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Has Online Technology Made Us Lazy and Less Knowledgable?

Imran Uddin
11.22.16
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For those who are in their late twenties and above, you know what it's like to live a life without the Internet and other technological devices that seem to make our lives somewhat easier. Attaining information pre-Internet days was all about visiting a local library, walking about aimlessly until you found the book that was congruent to the topic you had to research or were interested in, and then writing it down with a pen and paper. Believe it or not... the world existed before photocopy machines, computers, printers, and Google.

Pre and Post Internet

It's safe to say that writing a paper for college or working in an office that required researching specialized information, gathering data, or creating a product was a lot harder than it is today. With social media and search engines, people are able to gain copious amounts of useful facts to aid their business and school papers, all in the comfort of their own home. Heck, you could even find a date on Tinder while relaxing on the sofa. It seems as though people today do not have to work half as hard to gain information, to form friendships and relationships, or to simply thrive in business as what was previously required pre-Internet.

Negative Effects of Online Technology

What does this mean for millennials and the youth of today? Is today's world becoming lazier and perhaps dumber, because of the Internet and technology? With products that essentially do everything for you – from finding your keys using a Chipolo Bluetooth key finder to ordering food at a restaurant less than a mile away via an iPhone app for delivery, we've essentially cut out a considerable amount of natural, face-to-face interaction – something that is pivotal in forming meaningful and mature relationships.

Additionally, with the Internet being so readily available to people – including young children, the chance of being exposed to unsavoury or inappropriate information or images has increased ten fold. Even apps such as Instagram occasionally expose people to sexual content that is not suitable for viewers.
This has lead to younger children being curious and experimental way before their years.

Web content aside, children and adults are now prone to being cyber bullied – a type of bullying that is far easier for bullies, as they can "hide" behind their computer screen. This has lead to a number of suicides and social issues. This issue is so big, in fact, that it is advisable for parents to screen their children's Internet searches.

Positives of Advancing Technology

Alternatively, one could argue that the invention of the Internet is a positive thing. Social media has proven to be the fastest and most efficient form of communication yet, which is good news for those living abroad. Programs such as Skype have also helped businesses to interact and share ideas with companies around the world, creating globalisation. It has also increased the number of entrepreneurs, who can now create and sell their products using websites such as Etsy and eBay. The Internet can and should be a good thing... if used responsibly.

Of course, many enjoy the perks of how easy living is with the Internet readily available but at what level does this invention become detrimental to one's health and social wellbeing? Teenagers and some adults find it hard to leave the house without their smartphones. They use their device more than they engage in human interaction. What does the future look like? What technology will be invented next? And will it have the same monumental effects as the invention of the Internet and the smart phone? Only time will only tell.

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