would appreciate someone else scanning my barcodes and manually identifying my fruits and vegetables.

Clearly these annoyances call for a solution suitable for our generation: online grocery shopping. Our culture is quick to fix every problem through an online avenue. Don’t like standing in line waiting to buy something? Don’t! Purchase it online. Bored at work? Surf the internet! Sick? Self-diagnosis through WebMD! Don’t know where to start with your history paper? Wikipedia!

The Internet has become a sorry substitute for human interaction. When we need information, advice, products, diagnosis or even socialization we turn to a cyberspace alternative. The more we give into the “convenience” of doing things over the Internet, the more we lose quality of life.

I understand that many people find Tom Thumb, Albertsons and the like overwhelming and tedious, but let’s not be so quick to alleviate that frustration via the World Wide Web. Just as the Kindle threatens the integrity of the written word, online supermarkets threaten the preservation of human interaction, and human-computer interaction is sadly becoming a larger part of modern life.

So, the next time you have an itch for information or a need to consume, venture into the real world to do so. While you’re at it, make eye contact, give a smile and make grocery shopping your hobby.

Logan Masters is a junior sociology major. She can be reached for comment at [email protected].

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