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?