Does technology make us lazy? It’s an interesting question at this moment as technology continues to quickly evolve as well as become more mainstream. What prompted the question was a conversation with my wife.
I watched a short video that got me excited about augmented reality (AR). My wife asked me about the video and I gave her the cliff notes version (maybe my summary skills could be a tad sharper). Her response was that kind of technology makes us lazy. There’s no need to problem solve if technology just gives you the answer.
Oh, quickly went on defense on that comment. I argued that technology like AR does no such thing. What AR does is provide information to make a decision…a better decision.
Here’s the video that started the debate. As you watch it, ask yourself how this guy is lazy. Pay close attention towards the end during this guys work out. I think you’ll find the integration of this day in the life with AR interesting.
See? Fast car, hot girl, pool winnings, what’s not to like about technology? (kidding…kind of).
The example posed to my wife in our conversation was one about weather. Say you wake up in the morning and wondering about the weather. You want to go for a long run but it’s overcast outside. What are the chances of getting rained on? In a future with AR, you could simply activate your AR device (i.e. Google Glass). The device would provide the weather for your location and by the hour. It’s no different than going to Weather.com and looking up the forecast for the day.
What’s different is that AR can anticipate your interest in weather as you initiate your device. How is that lazy? I don’t see how it is. That’s possibly the misconception of emerging technology. With information readily available, do we become lazy or just more informed without having to look at multiple sources?
I’m in the more informed camp. Think back hundred years ago when news was only available via newspapers, maybe radio at best. If the forecast was of interest to you back then. You’d have to wait for the paper, consult the Farmer’s Almanac, or just leave it to chance.
Today, access to weather (and pretty much anything) is available within seconds, or how quickly you can access your device. Tomorrow, technology will be even more integrated and responsive.
I use weather as an example but substitute any topic for this debate. I think laziness and technology appears when you become unresponsive and too dependent. Apathetic is the word that comes to mind. If you’re engaging technology for results and a better tomorrow, I hardly see the laziness. If you’re a zombie as result of technology and just consume, consume, consume. Yeah, you’re lazy, need to unplug and re-engage reality for awhile.
So as I’m finishing this post, I think I have some more ammo to go back my wife with. But I do see her point of view. We’re at a dangerous crossroads in our society. More information to consume and quickly. What we do with it ultimately determines the value of technology.