What We Lose by Hiring Someone to Pick Up Our Avocados for Us


Will the proliferation of mobile ordering destroy civic life?

The incursion of technology into every aspect of consumption has meant that only the indolent or pathologically tolerant wait for things.

The act of turning grocery shopping into an occupation threatens something larger — we are losing a way to bridge differences in a world already collapsing from its stratification. The guy who walks into a Starbucks to pick up his pre-ordered flat white as he conference calls into his AirPods doesn’t have to exchange a single word with the worker behind the counter or really even acknowledge her. He grabs his drink and gets on with it.

It is surely true that Instacart offers a valuable service — to those who are housebound, to single parents, to others paralyzingly constrained by time.

But the Instacart workers themselves barely have the luxury of looking up because the orders they are fulfilling are all on their phones and the faster they complete them, the more orders they can fulfill — in many cases, undoubtedly for someone at home rewatching “Succession.”


I found this article interesting because I think its good to question what happens when we make the world less interactive.



Bellafante, G. (2020, January 31). What we lose by hiring someone to pick up our avocados for Us. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/31/nyregion/what-we-lose-by-hiring-someone-to-pick-up-our-avocados-for-us.html