Call me old-fashioned.
I readily admit it. My kids are likely cringing right now that I'm making such an "old guy" declaration in public but I'm at peace with my old guy reality. I wear this balding, middle-aged man frame with pride and I embrace some -- but not all -- of the mindsets that come with approaching the other side of the hill.
Now, at age 49, I'm ready to be put out to pasture. I also don't want you to think I'm yearning for the days of horse and buggy and communicating by telegraph. I'm not. I'm on my iPhone every night and every morning just like you may be. However, there are some traditional aspects of society I suspect I'll cling to for the rest of my life. The best example of this?
Do I order stuff online? Yes. Do I do it a lot? No. Pretty much all I buy online are airline tickets, rental cars, sports tickets, etc. Clothes? I'm going to the store. Car? Going to the car dealership. I prefer traditional, bricks and mortar retail to shopping on a website every time. If my kids need or want something like new school clothes, we go shopping at the store. You know, like get in the car, drive to the store and shop. I want to check it out in person first if I'm going to buy something for my kids. I want them to be able to, too. Same goes for if I need something.
Call me old-fashioned. I'm okay with it, and I don't think I'm alone on this front. There are two reasons I actually insist on going shopping in person 98 percent of the time. One is the reason listed above -- it is in many ways social to go shopping. I enjoy spending time with my kids and take pride in providing for them and getting them what they need. I like doing that with them. I also enjoy getting out in the community and seeing other people. Clicking online, handing over my credit card number in anonymity just doesn't do it for me. Absolutely no fun.
The second reason I do it is for philosophical reasons. Could I buy everything I ever needed or wanted online? Of course. I don't do that, though, because everywhere I turn people are losing jobs to technology. I believe that if I support traditional retail I support the people who work there. I also support small business owners. In rural communities in particular there are only so many jobs. Why support a job hundreds of miles away when I can support someone who works right here locally? At that online portal, I'm in all likelihood supporting an entity that wants to replace people in their warehouses with robots anyways.
I feel pretty strongly about this. Shopping local at the store is the right thing to do because it benefits people.
Now, if after reading this you suspect I'm pecking away at a typewriter by gaslight to write this you'd be mistaken. Washing clothes by hand? Nope. I am, however, going to the store when I need something.
You can bank on it. I like rural communities. I like people who choose to live in rural America. What is one way I support rural communities the people who live in them?
I choose traditional retail.