In a world where technology is advancing every day in ways to make our lives easier, is it possible it will make our lives too easy? The well known Wall-E film was placed in the 29th century, with humans shown to have every whim catered to by a machine, travelling on hover-scooters and becoming morbidly obese.
Is this what we can expect to see happen sooner rather than later?
I’m 22, so I grew up still running around outside and climbing trees, but I also had my first Nokia phone when I was around 10 years old. Every day after school I would go to the park, and weekends normally consisted of the same.
My 14 year old sister on the other hand, is glued to her iPhone, and spends hours on FaceTime with her friends.
The Nokia 3310, was released in 2000. You could send text messages, call people, and it also had four games including the hugely popular Snake. You could also customise the phone by changing the housing and having a different case. This phone could only keep you entertained for so long, you only had a minimal amount of text and minute allowance, or credit, and it wasn’t something you wanted to waste.
Fast forward ten years, the iPhone 4 had just been released. You now pay for the handset, rather than what you can do on it. You have unlimited texts, minutes and data. You have a camera built in to it. Several GB of data to store photos, music, games, apps and more. These things can keep you entertained for hours - why do you even need to leave the house?
What other technology has been developed over the past ten years, that causes us to become lazy human beings?
If you’re in a busy city, you would tend to walk to most places. You may have gotten a tube or tram, but these were overcrowded and they never smell that great. Now with apps like Uber, isn’t it easier to summon a car that you know will only be a couple of pounds, and not bother walking. Not just cars either, if it’s quite a short journey, you can also hire electric scooters. Further encouraging you to not walk.
Have you had a long day at work and can’t be bothered to cook? No worries, just pay double what you would for a home-cooked meal and have it delivered to your door! Yes, we’ve always had take-aways, but they’ve been limited to Chinese, Pizza, Indian or Fish and chips. Now you can add Japanese, Dessert only shops, Burgers, Caribbean, local corner shops and more to the mix. We suffer from short-cut syndrome, why spend time preparing and cooking a meal, when it can be delivered ready in 20 minutes or less?
We no longer need to go up to a light switch and turn it on, music will start at our request, we do not even need to order our own food shops more than once. It can do that for us too. You can link it to almost any smart device in your home, cutting out the middleman (you) from any routine.
It seems so silly, Netflix has been around for more than 20 years. But from 2010 to 2014, it really boomed. With Blockbuster ceasing operations in 2013, it had grown bigger than ever. It’s not just the missing journey you have to Blockbuster that makes us lazy, but with Netflix having a countdown to the next episode in a series and constant suggestions after one film has been watched, before you know it you have wasted a whole day binging, eating easy snack food and not moving from your bed at all.
Fast Fashion Apps
Who wants to spends hours walking around shops aimlessly, when you can sit in the comfort of your own home scrolling for hours instead? With same day delivery being an option as well as buy now pay later, you can receive your items instantly and not even need to pay for them right away. We buy more because it is so accessible, not only does this have a detrimental effect on our bank accounts, but on the environment too. Because of this, Zara have stated they will become 100% sustainable by 2025.
Where could this be heading?
Imagine waking up one morning, your alarm clock has gone off, your blinds have automatically opened. You walk into your wardrobe and your outfit has been selected and is standing out against the rest of the rails. The smell of pancakes creeps up the stairs, as you head down, your smart kitchen has cooked and prepared your breakfast of pancakes and syrup, super high in sugar. You go outside where your Uber takes you straight to work. After sitting at your desk for 8 hours, you join everybody from work in the pub for a beer, then again are picked up and taken home. Your smart kitchen has ordered your favourite burger and chips to the house ready for your arrival. You sit down in front of the TV and start a new Netflix series, before you know it, it is 1am and you head to bed, ready to do the same thing tomorrow.
This is a harsh reality of what may happen. Remember the Disney film ‘Wall-E’ where every whim of a human was catered to by technology? They were all morbidly obese and travelled on scooters. This film was set in the 29th century, but feels more relevant than ever.
Rampant consumerism and short-cut syndrome, could spear head us into a bleak future.