Who and what do you depend on in your everyday life?

When I woke up today, the first things I did was eat breakfast, brush my teeth, grab my phone and my wallet, which includes my debit card and transit pass. I depend on the food I eat and my dental products to keep myself healthy. The interesting thing however, is the often cryptic ingredient list in the products I buy as well as the odd nutrition value. As an experiment, if you buy mayonnaise, check to see if it contains EDTA.

Before heading out the door, I launch the proprietary transit app on my phone to effectively plan my route. I carry with me just about everywhere I go, a device that's been proven to be privacy nightmares, and yet, I continue to do so. I rely on it, because it's rather difficult to plan a long transit route by pencil and paper. It doesn't help that it keeps me entertained the whole way there and back. If anything goes wrong, it's the device that I turn to for help. If I were to ever quit and find another job, I doubt my future employer would email me instead of calling me.

As a convenience store clerk, the theme of my job is dependency. People come to the store to buy gasoline so they can get to places. Some come in for a coffee before work. Some come in for a small pack of cigarettes, since they're trying to quit. Others, buy entire cartons of the largest cigarettes we sell, because they've either given up, don't care or they believe that the adverse health effects of smoking are a myth. We also sell various products that claim to either help with addiction or present themself as a healthy alternative. I wont mention what I think of some of these products. Some people come in for their daily energy drink. Some come in for their sugar. Sometimes, we give out large quantities of frosties, slurpees, what ever you personally call them, for free. You can also buy huge amounts of the fountain drinks on a regular basis very cheaply, if you bring your own cup. It doesn't matter what size. This is sadly to help people form and maintain an addiction. Some people come in and gamble and gamble and gamble...

One of the first things I do when I start my shift, is grab myself a small (500ml) cup and fill it half full with soda pop. I unfortunately do keep refilling my cup throughout the day, because I'm addicted. Throughout the day, I find myself in very peculiar situations. I've seen a couple fight because they had to choose between filling their car with gas, or buying a pack of cigarettes, because they could only afford one of the two options. I see overweight people bring in containers that can hold 4 liters of soda on a daily basis.

Around the middle of my shift, I decide it's time to eat. Sadly, like most days, I didn't pack a lunch (I'm trying to change this bad habit). Luckily, I have a huge variety of carbohydrate-filled, salty and fat filled options. My favourite are the sandwiches, despite containing more salt than any rational human would ever dare put in a sandwich (why would you add salt to a sandwich anyways?). I typically go for the instant noodles however, because they actually contain less salt and tend to be overall healthier than other options. It's pretty ironic. I use my debit card because it's convenient, despite the fact that everything I do with the card is tracked and sold to other companies, ruining my chances of any privacy.

Somewhere towards the end of my day, I might just message a particular girl I like on Facebook. She's quite frankly pretty awesome. When she's in a good mood, it puts me in a good mood too, which is really handy when you work in a rather gloomy environment. While I do plan on giving up Facebook eventually, I have no other way to contact her as it currently stands. My sister is getting married and is using Facebook to keep in touch with everyone and plan things out. To get rid of Facebook now would unfortunately not be ideal.

When I look at the world I live in, I just can't help but appreciate the FLOSS communities. I get to go home and use a computer running an FSF-approved distro. I get to look online and see how my favourite projects are doing, and imagine a world where I can use a cell phone that doesn't invade my privacy and use web services that all respect the privacy of myself, my family and friends. I'm currently reducing my soda intake as well as slowly FLOSSing, but I have a long ways to go.

tl;dr: Food isn't really food. Companies design their products in order to make you dependent upon them. It doesn't help that they often incorporate malicious features into these products. It's a lot easier to control a person when they rely on you.

Interesting links: