Food delivery apps are convenient while making us lazy

Let’s face it. Things are easier to do today than they were before. Simple things like seeing the weather or checking email are much easier now with smartphones than they were less than a decade ago. In fact, mobile devices are the primary internet device for millions of Americans and apps handle many of our daily activities.

The food delivery aspect is huge and growing. Currently, it’s a $70 billion industry. Companies like Postmates use local couriers (called “Postmen”) to buy from local restaurants to bring food directly to customers’ homes or offices. It’s a slick app that tracks the courier as they get to the restaurant and head towards their destination. It’s like a combination of Amazon, Uber, and traditional delivery services. Rather than ordering a pizza or Chinese food that traditionally delivered, these types of apps will work with pretty much any restaurant. Sushi delivery? Sure. Coffee delivery? Absolutely.

Of course, there’s a potential problem. Are conveniences making us lazy? That’s really a rhetorical question, of course, because being lazy is relative. Is it lazy to stay at work and have a service bring lunch?

These types of services have been tried before. Kozmo.com tried to get steam in the 90s, but failed despite millions of dollars in funding. What makes the new wave different?

“The main difference is they’re based on smartphones,” New York Times tech reporter Farhad Manjoo told CBS News. “These companies wouldn’t have worked five or six years ago because not everyone used smartphones… So the fact their customers are ordering from smartphones, and their workers are being deployed by smartphones, that makes the whole system work.”

This is obviously becoming a “thing” but how far will it go? Will the couriers be replaced by drones in the near future? Robots? Could we be living lives like the humans in WALL-E? If we make it that far, we’re probably already lost.

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