The Amazon GO Store Is The Worst Idea In The Age Of Social Anxiety

Day 24/365: A humanless store in a time of anxiety is exactly what you DON’T want…

One of the things psychotherapists do when dealing with people who suffer from social anxiety is called exposure. After the person is introduced to the cognitive part of the therapy (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is the best approach to anxiety and phobias) as in learning to combat their negative thoughts and putting the good scenarios in front of the bad ones, the exposure part puts all of those pieces of information into action.

Exposure=human interaction

The first thing the client has to do is to go to a groceries store and buy something, pay the cashier and then get the heck out of there before he or she is enveloped by anxiety. The socially anxious person has a hard time interacting with people, so by gradually putting the client to go through even the smallest of interactions, it gets easier with every new try.

Opening stores without humans as cashiers in the era of anxiety, depression and other mental diseases is like punching people who suffer from these things in the face. It’s like punching all of us, whether we’re suffering from them or not, in the nose. Why? Because the only way of getting better at being humans is by interacting with other humans.

“Do what you can, where you are, with what you have” — Theodore Roosevelt

I don’t want to sound “conspirational”, but it seems to me that the more we try to eradicate these serious mental problems, the more companies try and fight us to fail into doing so. And as the numbers show it, they succeed.

The more we seek for human interaction and spending time with each other, the more we find about things like Amazon GO or a new app that lets you talk to your friends for free, so you don’t have to go and meet them.

Anxiety is a serious problem

Ideas like the Amazon GO stores or any other mechanically run shops are nothing but short-term solutions for people who are struggling with mental illness, and people know this if they’ve been to a therapist before. While exposure and interaction are the hard part of the healing process, it’s crucial for people to go through them in order to begin healing.

“Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous amounts of energy merely to be normal” — Albert Camus

While stores like these seem like a great idea, they just make people who don’t want to interact with other people more anxious, because the more you get used to no social interactions, the more anxious you’ll feel and the harder it’ll be for you to get back to a normal social conduct.

1 in 4 people around the world suffer from an anxiety disorder so bad, it makes their life impossible. That number is just shocking to me! The worst is found amongst teenagers, who suffer the most severe forms, with numbers growing exponentially every year.

Older people have it too and they lose their jobs, relationships and everything else because of it. The only way they can get over it is by going straight through it. And by that, I mean interacting with other humans as much as possible.

Technology vs. The Social Human

Opening humanless stores in the Age of Anxiety is technologically revolutionising, but for our brains, it has the same damaging effect our smartphones and laptops have. We are social creatures, and The Social Human is struggling hard to stay sane in the age of automatic stores, automatic food delivery system, automatic transportation and so on.

“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity” — Albert Einstein

Instead of encouraging human connection and interaction, companies want us to stay indoors and scroll down on our virtual timelines, work from home as much as possible, eat at home and get most of our entertainment inside of our houses. So when we finally get out of the house, we only need to spend little to no time interacting with another human being.

We are the reason for our own anxiety epidemic, which is why we’ll never be able to vindicate ourselves from it if we’re not willing to change our ways. We need to go for the freedom and the connection with others, not for the automatic stores and spending all of our spare time indoors. It’s hard to say no to a store that has no waiting lines, but it’s extremely healthy for our brains, which is a small price to pay in the long run.

Thank you for your time!

My name is Gabriel Iosa, I’m a 25 years old travel enthusiast, food lover, Psychology student, Full-time Freelancer, writer and Instagram fanatic. You can follow me @gabrieliosa, and if you liked this post, give it exactly 44 claps!

I’m on a mission to write 365 articles in 2018. This is definitely the biggest writing challenge of my life so far. If you’d like to be part of the journey, please follow me here on Medium.com for the daily posts!

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