As the day starts with spam calls about car warranties you never signed up for, the morning coffee gets interrupted with scam texts inquiring about properties you don’t own, a Google search brings up results you don’t want, and Instagram shows you content from accounts you don’t follow, you could be forgiven in 2022 for feeling like you don’t control anything.
The message this year is you will get much lower quality and pay for it with your energy, time, and rapidly depleting dollars.
Sorry, the thinking goes, but don’t complain because you didn’t die from Covid, so all of this garbage is your lucky consolation prize. Just stuff down your frustration and book overpriced tickets on airlines that can’t get you where you want to go and that will lose your luggage right around the time you lose your mind. Get used to overcooked $18 hamburgers. Be careful with new bike lanes that dump you into busy city streets and take away much needed car parking—because everyone loves the political win that disappoints all sides. Be at peace with the AI that deletes your job application because it’s missing keywords.
This is just the sophisticated/broken way things are done now. Isn’t it something?
Day after day I find myself exasperated by the overpriced and underperforming nature of American (or at least Californian) life in 2022.
The only answer I see for getting out of it is for people to decide that they not only demand value but also produce it. Don’t be the company that allows spam and scams through your phone lines (yo, Verizon, what am I paying for?). Do be the person who cooks a great burger for your customer even if inflation means it has to cost $18. At least make it delicious and memorable. Vote for politicians who will shape the community in ways that align with your values. Put the human back in human resources by getting eyes on people’s resumes instead of having software do the sifting.
Be better. Stand for something. I know there’s oppression and poverty and injustice and that not all people have the same opportunities, but all of us collectively can try a little harder to contribute value to our society. We can start by standing by what we individually do and say. We can also ask that companies, government, and other people rise to the challenge. And who knows? One little effort at a time might start to turn the tide toward the world we actually want to live in.