Inspired by a tech writer a follow on Twitter, I thought it would be interesting to look back at my Amazon history. I got started way back in 1999, when there were still dead tree books and little silver discs that held music files. Nowadays, my online shopping has shifted to “everyday” items. As technology has changed, so have my habits. I think there is revelation to be found in looking back at something like this. How my life has changed, reflected by what I found valuable to me (in my purchases). And also how my life has been changed by products and services and technology. This is probably interesting to no one but me, but hey, it’s a fun exercise.
1999 – 2 orders: book and CD
- I’ve long since sold all my Star Wars books on resale sites and the CD is a soundtrack I have ripped and still have in a playlist.
2000 – 3 orders: movies
- Two of the orders were gifts. I still have the third but have literally never watched it. It is the CNN recap of the worldwide celebrations of 2000 New Years Day.
2001 – 4 orders: books and movie
- Again, the Star Wars books are resold. The movie is still on my shelf.
2002 – 2 orders: book and board game
- It’s a party game, not one I have any more.
2003 – 2 orders: book and board game
- I have absolutely no recollection of buying the board game, Axis and Allies. I’ve never played that game. Maybe it was a gift?
2004 – 2 orders: CDs and how-to book
- The music is digitized in my library still to this day.
- I don’t remember ever trying to use Adobe Premiere Pro for video editing. I’ve always used Final Cut. Weird.
2005 – 1 order: book
2006 – No orders. Huh…
2007 – 2 orders: TV and movies
- I had this TV right up until last October. Crazy, I knew it was an older TV but not that it was 10 years. I donated it; not sure where it ended up.
- Looks like this is also when I decided to go blu-ray. You’ll remember there was a format battle between blu-ray and HD-DVD. I placed my bets on blu-ray and that’s what ended up winning out!
2008 – 6 orders: movies, books, gifts
- I still have 2 of 4 movies. Well, one was a TV series box set that I don’t have anymore. With Netflix, what’s the point of owning TV shows?
- One gift was an under-counter CD player my mom asked for Christmas. I actually think I saw that sitting in the living room this Christmas. Not sure if it is still used, but it is out where it can be!
2009 – 10 orders: books, gadgets, gifts
- This is the year I read the enormous Wheel of Time series.
- Looks like I also upgraded my dash radio in my old truck that year.
2010 – 6 orders: clothes, Kindle, video game
- Ahhh, so here’s where I switched to e-books. Oh my, I opted to try the giant 10″ Kindle DX. I remember being really hung up on not wanting to turn the page so often on the smaller screen. But the big Kindle was just too much and I sold it to a guy internationally.
- Team logo apparel for Texas Longhorns and Dallas Stars. Still have those in my closet, although the Stars have since rebranded.
2011 – 30 orders: board games, video games, movies, gadgets, bike accessories
- Bought the PS3 this year and several games. The PS3 has found a great home at a friend’s.
- Looks like I bought the Macbook Air that year because there are a few accessories and cables for it. Also a couple iPhone accessories for the car.
- I settled on the smaller Kindle early in the year, passed that on to a family member, and upgraded to the first touch screen Kindle. The case I got, I still use.
- Apparently I tried to be more mindful of exercise this year. I got a bicycle and some basic home gym accessories. I ended up liking to ride on pavement more than trails so I sold my bike with the intention of switching to a road bike, but never did. And I definitely never worked out at home. Haha.
2012 – 37 orders: kitchen gear, movies, gadgets, board games
- I’m starting to get really fascinated by looking back at all this. This is the year I got into cooking. There are all sorts of orders, from chef knives to stand mixer.
- At this point I’m upgrading my DVDs to blu-rays more consistently, despite saying I wouldn’t do that.
- The board games I bought are now the ones I play with my group of friends. It would be the start of a multi-year streak of playing on a weekly basis. Some good memories there. Hate that life took its turn and we play much less frequently now. Bummer.
2013 – 23 orders: movies, travel gear, board games, gadgets
- Quite a big order of one particular board game, Star Wars X-Wing. I ended up hating it and sold it all for probably half what I paid for it. Ugh.
- The travel gear was purchased in preparation for my first baseball stadium tour vacation. I’ve been on two of those. Hope to get another one in this year! Thinking of heading due north.
2014 – 31 orders: movies, video games, gadgets, kitchenware, board games
- The year of the PS4. I remember having to purchase a headset a few times because Naomi loves to chew on thin wires. Not only my PS4 headset but my iPhone ones too.
- I started changing out my plates and bowls to Fiestaware. Very fun and colorful. Still use these today.
- Among the gadgets I bought, there is small bluetooth speaker I still use in the bathroom when getting ready.
2015 – 37 orders: gadgets, movies, hypoallergenic products, board games, kitchen gear
- I upgraded my car’s dash system with an Apple CarPlay touchscreen and a backup camera.
- I tried out a new Kindle called the Voyage but it was plagued by a pesky two-toned screen issue. Unresolved, I ended up returning it.
- This year I got super snobby about coffee and started doing the pour-over method with Chemex. I’ve done that since then until just recently.
- I started allergy treatments this year when I finally went to an allergist to see why I was having such trouble, particularly at night. Turns out I developed allergies to cats. Despite most people telling me to get rid of Naomi (which would really piss me off), I pursued treatment. Got hypoallergenic bedding and a HEPA filter to help. Treatments are going well, by the way!
- I also started getting into smart home products this year. Started out with a video doorbell that I can answer from anywhere. I’ve upgraded since the original.
2016 – 36 orders: gadgets, movies, household items
- Added several other smart home devices like thermostat, lights, door locks, and (most recently) garage door opener. Really fun stuff when I can just say “Hey Siri, I’m home” and my whole house adjusts the way I’ve set it.
- Amazon came out with Dash Buttons for household products, like detergent, paper products, etc. I wanted to try them out. You stick them somewhere, set it up to the item you want, and when you need it, you just push the button. Two days later, it arrives. I’ll never have to shop at a store like an animal again!
2017 – 40 orders: movies, gadgets, board games, household items
- Despite it being a pretty bad year for me personally, once things started turning around, I celebrated by making it the year of the upgrade! New TV 4k HDR TV and audio receiver. PS4 Pro. Some upgrades to the home network.
- Got me a really nice coffee pot by Oxo that is highly rated as replicating the pour-over method excellently. Been doing that to this day. Sure is nice to wake up with it ready!
Summing it all up, it started out for me as a book- and music- store, but books and music have become downloadable content. I still hang on to physical media for movies because I find them superior to streaming them, but the end is nigh for blu-rays too. I bought into a lot of technology (and a little ashamed at how much I’ve spent, but let’s be real, am I going to change?). As Amazon made it easier to order routine items that would previously require going to the store, I’ve largely started having them delivered to me. Lots of retail, grocery, and restaurants are trying to stay viable by doing the same now. I once heard that the invention of the garage door opener led to greater isolation among neighbors, because you no longer had to get out and chance greeting people next door. I wonder if we’re going to isolate ourselves even further by having everything we want and need come to us. It’s a cautious thing, but as our society just continues to increase pace and busyness, and is more connected than ever, I doubt the issues will outweigh the convenience.