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5 ways technology has made us lazy

Has technology has made us complacent, or simply relieved us of our chores? Let’s look at five ways technology is making us lazy.

5 ways technology has made us lazy

Has technology has made us lazy, or simply relieved us of our chores?

The World Economic Forum has a lovely series entitled “What if†where a blogger will propose a thought-provoking question about the future, and our current situation (primarily where technology is involved). “What if jobs as we know them disappear?†for example, looks at how automation, artificial intelligence, and data analytics are transforming the employment landscape in ASEAN. The discussion usually explores possible, plausible, and probable impacts of new technologies on the future of society, employment, and then looks at how we should respond.

Earlier this month, the question was “What If: drugs are printed from the internetâ€. One of the questions asked within the article was “Would you feel comfortable taking medicine downloaded from a digital prescription to a 3D printer in your homeâ€. This is a fascinating question for many reasons – a true testament to the fourth industrial revolution we’re experiencing – but it paints a bleak picture of local pharmacies and drug stores becoming obsolete if this reality comes true.

We’ve seen technology and the entrance of eCommerce eliminate bricks and mortar stores in the past, but we don’t always recognize how these innovations are making us lazy, too. We don’t need to run errands anymore; we literally can press a button and have most of our first world problems solved in an instant.

5 ways technology has made us lazy

  1. Delivery services on steroids – we used to spoil ourselves with an occasional delivered meal, a pizza, or Chinese food, whatever was nearest to us and delivered. Delivery services and online shopping have evolved so rapidly that realistically, we don’t have to leave our homes to do “chores†anymore. We can get groceries, clothes, dinner, laundry, makeup [insert anything else you can think of here] delivered directly to our front door.
  2. Ride-sharing – Once in the not-too-distant past, we couldn’t use an app and expect a ride to come within moments of our inquiry. Before Cabify, Lyft and Uber, if we needed a ride, and couldn’t hail a cab we would walk. Whether it was walking to a busier corner for a taxi, finding the nearest public transport hub, or walking to the actual destination, we were not groomed to stay put and have a ride come to us.
  3. An influx of entertainment – We’ve all heard the jokes about Netflix like watching so long in a “binge session†that Netflix embarrassingly asks if we’re still watching. At our fingertips, we have Netflix, Hulu, HBOgo, Apple TV, iTunes store –thousands of hours of entertainment so easily accessible that we don’t need to leave our sofa to find enjoyment. No more running to Blockbuster, or Redbox, or even the movie theater.
  4. Social media – It seems that texting or social media lurking on a mobile phone have become the most common form of communication for generations of digital natives. Picking up the phone to call someone seems more of an effort than many like to commit to – even voice memos have replaced a two-way conversation.
  5. Asking for directions – Thanks to GPS, Google Maps, Waze, and the boatload of other navigation technologies we no longer ask anyone for directions. There is no more pulling off at a random gas stop on a road trip to see where the heck you’re at. No more reading paper maps – we have a small voice inside our phone that directs us everywhere we need to be.

Do you think that saying technology is making us lazy is too harsh of an indictment? Or do you think that technology has just provided relief from the burdens of running errands or getting unnecessarily lost? What are the pros and cons of the hyper-ease we can now experience when accomplishing tasks?

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