It’s Sad, But I Think Technology Is Making Us Lazy

It’s Sad, But I Think Technology Is Making Us Lazy

Danny

It’s Sad, But I Think Technology Is Making Us Lazy

This past week I sat in a sub shop eating my veggie sandwich and watching people.  There was a gentleman sitting in the corner of the restaurant on his mobile device.  Another gentleman sat in the opposite corner on his mobile device.  A couple sat behind me and barely said 2 words to each other as they scanned their mobile devices.  And each of the employees had their mobile devices out on the counter or within reach.

This phenomenon has revealed itself time-and-time again.  Ask someone to do simple math without their device and they are stumped.  Ask someone to spell without spell check and look at their face…”receipt” or “reciept”?   Google tells us when to use “accept” versus “except”.  Google gives us the answer to “Who was that guy that starred in that movie that time when I was eight?”

Are we evolving or are we devolving because of technology?  One of the simple criteria I use in making decisions is “does it make me better?”.  Sometimes I debate in my mind and wonder if technology is making us better.  I’m not sure where I stand on this point, but I definitely think technology is making us lazier.

Kids gaming inside for hours and having to be coerced into playing outside and then having to ask “What do I do now?” is a problem.  Spending countless hours per day staring at a computer screen has been proven to cause irreversible damage.  Mobile device addiction is a real thing.  Social media addiction is causing depression rates to soar to an all-time high in young people.

Are we better?

Then I look at the impact technology has had on the practice of medicine and I can say without hesitation we are better.  Technology has made the automobile more reliable and we are moving to a more eco-friendly alternative to fossil fuels.  Air travel is safer than ever.  And in a weird way technology has made war safer.  Technology has connected the world in ways humanity never imagined.

And just when you think things are getting good…

…the smart phone enters the picture and begins to create isolation and separation.  People just love these devices and I’m a huge fan of my iPhone!  I can check the weather, watch YouTube videos, play games, etc.  It is a distraction from standing in line or waiting on a friend to show up to an appointment.

I don’t know if we are better off now than 100 years ago, but I am grateful that the chances of me dying from influenza are slim.  So maybe in some ways we are better off, but in other ways we are worse off?

Danny

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50 thoughts on “It’s Sad, But I Think Technology Is Making Us Lazy

  1. All so true Danny. I shudder to think what would happen if all technology suddenly shut down totally for 24 hours. I have recently been thinking of having one day a week off all technology. I guess I would of tell my family that I can be contacted on the old landline phone or failing that if its an emergency they can send the police to find me. I tell you what Danny as of next Monday May 6th I am going to go technology free every Monday. Cheers from Ally.

      1. I love this article. This is all so true. People just can’t hold a conversation with you. I am young, so everybody in my age group is always on their smartphones. I haven’t done technology free days, but I have done Digital Detox where I will have no technology for a week at a time. (One time I lasted 10 days)

    1. I used to have Sunday as my tech-free day. Then, I got a job working weekends. I don’t have that job anymore, so I’m thinking about going back to it.

      1. Lori thanks for your message. Tomorrow being Monday May 6th will be my first day going tech-free. I plan to stick to it, every Monday. Tonight I will be letting my family and facebook friends know about my challenge. 🙂

  2. I remember my mother drilling me on the multiplication tables after I had the calculator machines (those old ones, with the crank handle, not electric) at my dad’s lab. She said I had to memorize the tables because I would never have a calculator in my pocket. Within ten years, Texas Instruments and Radio Shack were selling pocket calculators. Now, 50+ years later, I can still do arithmetic in my head or on paper, but I seldom bother with a computer on the desk and a smart phone in my pocket. Yep, lazy.

