It’s true that technology is advancing more quickly these past few years than they ever have been in the past millennia. By the time you get your hands on the next big thing, something else is already on its way out. And it’s likely that the gap in between releases will only become shorter as time advances.
Yet, despite how we’re always coming up with new ideas, one question does come to my mind. Are we making technology better, or is it getting the better of us?
There’s an ongoing argument between the conveniency that technology gives us against the required efforts of an individual’s actions. Simply put; are we getting lazier?
In many countries around the world, fewer people are becoming more and more unacquainted in how to drive a vehicle with manual transmission. That’s because it’s so much easier to purchase an automatic vehicle so that you’re only required to push down the gas or brake pedals. How convenient. I’m sure many of you are familiar with the popular joke about how to prevent your vehicle from getting stolen in America. Just get a stick. It’s a sad fact, but there are reports of hijackers being unable to drive stick and ending up in fatal collisions.
Electric cars are also becoming popular. Everything starts up with a single push of a button. That’s either super cool or just plain lazy. What happened to that good old feeling of turning the ignition and hearing your engine turn on? Electric cars will even tell you what needs to be fixed or replaced. I don’t know about you, but it shouldn’t take more than ten minutes to check your vehicle once a month.
It wouldn’t surprise me that the next generation of vehicles will be Transformers. In fact, there are already fully automated vehicles that don’t require human drivers. That’s a scary thought.
One of the biggest issues of advance technology these days is the absence of human occupation. In today’s economy especially, people are always complaining about where all the jobs have gone to. Whether it’s to another country or to machines, many jobs in America are being outsourced because of conveniency and less cost.
A factory line that is cutting up meats will always have flaws if there aren’t any humans checking for incongruity. In the month of October, the titanic meat corporation Tyson has recalled over 67,000 pounds of chicken. To think, if they just hired people to double-check everything that goes through they wouldn’t have these problems on an annual basis.
About a month ago, for the first time in who-knows how many long years, I witnessed a person washing clothing with their bare hands. Sure, I’ll agree that using a machine can wash a bunch of clothing at once in under half an hour. That’s especially convenient compared to the single article of clothing done every three to five minutes. But will that machine actually do a good job in getting the clothes clean? In fact, many of the machines today even have labels place under the lid stating that you should hand-clean certain messy items before placing them in the washer. Even the appliance is telling people not to rely solely on it, yet they will continue to stuff bags of clothing in the machine day after day. I don’t even know how a person can just let dirty clothes pile up so much in the first place.
Technology has also given us special effects that are commonly used in movies today. Most of these effects actually cost more than it would to have physical props made. Yet, filmmakers rely so heavily on these special effects to spice things up. What is quite funny is that some of these effects, especially the cheap ones, don’t even look all that believable. Comparing the 2011 prequel of The Thing to it’s 1982 predecessor, it’s easy to tell which one actually took a lot of hard work to get things looking the way it should. I’ll give you a hint, it’s not the one made done by CGI.
There used to be a time when a phone was simply just a phone. Now they’re called smartphones, and they do everything. You can read a book, listen to music, take photos, record audio and video, get directions, and check up on Facebook statuses. Everything except actually calling someone, though it can rarely happen/. I admit that carrying multiple devices will make you look silly, but it seems that we’re depending too much on doing all those tasks on the-go rather than taking our time to sit down and taking care of chores one at a time. People act as if time is something we don’t have anymore.
Not to mention, with the Internet being so widely available, a person can simply sit on the couch all day long and do everything listed above, and more. You can even do your shopping from the comfort of your own home. How ultimately convenient.
Oh, and don’t get me started on the invention of the microwave oven.
So are we, or are we not, succumbing to laziness just because we’ve discovered ways to take advantage of convenient technology? All I can say is, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if human portrayal in the movie Wall-E turns out to be true.
I do, however, believe that we’re completely missing the point as to why we’re inventing new stuff. It’s not so that we can use less effort in our work. It’s for those of us who are unfortunate enough to not have the ability to put in the effort they would have wanted.