On technology’s effects

One could claim that the unfortunate symptom of modern technology is that it is dividing its users socially. It is just easier and quicker to communicate that way. But I contest that the problem is a broader one than this. Technology breeds complacency. Everyone knows that technology makes us lazy. This is unavoidable, as technology is literally meant to make hard things easier.

For example:

Someone with a pushup machine has to do very little compared to someone actually doing pushups. As the one with the pushup machine rises up and down, he watches the man doing pushups next to him and his pity for the sweating man increases and increases. He is proud of what he has made and contentedly props up his feet. The machine man praises his creation and tries to convince the exhausted pushup man of its greatness, but the pushup man merely nods and closes his eyes to meditate and rest his arms. Incensed by the pushup man’s inattentiveness, the machine man enhances his pushup machine to do more pushups in less time. The machine man demonstrates his super-pushup machine to the pushup man, but the pushup man is not impressed and walks away. The machine man tries to follow him, but cannot keep up. His limbs are weak, and being a pushup machine specialist, he knows little about walking or running machines. So, the machine man returns to his pushup machine alone.

The end.

As much as technology is meant to minimize physical strain, it equally minimizes mental strain. Rather than confront the slightest social anxiety and talk face to face, most people would rather get to know someone through a social networking intermediary like Facebook. Instead of changing what they eat in the long term, many obese Americans would rather go on a trending diet. The idea of intentionally surmounting a struggle and learning from the experience seems to only persist as a way to move a film plot forward. People encounter struggles all the time, but, generally speaking, avoid them like the plague. They are wise in doing so, considering that the plague was a grievous struggle, but lazy, heavy-handed avoidance of obstacles makes people stagnant, weak, and complacent about their lives.


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