Why I Can’t Quit Amazon

Even if I wish I could

Tessa Love
Forge
Published in
5 min readJan 16, 2019

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Photo: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek/Getty

When I moved to Berlin a few months ago, I didn’t anticipate everything that would get in the way of carrying out my daily life. The moment I left California, I lost the ease with which I moved through the world by way of knowing a place so well. Instead, I found language barriers, cultural differences, unfamiliar brands, and the general challenges of learning a new city, all of which make it hard to do simple things like buy groceries and household items or even little luxuries like a new book.

So I did what everyone confronted with inconvenience does these days: I turned to Amazon.

Being in Germany forces me to confront data privacy issues every time I use the internet. With the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into effect in May 2018, every website now produces an annoying popup prompting users to change their privacy settings, read the site’s privacy policy, or simply consent to being tracked and traced. I consent 100 percent of the time just to get that banner out of my way as fast as possible.

Like millions of other humans, I’m all too willing to accept these pitfalls, because who the hell has time to read a privacy policy?

There are a million reasons to be mad at myself for these (and other) wrought acts of convenience. Amazon supports reprehensible worker conditions, evades taxes, contributes to widespread environmental degradation, and has a penchant for world domination. Meanwhile, it’s not exactly breaking news that the programs defining our modern era — Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Google, Twitter, etc. — have turned into companies trading the most intimate details of our personal lives for major profit. And don’t get me started on Uber, DoorDash, and all the others.

Like millions of other humans, I’m all too willing to accept these pitfalls, because who the hell has time to read a privacy policy? And how many hours can I spend wandering around Berlin in search of new bedding? It’s so much easier to resign myself to online shopping, to accept the loss of privacy, and to do business with a company I detest. It’s so much easier to buy into the promise these companies are selling —…

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