I Decided To Quit Seamless & Here’s What Happened

Designed by Elliot Salazar.
It’s officially been 52 days since I deleted my Seamless account. It’s hard to tear yourself away from ordering plastic containers brimming with pad thai, foil-wrapped burritos, and rectangular aluminum containers filled with samosas, with the simple push of a few buttons on your phone. If that isn’t the zenith of the smartphone revolution, I can’t tell you what is. I never dreamed that a service designed to make my life better and easier would actually do more damage than good. But then, one day it hit me: I was trading the life I wanted to live for a life of convenience. Here’s the thing with Seamless, and all comparable restaurant-delivery services. It always starts out innocently enough. You’re tired and hungry after a long day of work and a homemade meal is appealing, as long as you don’t have to make it. But if you’re like me, a single woman in her mid-twenties who lives by herself, you’re shit out of luck. If you aren’t cooking, no one is. And if you don’t make plans, it’s a solo night in. So you open an app, place an order for a burrito, add some guacamole, and, suddenly, you’ve got company on the way. And since that doesn’t meet the requirements of a minimum order, you add a taco. Now, you’re having a party! Naturally, Netflix becomes your dining companion when the food arrives. With each burrito bite, you’re deeper into your favorite show, and one episode turns into another. By the time you shut off the TV (or close your laptop), it’s 3 a.m., you’re feeling seriously sluggish, and once again you’ve squandered your evening on takeout and solitude. It’s even worse on weekends: Seamless for lunch, watch Netflix, avoid socializing, Seamless for dinner (because you’ve Netflixed through grocery shopping and plan-making), and before you know it, your Saturday turns into Sunday morning. Then, comes the regret. You just can’t seem to get to that book you’ve been meaning to read, friends you could have caught up with, the new restaurant you could have explored. For someone who actually enjoys cooking, far too often I left groceries to rot. My collection of cookbooks basically functioned as art, and pangs of jealousy filled my heart when friends Instagrammed the gorgeous dishes they had whipped up themselves. Seamless-ing meals became an unhealthy habit for my wallet and my mind. And even if I did occasionally have friends over to share a takeout meal, over time I began to realize that the convenience Seamless offered was actually painting me into a corner. I pressed the delete button on this vicious cycle on a bleak evening, after ordering yet another round of vegetable lo mein and sesame tofu. As I glanced at my Seamless order history, I saw a long string of $12 and $15 purchases — all of them seemingly innocuous in the moment. But added up, I was blowing over $200 on the app every month. It seemed like such a waste to spend that kind of money on dishes that didn't leave much of an impression, if any memory at all. I could have been treating myself to the Michelin-starred tasting menu at Semilla in Brooklyn — my favorite — not once, but twice, a month. And still have $30 left to blow on doughnuts, lattes, and late-night pizza. The math was simple. And while I genuinely do need the occasional solo evening, away from social obligations and chores, giving up Seamless cold-turkey was one of the best decisions I’ve made in recent memory. It forced me to trade dinners on my couch for proper face time with friends and jolted my cooking muscles back into action, even if just to perfect the art of scrambling eggs for a lazy weeknight dinner. Let me be clear: I said goodbye to Seamless, but I still occasionally walk 10 blocks to my favorite neighborhood Thai spot, or a few blocks more for the perfect slice. Whatever I want to eat, I eat. But now, I have to do a bit of work for it. I'm checking off more things on my to-do list on a daily basis, and best of all, my wallet is thanking me for no longer purchasing extra spring rolls to hit that minimum. It’s been 52 days since my last Seamless order, and I can’t wait for 53.

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