    1. I will admit I fall to the same habit. And I love math. I still use the phone in my pocket for multiplication.

  3. Have you ever watched Idiocracy? It does seem to me that all the technology is slowly dumbing us down… We don’t learn phone numbers anymore, don’t bother knowing stuff by heart, since we have such easy access to the internet, and don’t start me on GPS. Recently, I noticed an automobile add that promoted a new feature that allowed the car to warn the driver, and even take control of the stearing wheel, if it was about to leave the road. I mean, to me, it seems like the strict minimum that people allowed to drive should be good at following the road. If you need the car to keep you on track, don’t drive! LOL

    1. You would think all drivers would pay attention to the road! But distracted driving is an epidemic

  4. Another area where technology is making people lazy is microwave ovens. When I had surgery I looked for a homemaker to assist me in preparing meals. With a soy allergy, I have to prepare meals from scratch. It also means that I cannot get a sandwich from Subway because most breads contain soybean oil. Nurses with the homemaker program have ALL suggested that I order grocery online. They automatically assumed that I can and will eat pre-processed foods that one can stick in the microwave. Notwithstanding that those meals contain soy products, the alternative presented by the nurses is because very few people now know how to prepare a fresh meal with scratch.

    1. This is such a good point. The younger generations do not cook because many don’t know how to prepare a proper meal.

  5. Technology is definitely making us less social and stupider in conjunction with grade schools not actually teaching anything anymore. Children are raised by television because lots of parents make them fear outside for the boogeyman and stranger danger. So they stay inside unstimulated. Not totally on the shoulders of tech. Children get phones at 9and ten so the addiction begins. A Kindle or laptop is the first thing packed on car rides. I don’t think that the parents laziness to pacify their kids or lack of interaction with human conversations is on technology just an excuse. We as humans, in general, especially in the West are always trying to do less. There’s a price for that.

  6. On a sad but funny note is the person so engrossed in their phone is that they trip or fall into a hole. I have gone on walks and noticed everyone I see is walking and either talking or looking at their smartphone. I usually don’t do anything unless someone calls me and it’s a call I need to take.

    1. With you on that one Tessa, I regularly bump into people when I’m distracted by looking into shops because they never saw me since they had their noses in their smartphone. There will come a time when someone will be so distracted by Facebook or Twitter on their phone they will walk into the road and get hit by someone.

      1. It has probably happened Dave. I know of stories where people have fallen in holes and gotten hurt so why not walk into roads and gotten hit. And the drivers with phones are even more dangerous. I put mine on handsfree if I have to talk to someone, but I see most people holding the phones and running almost into people, cars, etc. And the texting is the worst. It takes use of your hands as well.

      1. Never heard of that.

        Is there a word for someone who thinks they remember how long to microwave something and then finds out that 4 minutes is way too long and it should have been 90 seconds and it is burned black and hard. Now it stinks in here. Yuck. Should have looked at the directions.

  7. I agree that technology is making us lazier. Perhaps dumber too. I’m reading the book Glow Kids right now. It’s scary to read what screens are doing to kids.

    1. I believe we will realize the damage smart devices cause children, but it will take a long time. But one day we will look back on history in disbelief that kids had smart devices.

  8. Great post!

    I think we are merely adapting to a new reality. What I perceive as devolution, to a modern 20-year-old’s perspective is just the reality of the world they live in. The skills needed to make it in today’s world are different from the skills I needed to make it in the world I grew up in. When I was a young man of 20, it was essential to know how to read a (paper) map, do relatively complex math in my head and on-the-fly, check the oil and tire pressure in my car (and add some of each, if necessary), and go to the library and research topics that I needed to know about.

    With the tools available to modern society, none of that is really necessary. Modern tools (however disruptive they may be) have made those skills obsolete. And, I’d like to think (and as the theory goes) that their brains, now freed from the mundane and from minutia, can turn that brain-power to higher-level tasks and bigger problems. Will that be the case? History will tell someday.

    But at the moment … it definitely looks like chaos and devolution.

    1. Your viewpoint is absolutely spot on. Only time will reveal the truth, but I do agree with you that it appears like devolution.

