Monday, June 13, 2011

Better tech begets lazier humans

An amazing transformation – that’s what technology has become over the years. A lazy generation – that’s what we are today.

The ability to access the Internet and electronic devices on a daily basis has definitely made us so relaxed and complacent. It has almost made our generation regress at an inverse relationship to innovation.

Not to be misinterpreted, I love my tablet, mp3 player, mobile phone and laptop. In fact, you can ask the BlackBerry sitting comfortably beside me. The concern is not much on the technology itself but the over use and over application of it.

I bet most readers, just like me, would admit we all love the benefits and convenience Internet and technology have given us. Besides, who wants to physically go to a post office when you can send an email? But has convenience taken its toll on us in making us think we are not lazy, but rather just maximizing what technology can do?

Case in point, a friend told me this: “Dude, I don't even have to open my television, since world news is readily available to me right under my fingertips. My phone and iPad are just within reach. And because I never shut off our router, I'm always connected.”

The downside of Internet and technology is that it has made us lazier – a bit, if not totally. Our zealousness to communicate face to face has died down. The giddy in us to get things done by physically moving has lessened as time passes by.

Look at birthday greetings we used to get via cards and calls. They’re now just on our Facebook Walls waiting to receive comments and likes. How about the newspapers we used to buy from side street vendors – they’re now just a tap away from free downloading. Like courting and making up after fights – it’s so impersonal now, because we all do it via SMS. Even the opening of a dictionary to look up a word has been replaced by just typing it in Google.

Admittedly, we can’t blame one another. The point of technology is to lessen steps and make things easier. It’s hard to fault technology for doing what it’s supposed to do. We’re removing extra steps that are unnecessary, because something else can help do those things for us. Technology is a change, a progress.

However, let’s always remember that there’s no reason to forget how to do things the old fashioned way. Let’s put in mind that we can still do things the way we do them when this or that gadget has not been invented. Do not be paralyzed when your phone suddenly conks out and your world stops, thinking how things would go without it.

Enjoy technology and the life with it around. Do not throw away your time sitting or lying down the whole day tip tapping on your device and later on realize it’s already past lunch time.

Technology just gives the opportunity to explore more things. It’s certainly not a lazy endeavor, but has mainly contributed to the laziness of us humans.

What do you think? Has technology made us lazier?

This article is my eighteenth contribution to Manila Bulletin -- one of Philippines' leading broadsheets -- published on June 13, 2011 (Monday) in the TechNews Section. You can view the PDF version here.

Photo Source: SuperColoring


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