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Has Technology Made us Lazy and Dependent?

Has Technology Made us Lazy and Dependent?
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How many of us could go a week without our cell phone? Do you even bother to memorize phone numbers anymore? I can’t even recall the last time I went a day without looking at the internet at all. Technology has made life so convenient for us that it’s almost scary to think of what would happen if we had to go without our favorite gadget for an extended period of time. We have to face facts: Technology has made us lazy.

No need to leave the house for entertainment

What’s the point of getting up, taking a shower, getting dressed, and driving to the movies when you can just sit on the couch and fire up Netflix? We’ve all been there before. You’re on the fence about whether or not you want to get out and do something, but then something comes over you. You start looking around at your PS3 and laptop, then realize you can have just as much fun staying in the house.

To make things worse, Nintendo and Microsoft had to go ahead and release the Wii and Kinect (respectively). Thanks to these two addictive gadgets, you can go bowling, play tennis, or participate in the Olympic Games in your living room.

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Is it even possible to get lost anymore?

I get the feeling that we’re getting closer and closer to the day when people won’t even be able to read paper maps anymore. There are already a good deal of young adults that have no idea how to navigate through their own cities without using a GPS.

The beginning of the demise of paper maps was MapQuest. Being able to print out complete turn by turn directions for where you need to go pretty much killed the need for a map. But even with MapQuest, some people still kept a map in their cars just in case of emergencies.

Once TomTom and Garmin hit the scene, paper maps became obsolete. Even MapQuest is getting used a lot less frequently thanks to GPS apps. You can use Google Maps on your smart phone and get voice guided turn by turn directions for free. Even people with no sense of direction can get to where they need to be with today’s technology.

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Oh yea, and now Apple is getting involved in the GPS industry so the future of paper maps isn’t looking too bright. Soon, Boys Scouts will be teaching kids how to use a GPS instead of how to navigate with a compass.

Find the answer to anything with Google

We have all Googled something that we were completely embarrassed we didn’t know the answer to. According to Google, “How to tie a tie” gets over 500,000 searches a month. For some reason, over 1,000 people are searching “how to boil water” and “how to boil eggs” gets over 40,000 searches per month.

Google has made the process of learning how to do things extremely easy. There was once a time when if you didn’t know how to do something, you had to either:

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  • Know someone that knew how to do it
  • Try to figure it out and mess up until you got it right

Not anymore. A quick search on Google will bring up instructional YouTube videos, blog posts, and PDF’s that show you how to do anything. So much for being self sufficient.

So long errands!

Running errands use to take up entire Saturday mornings. By the time you got home, you were drained and just wanted to relax. Well thanks to online shopping and services like Peapod, running your own errands is a thing of the past. Giant’s Peapod service lets you get groceries delivered right to your home. TaskRabit lets you find people that will literally do any type of errand you need from returning merchandise to putting together Ikea furniture.

These services are great for people that are physically unable to do certain tasks themselves, but there are plenty of able-bodied people using them too just for the convenience. Buying clothes, electronics, and other goodies once required leaving the house. Not anymore. The E-Commerce industry is doing extremely well and is expected to increase 62% by 2016. I’m definitely part of the problem here because I love online shopping. But I can admit that it has made me somewhat lazy.

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It seems as though with every new piece of technology that gets released, we get lazier and lazier. Hopefully we don’t get to the point that we become like the people in the movie Wall-E. If you’re the type of person that won’t change the channel because you can’t find the remote, or would rather Skype then drive to visit friends/family, technology could be making you lazy.

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Last Updated on December 18, 2020

Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?
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Technology has taken a vantage leap in providing solutions for man. Before now, technology used to appear complex and would require a great deal of expertise to handle solutions available. Today, we have technology applicable in the simplest human activities as smart products with intelligent algorithms powering them as they make error-free judgments and provide intelligent and analytic solutions.

Does technology have all the answers?

This article from Credit Suisse, tells us that technology does not have all the answers because it has been found to exhibit “similar biases,” as humans. No one can discredit the impact of technology, but it is not totally free of human input and this is the reason we experience these biases in many areas we have technology holding foot.

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Creating technological solutions transparently

This article suggests that the process of creating technological solutions be made transparent and subject to contribution from many people who would end up as users of the product – male, female, young, old, learned, unlearned and all other preferences as we have them. It also underscores the importance of having women on product development teams. This approach is not sure to eliminate all forms of bias, but it is a good way to start in order to appraise the full benefits of technology.

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Technology as the connecting tool

Technology so far has been a major connecting tool amongst us humans. It is used and appreciated by all regardless of race, language and sex. In order to keep it less subjective to these arguments about human biases. I believe we should gather opinions on products and solutions before making them available to the public. This could be done by gathering input from intended target users and receiving feedback across the stages of production.

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“Recognizing the problem is a start…success will depend on inclusive technologies that meet this vast untapped market.” This cannot be more apt especially at a time when we look up to technology for solutions. We should not muzzle our progress with technology by battling algorithm bias. The first way to avoid this battle is by reading this article here.

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