  9. I agree with your comments about the tech making us lazy. It will soon become obvious whether we are becoming dumber or not because of all this new tech. Sincerely I hope not because there is an awful lot we still don’t know so maybe not having to focus on little things (mental math, reading paper maps, writing things down so we don’t forget them) means more time to focus on the bigger issues (global warming, cancer cures, life saving operations) and it does mean that fewer crimes against the public by anyone go unfilmed now that everyone has a camera in their pocket.

    1. Solving crimes has definitely benefited from technology which is another great example in favor of tech.

      1. Yes, but our police force has been stripped to the bone and is in danger of being stripped further resulting in the officers out there trying to protect us coming under attack themselves. This is never acceptable and we should adopt the US system of 2 officers per car to avoid the danger of one being attacked.

  10. Great post. Along with lazier and less intelligent you might also mention increasing rudeness. At a dinner party, with eight of us seated around the table, I made a statement. Immediately two of the guests whipped out their smart phones and fact checked me. Then one of them announced, “he’s right.” In the less connected world my comment might have started a conversation but not what amounted to a confrontation.

    1. You gotta love the fact checker at the table. How about informing oneself so as to be able to have an intelligent conversation? That is a lost art these days.

  11. Technology has changed the world for the good, but the constant use of phones in public has led us to become isolated from one another. When I’m out among my fellow humans, like at the grocery store for example, I make it a point to interact with people. And I swear, some of them (mostly younger than me) don’t know how to respond!!

    1. People are so guarded these days that they are suspicious, even when it isn’t necessary. Crime is at an all-time low according to the FBI stats.

  12. I’m always thinking what will happen if we didn’t have any internet connection, no cell phone, social media for one day. How will people function without technology. It’s sad that no one answer their phones unless your send a text, first. Sad, but I think we have been crippled by technology.

  13. It seems people are obsessed and don’t know when to put the things down. It seems to provide a sense of being connected but in reality it’s disconnect. I frequently feel as if my world has become inhabited by automatons, eyes glazed over and fixed on their screens.

  14. I agree. I’ve taken time off from logging into all my social networks. To be honest, it feels great to stay away from technology for a few days. It does help relieve the mind and it brings you closer to family, friends.

  15. Your observations are on point. As someone who was born in the middle of transition from dial-up to high-speed internet and smartphones, I’m thankful for my parents as they did not engage me with any gadgets at a younger age. I remember having my first Nokia keypad phone when I was in senior high, and since then learned that I should not use it excessively and with responsibility. On the other hand, internet is a gift of mankind to itself. There are people who put it to good use, others don’t.

  16. We are lazier. “Alexis, lock the door and turn out the light.” WTH? It was bad enough with The Clapper back in the day but now we don’t want to do anything, from picking up the groceries to making the coffee.

    I’m all for devices that help people walk again or erradicating a disease but the I-Robot? Nah.

  17. While I would not want to go back to the days without the technology we have today, I do think it makes us much too dependent upon it. Lazy? Perhaps, but some of the young people don’t know any other way. I am grateful that I can still remember how to do things without technology. Old? Perhaps!

    1. It seems every generation has this type of perspective. “When I was a kid we had to type on a typewriter, we didn’t have printers. We had to call people on the phone, there was no texting. We had to walk uphill to school!” lol

  18. I think technology has its downside and upside. We can choose to catch ourselves quickly and take a hold of our lives whenever technology is placed above having a good friendly and family time ; whenever we want to be lazy… I mean there are things we must learn how to do eg simple math & calculation. A thought provoking post.

    1. Thank you for reading! Tech has definitely added value to the world. I guess with anything good there will be some negatives.

  19. I agree technology has been better now than what it was many years back. It is making us lazy and not just us, but also children. I was walking down the main street the other day and there was a mother with 2 children waiting at the bus stop. The children looked around 7 to 8 years old and they had each an ipad or a tablet.

    There are many children who use these, yeah it learns them but when I was young I played with toys lol. I am sure many of you did?

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