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5 ways technology has made us lazy (or simply relieved our burdens)

11478525_sTechnology has made us lazy

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). Earlier this month, the question was “What If: drugs are printed from the internet”. 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 home”. This is a fascinating question for many reasons – a true testament to the fourth industrial revolution we’re experiencing – but it paints the picture of pharmacies and drug stores becoming obsolete if this reality comes true.

We’ve seen technology eliminate brick and motor 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 1st world problems solved.

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 ordering have evolved so rapidly that realistically, we don’t have to leave our homes to do “chores” any more. We can get groceries, clothes, dinner, laundry, makeup [insert anything else you can think of here] delivered 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 Lyft and Uber, if we needed a ride, and couldn’t find a cab to hail we would walk. Whether it was walking to a busier corner for a cab, 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. 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 theater.
  4. Social media – It seems that texting or social media lurking have become the most common types of communication for the younger generation. Picking up the phone to call someone is more of an effort than many like to put out – and picking up a phone doesn’t require that much energy.
  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 roadtrip 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 a term? 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 to this hyper-ease of accomplishing tasks?