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Is our tech making us lazy?

Technically Speaking

OK, so it’s true — we love the conveniences that technology has afforded us over the years. We like to think that it’s making us more efficient — we are able to get things done faster and easier, but is it making us lazy?

Earlier generations have asked the same question. With each technological advance, there are those who question the effects that these advancements have on us and our society as a whole — good and bad. Take the car and the television for an example. These two inventions revolutionized that world in which we live, but was there a cost?

With the car, we could go farther and get places much faster than ever before. People could get from point “a” to point “b” much quicker, but at the expense of the physical exercise they were used to getting from having had to walk everywhere previously.

When introduced in the 1950s, the TV made it easy to get news and entertainment to large groups of people, bringing families and communities together as they gathered in the living room to enjoy the new form of entertainment.

But as time has passed many believe the television can be seen as pushing people apart as the average American home now has more than 2.5 televisions (marketingcharts.com), quite often with each family member watching in a different room.

With the advent of new technologies, we are once again faced with the same question: “Is technology making us lazy?” Here are a few examples to consider:

Spell check

This is the example most people bring up. The spell check function began appearing on home computers and word processors back in the 1980s. This was great! Your computer would indicate if a word was possibly spelled incorrectly. People would review their work, perhaps reference a dictionary for the correct spelling, then move on. The problem arose about five to ten years later when children who had never known a world without spell check began writing papers for school on computers with the spell check. Why worry about truly learning to spell when all you have to do is “get kinda close” with spell check?

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