An Inconvenient Truth About Convenience Addiction

by Charles Lyell on February 6, 2015

According to a recent article, Is It Time To Kill The K-Cup, Before It Kills Our Planet? the mini coffee pods are turning into a serious source of pollution. In 2013 over eight billion plastic K-Cups ended up as trash. Last year the total approached ten billion.

The little pods shine a spotlight on our species’ growing love affair with a popular, but conveniently overlooked, addiction to convenience.

As per the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is characterized by:

  1. Inability to consistently Abstain;
  2. Impairment in Behavioral control;
  3. Craving; or increased “hunger” for drugs or rewarding experiences;
  4. Diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships; and
  5. A dysfunctional Emotional response.

I like to include 6. Full of denial.

All it takes is a tweak of the first characteristic to qualify convenience as an addiction.

Convenience addicts share the following:

  1. Inability to consider Abstaining;
  2. Impaired Behavioral control that makes it impossible to resist time-saving gadgets, gizmos, and devices;
  3. Cravings for easy peasy lemon squeezy experiences;
  4. Diminished recognition of significant problems such as costs, waste, pollution, and health threats;
  5. Dysfunctional Emotional response that keeps convenience addicts from grasping how ignoring, dismissing, mocking, getting defensive, and/or insulted by inconvenient facts are dysfunctional emotional responses.

Plus 6. Full of denial.

Granted, the environmental damage caused by K-Cups is a drop in the ocean when compared to the hundreds of billions of tossed plastic bottles that have turned into the Great Pacific garbage patch (estimated to be about the size of Texas up to “twice the size of the continental United States”).

Still, every pod is a tiny reminder about how all man-made problems can be linked to benign and malignant unacknowledged addictive behaviors that addicts pretend are normal, logical, and acceptable.

The inconvenient truth is convenience has turned out to be so addictive it might be too late to save our species from self-annihilation because we’ve reached a point where just discussing what needs to be done is considered too inconvenient.


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