Is technology making us lazy?

Published: April 7, 2012

Accessibility is a big deal for most people. Especially in this day-and-age when we expect pretty much everything that we could possibly want to be able to be ours without much delay. Whether it’s something that can be delivered to our doorstep, or right to a device in our hands, we want to be able to have it more quickly than ever before. But, I’m afraid that it may not just have everything to do with speed anymore. After reading an article a few days ago, I’m afraid that speed is just a part of it, and that it could just be something worse: laziness.

No one likes to hear that they are lazy. It doesn’t sound like a derogatory word, but it can easily be perceived that way. And maybe sometimes it is. When you call yourself lazy, make a revelation of sorts, it can turn your life around and you can adopt healthier lifestyle choices into your daily grind. But, more than ever before, I’m worried that technology is making us lazy, and that isn’t a good thing at all.

The article that I read was created by Stephen Totilo of Kotaku. The article, “Goodbye to the Comic Book Shops That Helped Shape Me,” is a good read (as usual), and it does a great job of outlining why our devices are eliminating the need to actually go to a store to get what we want. His iPad makes it possible for him to actually remove the comic book shop entirely from his life. Here’s one of the most telling sentences of the article:

“But I don't have to go anywhere to get my digital comics.”

He actually points out that downloading the comics to his device doesn’t net him a 20% discount that he would normally see inside the store. Further, he adds that there aren’t any helpful employees at his favorite comic book shop to help him find new books he might be interested in. And yet, despite all of that, he would still choose to download the comics to his iPad. At least he knows why a tablet makes sense in his life.

Because he doesn’t have to go anywhere.

This is just a case-by-case situation, of course, and I have absolutely no idea if Totilo does all sorts of exercises on a daily basis. I’m sure he’s quite healthy. But I think that state of mind is shared by quite a few people out there, and that is why I think technology is indeed making us lazy. Accessibility goes a long way, and I’m not going to sit here and say that I don’t download things that I want, too, but I would never actually use “I don’t have to go anywhere” as an argument.

When I buy things, I always prefer to buy it in person. That has more to do with the fact that I would prefer to actually have what I buy right when I buy it, but it also gives me a chance to get outside, interact with people face-to-face, and get some exercise in a minor way. Getting outside isn’t a bad thing, and getting any kind of exercise is certainly not a bad thing.

I download my comics through the appropriate applications, so I’m not denouncing that in the slightest. But, I only download those comics because I don’t have a way to actually buy physical books. I don’t have a comic book shop anywhere near me. I don’t even have a bookstore that sells comic books around me. It’s a sad thing, really. This reminds me of Wall-E, and that’s not a good thing at all.

Do both. Download some things, but go outside and buy other things. Your health is important, so do what it takes to make sure that you are healthy. That way you can enjoy downloading things or ordering things online for a really, really long time.

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