Amazon, You Continue to Fascinate (and Scare!) Me

GLAD wrap Amazon Dash Button
credit: amazon

 

How easy is it to shop in your PJs, have something delivered the same day, and now push a button to reorder something while you’re in the middle of your daily household routines?

Well, if you’re an Amazon shopper, pretty darn easy!

I admit: I’m fascinated by Amazon’s continued efforts to make shopping convenient and affordable. I’m less fascinated by the personalization, though. Minority Report comes to mind….

 

amazon prime logo

A few years ago, while still in the classroom and often buying books at the request of my high school students, I discovered Amazon’s Prime service. For a modest annual fee I could purchase books online and have them delivered to my door within two days? For a busy teacher whose need for classroom resources was immediate and constant, it was a godsend, especially when the closest bookstore (that may or may not have the books I’m looking for) was 15 miles away.

In more recent years, Amazon added Next Day Delivery to their services. Could it get any better??

As if answering my question, Amazon introduced its then-newest service:  Same Day Delivery. Are you kidding me? How do they get the order, process it, ship it, and deliver it – all in the same day??? I was fascinated; it sounded too good to be true.

So what’s a gal to do?  Put it to the test, of course.

On a quiet Sunday morning, sitting comfortably on the couch with a cup of coffee and my phone, I placed an order, noted the time: 10:30 AM, and doubted I’d see the package that day. Imagine my surprise when our doorbell rang at 4:30 that afternoon. There stood a delivery person, with a smile and my package. Did I mention it was Sunday???  #impressed and at the same time, #dismayed

After finding that Same Day Delivery is real, I found myself grappling with the notion that having something delivered the same day is self-serving, environmentally irresponsible, and well, lazy. Or is it? Could I make the argument that it’s job security for someone? Or is that reaching?

While I’m all for shopping locally and supporting small business (and we do), I appreciate convenience and efficiency.

Enter my latest discovery – Amazon Dash Buttons. Introduced in 2015, and well covered in the media, I recently stumbled on to them. Of course, always the curious one, I did some clicking around to find out what they are…

 

 

Okay, so the question begs to be asked:  Is this really necessary???

Is this convenience for a busy lifestyle or simply a branding opportunity for companies? Is it just another gaudy example of over-inflated consumerism or a boon to those trying to simplify their hectic lives?

To be honest, this move toward increasing convenience scares me a little….. and we didn’t even mention drones.

A scene from a movie comes to mind.

 

As odd as this scene from Wall-E (produced by Pixar and released by Walt Disney Pictures) may seem to some, is it really that far from the truth? It’s a scene that floats through my brain from time to time (and not many movie scenes do) … causing me to pause and reflect on our ‘modern conveniences’ and where we might be headed, with far-reaching issues and consequences.

CNET reporter Bridget Carey shared ‘issues’ in her investigative report on Amazon Dash Buttons:

 

And is the Amazon Dash Button safe from a cyber perspective? Can someone hack my button via wifi and order supplies remotely while I get the bill? I wondered about these sorts of things as I read the How to Use page. In my need to know more, I ran across this post and a Part 2 here by Mark Gibbs over at networkworld.com.

Ironically, during the start of Lent, I find the $4.99 price tag reasonable enough to satisfy my curiosity. Will I give in to yet another convenience that may be perpetuating environmental irresponsibility, blatant consumerism, and the fast track to dystopia? I’d like to say no, but the jury’s out….  Look for my review of the Amazon Dash Button in upcoming weeks.

Until then, would love to hear if you’ve tried them….

 

Social Media: Are You Creating or Cringing?

Technology continues to advance.

Students’ learning continues to evolve with technology.

Social Media Icons
Source: http://www.edudemic.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/social-media-icons.png

 Is your instruction evolving, too?  

 What do you think when you read the phrase Social Media?  Does it spark your creativity or serve up a hefty helping of uncertainty?

Social media wasn’t what it is today when I was still in the classroom full-time.  We weren’t tweeting and updating our status by the millions…. yet.  I often think about how much fun it would have been to have all the social media tools when I was still working with high school students in the classroom every day.

Now, I try to incorporate social media  into training and coaching sessions, building communities of  learners online and  in  person, but before I knew much about it, I was a bit nervous about using social media…..

  • What about privacy?
  • How do I learn the technical stuff?
  • Who’s reading what I write?
  • How do you communicate with students?
  • How do you engage them?
  • What are other highly effective educators doing?
  • How do/could I use Social Media?

These are questions I often ask myself ~ to stay current and learn new things from like-minded colleagues.

I recently saw a tweet from @edudemic about social media, and of course, jumped over to read more.  I found not only a post about a new social media resource for teachers but also  a great site chock full of 411 for educators.   Score! 

 Are you creating or cringing? 

 You decide.  Then, check out this site [here] to add to your instructional toolbox.