Gas prices are up again – or are they down? Do you care? Should you? I don’t think so.
For nearly a decade fluctuating gas prices have rivaled the weather as small talk fodder of choice. But now it seems we’ve become immune, well, most of us. We all have that one uncle who tracks gas prices like the stock market, willing to cross state lines to save ten cents per gallon.
There are websites devoted to keeping you informed about the slightest change in your petroleum purchase. You know, so you can feel good about saving 37 cents at the pump before heading into the store to spend $4 for water.
I stopped caring about gas prices years ago. I had an epiphany that changed my life. Why should I care about gas prices when I have the Internet?
Think of all the things which used to require transportation that you can now accomplish while sitting at your computer…in your underwear. You surf your way, I’ll surf mine.
Do your banking – No more standing in line waiting for Penny McSaveANickel to make the latest deposit in her Christmas Club; now I can move virtual money to virtual accounts with virtual ease. I can pay bills, schedule transfers and collect interest using an interface that’s colorful and responsive with eye-popping graphics. It’s like playing Call of Duty with my finances.
Buy groceries – Avoid the germ infested cart handles and express lane Nazis. Buying groceries online makes me feel like an international trader. I can have steaks shipped in from Omaha and potatoes delivered from Amazon. Welcome to Chez Turcotte, where the waffles are Belgian and the fish are Swedish.
Attend a meeting – Why fight traffic and struggle to stay awake during the update from accounting? Now all I need to do is log-in and wear a headset. Heck, I can even open another browser window and continue my Texas Hold ‘Em tournament while the boss babbles on about lost productivity.
Visit family – As much as I look forward to riding dingy busses, losing luggage and sleeping in airports, I can now visit my loved ones via webcam. Mom and Dad can fire up the iPad and prop me at the dinner table so we can discuss Uncle Stan’s sixth marriage and gastrointestinal issues.
Find a date – OK, Cupid, you’re bound to find harmony. After all, there are plenty of fish in the sea and if you’d rather mingle with Christians, we’ve got you covered. Gone are the days of trying to meet your match in bars, laundromats and circus tents. The first five dates have been replaced with swipe left or swipe right. Online dating attracted over 41 million users last year and it’s here to stay. Plus, once you’re interested in someone, you can dig up the dirt via social media. Why bother walking and talking when there’s stalking!
Watch a newly released movie – Instead of dipping into the kids’ college fund so I can afford a ticket, Raisinets and cherry Slushee, I can avoid the sticky floors, walls, and seats and view ‘13 Sins’ by committing a 14th; watching it online via some shady website…or so I’m told.
Play doctor – No, this isn’t a follow-up to finding a date, weirdo. Full disclosure here, I’m not a doctor. I know, shocking, especially since I drive a Hyundai Elantra and buy Christmas gifts at the Dollar Tree. Apparently there are a bunch doctors living in the Internet and they’re willing to save me the hassle of showering, driving and reciting my medical history, insurance information and SAT scores to four different people at the front desk. Granted, if I choose to research my ailment online, I’ll miss sitting in the waiting room and getting caught up on Flag Day decorating ideas from the June 2009 Better Homes and Gardens.
Higher education – Dorm rooms, mind-numbing lectures and reheated salisbury steak? Not a chance. Through the magic of the www, I can earn a bachelor’s degree in social sciences without ever interacting with another human being – in my underwear.
In fact, if you use the Internet to its full potential, the only reason you’ll need to leave the house…is to get gas.