Once again, Amazon is disrupting retail. We’ve been feeling it big-time in Seattle for years. The latest news about Whole Foods means yet more anxiety to come, no doubt.
The blocks around the building where I sit writing this are rapidly being consumed by Amazon.com, which is about to purchase the Whole Foods grocery store down the street.
Maybe consumed isn’t the only way to look at it. The neighborhood is being transformed and revitalized, and that is the treatment Whole Foods is said to be in need of. Amazon announced Friday it is buying the Whole Foods grocery chain. And as a consequence we are all in for more change.
Change happens all the time and always has, but it’s harder to keep up with these days when it’s so large and so fast.
I came across this quotation attributed to the sociologist Gerhard Lenski: “The most striking feature of contemporary life is the revolutionary pace of social change. Never before have things changed so fast for so much of mankind.” That statement is from 1974.
Well, we all know the pace has just kept on getting faster since then.
It can be hard for individuals to adapt, but probably harder for big systems — education, politics, media, even grocery stores. How will government regulate self-driving cars, or drones that deliver goods? How do we preserve privacy when data is being gathered about us constantly as we go about our new normal routines?
There are far more questions than answers, which may be one of several reasons more people are feeling anxious.
A number of reports show Americans suffering from anxiety, stress and depression at rates that have gone up dramatically over the past several years. The Great Recession is blamed for some of that because of the disruptions it caused, and the election of Donald Trump is another stressor for many people. But we were already feeling increasingly stressed by our fast-track digital life, growing…