Technology has improved leaps and bounds in the last few decades but has simultaneously had some negative effects. We’ve discussed, and continue to discuss different aspects it affects, and often mention not everything is clear-cut. To use this topic as an example, two people can wonder, “is technology making us lazy?” and “is technology relieving us of unnecessary chores?” and both would also conclude different things. We’ll showcase mostly negative effects but know not everything is black and white. With that said, let’s jump straight into how technology makes us lazy.
1. Acquiring information
The founding of the Internet and its subsequent development and expansion was the primary driving force behind this cause of laziness. Desktop and laptop computers were the primary tools at first. But, the accessibility of smartphones and tablets, which, in the first quarter of 2021, made up 55% of total Internet traffic, has made giant strides. Here are 2 examples of information technology at work:
We examined the effects of technology in education and were astounded. You can not only get a Bachelor’s, but also a Master’s and maybe even Doctor’s degree from your room, on your own dime and time, in your pajamas. Additionally, when we analyzed technology benefits for teachers, we concluded daily runs to libraries or bookstores or expensive educational or business trips are now obsolete. Moreover, automatization and bots can replace monotonous, repetitive tasks, eliminating a lot of work we did not so long ago.
When was the last time you purchased a physical newspaper? Even if you have, getting news via your Internet browser or dedicated news apps is a better alternative. Unfortunately, it eliminates the need for physical activities such as going to a newspaper stand or nearest gas station to stay up to date with local and global events.
Delivery of goods provides another evidence technology makes us lazy:
To shop online, you have to visit a website, find a product, analyze its description, reviews, picture, and price, then add it to the cart. After the total gets deducted from a credit or debit card the ordered items arrive at your doorstep within 1-30 days. When compared to the time, money, and effort spent on finding, comparing, analyzing, negotiating, and acquiring the same product without technology, you were irrefutably idle. Additionally, robots, AI, and machine learning are taking over the brunt of the workload humans performed in the past, including daily warehouse and shipping operations and system monitoring.
Food is not only making humanity lazier but also more obese, and technology affects every link in the chain. Technological improvements have helped reduce the workload in growing food through agriculture and farming and preparing it for serving or selling in the market. Restaurants, fast-food joints, drive-through windows, and takeaway places also reduce the need to prepare the food before it’s served. Simply put, there’s no need to run errands or finish daily chores. But at least the workers there work hard, day in and day out. Sadly, that too is about to change. We mentioned robot-arm chefs when we discussed ways technology is replacing jobs in the food industry (Service headline).
Transportation technology made our lives easier but required some amount of work. For example, you had to get to the nearest bus station, check the train or airplane schedule, or find a corner with taxi vehicles. Nowadays, you can send a text a minute or two before leaving the house. Apps like Uber, Lyft, or Cabify will connect you to the nearest available driver in a vehicle that fits your group size, and GPS will provide locations both ways. Furthermore, the introduction of autonomous vehicles, while keeping us safe in traffic and being good for the environment, are one of the most evident indicators technology makes us lazy. You can enter into the vehicle and gaze into the scenery up until you have to leave at the destination.
We don’t need to point out the influx of streaming services in recent years, do we? Watching movies on Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, and using media streaming devices such as Apple TV or Chromecast has almost completely replaced theaters and cinemas. In doing so, it glued viewers to the TVs, computers, and mobile device screen at home. This made the practice of “binge-watching” normal. And don’t get us started on the gaming industry. It lets us simulate a wide variety of experiences at home, including Virtual Reality (VR). Additionally, in-game winning gives us a sense of accomplishment, making us unmotivated to seek it in real life.
5. Smart homes
Want a clear sign technology makes us lazy? How about no longer having to get up to flick the light switch off? You can do it through your smart device or a remote thanks to smart outlets or smart bulbs. But it went further than that, and dramatically. Today, a variety of modern technology can be controlled remotely or operate without monitoring through the home system. Some examples include home appliances, LED lights in bulbs and strips, blinds on windows, garage and house doors, audio distribution, even video uplink for surveillance thousands of miles away. You can even issue voice commands to your home assistant or purchase a smart mirror that never fogs.
6. Social media and communication
While undoubtedly beneficial, direct unrestricted access to someone and his or her whereabouts can bring negative consequences. For example, you can see the location of other people via services such as Facebook Places or Google Latitude, and social media apps such as Snapchat. Moreover, you can see what friends are listening to on Last.fm, Spotify, check their YouTube subscriptions, view favorite books on Goodreads, or check their plans on Plancast. It’s not hard to see how you’d be lazy to strike up a conversation over text, audio, or video, let alone meeting in person.
In the past, you had to spend thousands of dollars to hire a marketing firm. Or, if you’re the marketer yourself, go door to door or organize conventions or seminars to sell products. Furthermore, you needed a “hustle” mentality, charm, charisma, ability to handle rejection, and skills to recognize the target community. Nowadays, you can spend a little time setting up an advertisement or pay someone to do it for you. Then, sponsor others or run online ads and have people flocking to you while you sleep.