Wednesday, January 21, 2009

a little too easy

This evening I got an email from this cellist I really like (Zoe Keating) and she mentioned that she was recording a new album. This made me realize that she must already have an album and I don't just have to wait for her to show up on my Pandora radio station! So, I headed on over to, searched and was immediately given the choice between singles, an ep and the album. I chose the album, and before I even previewed the songs I saw this button which called out to me saying "Buy MP3 album with 1-click". Since it was there, and beckoning, I clicked. Immediately the songs began downloading and in moments I had a full CD on my computer. As I started listening, I wondered who those other artists were that other people had bought, and I found another cellist I liked, and there was the 1-click button again, and I had another CD! It's so easy! Click and listen to whatever you want! Now!

In my case, things worked out fine. I bought 2 full CD's for under $15, they were artists I like and listen to regularly (I already had podcasts they did on the radio show Radio Lab from WNYC) and I didn't have to bother with anything plastic. However, I'm sure you can see how dangerous this is for impulse shoppers. Save your credit card with amazon once and forever more you can buy things with one click. Not much thinking gets done with one click. I liked having to get up, find my wallet and really know I was buying something. There are so many times when I wonder at peoples' lack of self control - I mean really, how could they build up so much credit card debt and yet keep buying non-essentials? But then, you see how far removed shopping can be from reality. I give a website a number, and they give me some stuff. The connection to my money that I worked hard to earn is getting stretched further and further away. No one reminds you how much you have or owe when you get to the checkout. Personal responsibility is essential, but the market is full of people trying to figure out how to make you forget responsibilities, and this worries me.

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