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Laziness through Technology Essay

Technology is the branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society and the environment. Modern inventions have made people lazy because they make things easier. In a BBC News article, Dr. Richard Weiler and Dr. Emmanuel Stamakis argue that technology in the form of energy saving devices like remote controls, has led humanity to an inactive lifestyle which poses risks to people’s health. Dr. Stamakis said, “Sedentary living is the most prevalent disease, silent killer, and greatest health threat facing developed countries.” Technology inventions have also reduced humans’ physical activity, making them lazy. Technology governs the lives of people especially children (Wise, “Does technology…”).

Web search engines like Yahoo, Google, and Bing have changed the way youth learn and remember information according to a study by Department of Information Management. Having practically all the information they could ever need has caused students to subconsciously not store away as much data, scientists claim. Researchers have examined the role of the internet in changing the nature of human memory. For instance, students forget things they are confident they can find online, while likely to remember things they think are unavailable online. Due to the excessive usage of online chatting and shortcuts, the writing skills of today’s young generation have declined quite tremendously. These days, children are relying more and more on digital communication that they have totally forgot about improving their writing skills. They don’t know the spelling of different words, how to use grammar properly or how to do cursive writing. (Oliveira, “is technology…”).

Today experts call them the M2 Generation—highly technological children whose lives seem to revolve around the media. With the constant exposure that children have to television, computers, mobile devices, and video games, it seems there are no limits to the amount of time children spend with technological devices. According to a survey cited by Brian Wallace, in just five years, media use has increased from six and a half to nearly seven and a half hours a day in children between the ages of eight and eighteen. Even more alarming, children have become masters at multitasking, often using two or more media devices at the same time. Counting each device separately, these kids have found a way to cram in a total of 10 hours and 45 minutes of media content into those seven and a half hours. These findings epitomize the very phase “media saturation.” Children now spend more time with technology than they do with their family, in school and sleeping.

These have adverse effects on children’s performance in school(Wallace, “The effect of…”). Furthermore, 16% of children that are between the ages of six-nineteen years old are overweight or obese, a number that has tripled since 1980 mostly due to electronic usage. Being overweight can bring with it great health concerns. Many of these children have a good chance of developing Type II Diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea, social discrimination, high cholesterol and/or blood pressure. Also, according to a Stanford University of Medicine study, elementary students consume 20% of their daily calorie intake while watching television, which usually includes unhealthy snacks, largely due to advertisements for junk food and boredom. Coincidently, kids are not burning off any of these calories while they are plopped in front of the television (Wallace, “The effect of…”). Similarly, spending hours in front of screen, whether it is a television or computer, can quickly contribute to a serious decrease in the amount of physical activity a child gets during the day. A child needs at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day to maintain a healthy weight and level of fitness.

The more technology time a child engages in, the less the child daily dose of physical activity will be. This can in turn contribute to negative effects such as weight gain. Also, televisions, laptops, tablets, cell phones, iPod and all of the other technological devices that children use, they are constantly inundated with an array of media images these often include negative behaviors such as underage drinking, drug use or risky sexual situations. With the use of technology the media portrays an idealized image of the teenager when it comes to weight and appearance (Loop, “Exposing the negative…”). Furthermore, technology has a bad effect in the Environment, old electronics are dumped into landfills and these can lead to toxins such as lead, mercury and lithium into the environment. Electronics account for two percent to five percent of the trash that reaches America landfills every year.

According to a Green Citizen, a California based company that works to reduce waste, an average computer screen contains up to eight pounds of lead, which in excessive amount can cause nerve disorders and joint pain in adults and high level of lead in children has been associated with brain damage and anemia (Stanic, “Bad effect of…). Also, modern technology is affecting people’s sleep. The artificial light from television and computer screen affects melatonin productions and throws off circadian rhythms, preventing deep, restorative sleep.

A research by Sara Thomas shows that heavy cell phone use showed an increase in sleep disorders in men and an increase in depressive symptoms in both men and women, men who use computers intensively were more likely to develop sleeping problems., regular, late night computer use was associated with sleep disorders and stress in both men and women. The relationship between stress, sleep disorders and depressions has more to do with the overuse of technology in our society, especially among young people (Volpis, “Heavy techno…”).

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Today, computers do this job instead of workers, with the rise in technology, many jobs that require little skills have been replaced by computers and machines. This is a type of structural unemployment. An example of this is the supermarket checkout systems. Initially many cashiers were employed by supermarkets, with a majority of these people being aged under 24. With the introduction of the computer checkout systems, these cashiers are now in less demand and has created more unemployment, particularly amongst the youth. The developments of the internet and online shopping have significantly reduced the number of retail workers. In society today literally anything can be bought online. These types of unskilled jobs were again predominantly taken up by under 24 year olds who were using these jobs to fund their education (U.S. Department of Labor 2004).

Moreover, the internet has stripped the world of privacy. Long gone are the days of having an unlisted telephone number and staying offline to keep your information safe from prying eyes. A few flicks on a keyboard can help average person to find anyone’s address and contact information. Those with more sinister intentions, the use of phishing, viruses and hacking helps to find any information they wish to obtain. Plus, people have no sense of privacy online. They do not think twice about twitting every move they make, freely giving out their location on Google Map and putting their entire life story on Facebook. The evidence is overwhelming technology has caused isolation, lack of social skills, bad writing skills, poor sleep habits and laziness.

Works Cited
Loop, Erica. “Exposing the negative effects of technology on kids.” Global post 15 March 2012. Web. 25 March 2014.
Mart, Coollen. “Technology making us lazy.” Inside Technology 4 October 2010. Web. 25 March 2014.
Olivera, Micheal. “Is technology hurting us by making life easier.” The Canadian Press 27 December 2012. Web. 25 March 2014.
Stanic, Claudia. “Bad effects of modern technology in the environment.” eHOW. 17 November 2013. Web. 2
Wallace, Brian. “The effect of media and technology on young children.” Social Media Today Wise, Jon. “Does technology make us lazy.” SIOW. 17 September 2013. Web. 25 March 2014. Volpi, David. “Heavy technology use linked to fatigue, stress and depression in young adults.” Huffpost 8 February 2012. Web. 25 March 2014.

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