Insights
Jan 7, 20196 min read

Why Living Digital Won’t Make You Lonely.

Jelena Parlov headshot

by Jelena Parlov

"Are you so socially awkward that you see your doctor online instead of IRL? Or is it the next-level efficiency of the digital world that gets you? I don’t know how you feel, but I absolutely love it!"

 

I often hear about new types of stores and services launching online. We have come such a long way from clothes and shoes being the only goods we can buy on the internet; there is now an entire spectrum of alternatives trying to drag you away from physical stores.

Some people think this is getting out of control, making us more and more antisocial. They might have a point, but my take on it is very different.

Being able to handle more chores online frees up time for the more enjoyable things in life. My time is already consumed by too many distractions – why not try to eliminate as many of them as possible? That’s why I try to do whatever I can online, giving me more time for friends and family.

Here’s a list of all the different shopping and services that the internet has revolutionised, making my life smooother. I know that you’ll have different options depending on which country or region you live in. But this is how I do it (I’m 28 years old and live in Stockholm, Sweden).

Shopping

Groceries & household: Buying groceries and household articles is very easy to do online these days. If you live in a bigger city you benefit from more convenient delivery, too. I can place my order and get it delivered the same night or the next day. I can even minimise my environmental impact by choosing a slot when the delivery trucks are already scheduled to be in my neighbourhood, thanks to the technology that displays this information. Great!

Clothing & accessories: I buy almost everything I wear online. Usually, this is seamless. The only thing I wish for is MUCH quicker deliveries. We should get inspiration from the UK where getting your parcel the same day is completely standard. Now, I always allow for 4-5 days of waiting which is way too ineffective. If I realise on Tuesday that I need a dress for a party at the weekend, I’d like to be able to trust that it’ll arrive on time.

Beauty: Beauty products are probably my favourite category to shop online. Here you’ll definitely find better prices than in brick-and-mortar stores, and shopping from beauty sites abroad is easy and hassle-free. The freight is usually not too pricey and it’s also quick, even if my parcel comes from Germany or the UK. I don’t know if this is faster due to the parcels being smaller, but big thumbs up! Online shopping also gives me access to the cool brands we don’t have in Sweden.

Interior & furniture: Here you can buy pretty much everything online, but physical stores are still superior. Buying a sofa online is risky business, because you never know exactly how the colour will look, and if it’s comfy to sit on or not. The deliveries are also often a mess, as you usually get those annoying 8am – 5pm delivery slots which require you to be home for the entire day. Many companies will not carry the furniture into your apartment either, which means you’ll have to carry it by yourself (unless you have 3 friends who happen to be off work that day)… You get my point. If you plan on starting an online interior/furniture company, make sure to sort this out and your business will prosper!

Flowers: Having fresh flowers at home just makes you feel better! This is also one of the most common gifts to friends, family and colleagues. Ordering flowers online is very easy, and you can choose exactly when, where and to whom you want them delivered. There are also flower subscription sites, where you get flowers sent to your doorstep regularly. Very convenient.

Services

Transport and travel: In Stockholm, we have new transportation apps and services popping up all the time. Book your taxi via Uber, a small Tuk Tuk-lookalike called Bzzt, a rental car via Sunfleet or your electric kick bike with Voi. Top up your public transport card online or on your phone. Book your trips and vacations online – a no-brainer.  I would say transport is one of the most digitised services you can find. I will probably never have to own a car, which is a big step for our environment and also a notable change in behaviour between generations.

Banking & bills: There is no longer any need for me to actually go to a bank office. Anyone with a Swedish personal ID number can open a bank account online. You can also get loans online (even though it is better to go to the bank for negotiation opportunities). Payments can be done automatically for almost everything you need on an everyday basis, and your bills can easily be taken care of. All you need is a special identification app for your phone which will work for all banks, institutions and in almost every other case where you need to show ID online. Smoooth and flawless.

Doctors & medicine: Nowadays, you don’t have to physically visit the doctor every time you feel ill. Simply log in to a call with one of the healthcare apps using your bank ID (the identification app), get a digital prescription, go to the pharmacy and get your medicine. Congrats, you just saved a couple of hours plus the waiting time for an appointment which might have been days or weeks away. A couple of weeks ago, I did this on a Saturday morning, and within 30 minutes I had the medicine in my hand. Instead of “surviving” the weekend, I was already feeling better the same day.

Home alarm systems: Long gone are the times when these were just horrible sounds and the security company called/came over. Now I can have my home completely equipped with next-level surveillance. Code systems replacing keys, cameras where I need them, remote door locking, monitoring of my internet connection, seeing if my windows are open or closed, setting temporary codes for cleaners, etc. This is huge, it feels secure, and I have a complete overview of my home and what’s going on in there when I’m not around. Especially helpful if I have a pet at home that I want to keep track of.

Other services: With all the services available online nowadays, this list could go on forever. I can find a cleaning service online where I can instruct them on exactly what I need, and later pay online as well. There are a lot of “beauty on the go” services popping up, meaning I can find a beauty therapist (with good ratings of course) and have them come to my home to do my hair or nails. I can find a handyman to help me tomorrow, and I can also find dog walkers or dog grooming services that will come to my home.

 

While some call it “Getting less social”, I call it “Optimizing my life”. And I love trying new exciting apps and services. So please, keep them coming!