How Urban Vibrance Has Been Chipped Away From SF Piece By Piece

First came social media, keeping people off the street and in front of their computer for many hours that they used to spend hanging out, socializing, playing sports at local playgrounds, or just sitting in groups on benches and gossiping.

Next came online dating that put most cool bars and clubs out of business, and made the ones that are still in business to be dead most of the time.

Amazon and alike killed in person shopping, taking bulk of the people off the streets in areas which until very recently were among the busiest. Now, we just have a bunch holes all around Union Square, in spaces that were formerly occupied with all kinds of stores and shops.

Extremely demanding, stressful jobs and caring way too much about making it (big) means everyone goes to sleep early and the city turns into a ghost town by 9-10 pm on weekdays at the latest. This won’t change no matter how many more condo towers they put up. It can hardly be called a big city if all the coffee houses shut down by 7 pm.

Movie theaters are vanishing, and the joy of browsing through books at a bookstores and DVD’s at Blockbuster feels like distant history now.

Lyft / Uber emptied buses and bus stops, and the muni rush hour is simply not what it used to be.

GPS means local men will never try to pick up women by asking them for directions. (If that was the only problem with flirting).

And last, but certainly not least–  smartphones made sure people hardly ever look each other and most don’t even notice each other.

So many of the simple things we used to enjoy have been taken away, without giving us anything half decent in exchange. I am sorry, but overrated, overpriced, bland restaurants, trashy bars full of cunts & douchebags, gyms / yoga studios and co-working spaces just don’t cut it.

Unlike many others, I have no desire to hate on tech. There are places out there where tech and soul coexist very well and where computers didn’t kill life like they did hear. So, I won’t be blaming machines for anything. I am blaming the locals for failing to appreciate what makes a city a city. I can’t quite define that myself, but I know it goes far beyond happy hour drinks over pointless business chatter.

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