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Technology Makes Us Lazy: Exploring The Impact

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Published: Sep 1, 2023

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Automating tasks and reducing effort, instant gratification and reduced effort, health implications of technological laziness, cultivating a balanced approach.

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In the age of rapid technological advancements, our lives have been significantly transformed, offering conveniences beyond the imagination of previous generations. While these innovations present numerous benefits, they also pose a unique set of challenges, most notably, the concern that they might be fostering lazy among humans. This article provides an in-depth exploration of the ways technology potentially contributes to different forms of human lazy – physical, cognitive, social, and beyond.

Promoting Physical Inactivity

The rise of technology has brought about a significant shift in our lifestyle patterns, most notably, an increase in physical inactivity. Traditionally, everyday tasks like commuting, household chores, shopping, and even leisure activities involved a certain level of physical effort. However, the advent of smart appliances, electric vehicles, and e-commerce has replaced physical labor with digital convenience. We have vacuum cleaners that navigate themselves, drones that deliver packages, and smart home systems that control everything from lighting to temperature with a simple voice command. Consequently, the level of physical exertion, once required in our daily routines, has considerably reduced, promoting a sedentary lifestyle. Studies link this decline in physical activity to increased obesity rates and related health issues such as heart disease and diabetes.

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Digital Overreliance and Cognitive lazy

Technology has also significantly impacted our mental activity, primarily due to our overreliance on digital tools for basic cognitive tasks. In the era before smartphones, tasks such as remembering phone numbers, birthdays, or directions were a part of our everyday mental exercise. Now, digital calendars, GPS systems , and contact lists have assumed these roles. As a result, our memory and attention skills are not exercised as much, which could lead to cognitive decline over time. We have started to rely heavily on digital assistance even for simple tasks like calculations, spelling, or setting reminders, thereby encouraging a certain level of mental lazy.

Reading and Research in the Digital Age Technology Makes Us Lazy

When it comes to reading and research, technology has significantly altered our behavior, often encouraging a form of intellectual lazy. In the past, conducting research meant spending hours in libraries, combing through books, journals, and archives. It required patience, perseverance, and intellectual rigor. The digital age, however, offers information at our fingertips through search engines and online databases. While the ease of accessibility is beneficial, it also fosters a ‘quick-fix’ mentality. People tend to skim over content instead of engaging in deep reading, accept information at face value instead of critically analyzing it, and lose the patience for extensive research. Such practices could potentially affect our intellectual depth and commitment to scholarly pursuits.

Technology’s Impact on Social Interactions

The proliferation of technology has also dramatically influenced our social lives, fostering a form of social lazy. Social media platforms and instant messaging apps have replaced a significant portion of our face-to-face interactions. While these tools connect us with individuals worldwide and offer new forms of interaction, they also lead to reduced physical socialization. We often prefer texting over meeting in person, and scrolling through social feeds over active participation in social events. This shift towards digital communication might cause us to lose out on the richness of in-person interactions, leading to a superficiality that could be termed social lazy.

The Effect on Problem-Solving Skills

essay on science has made us lazy

Another area where technology potentially contributes to lazy is problem-solving. Before the influx of tech-based solutions, humans relied on their creativity, resourcefulness, and critical thinking to tackle challenges. Today, however, our first instinct is often to turn to an app or a software solution for our problems. We look for immediate answers on search engines rather than exploring solutions ourselves, and we use apps to manage our time, finances, health, and more. This increasing dependency on technology can stifle our inherent problem-solving skills and initiative, leading to a form of solution-oriented lazy.

It’s important to remember, though, that technology is a tool, and its impacts largely depend on how we utilize it. While technology can make tasks easier and more efficient, excessive reliance and misuse can lead to negative effects, including lazy.

Also read: Types Of Link Building Strategies For Website

Impacts on Learning and Skill Acquisition

The sphere of education and skill acquisition is another area where technology’s convenience can inadvertently foster lazy. With the advent of online tutorials, digital classrooms, and AI-powered tutors, learning new skills or acquiring knowledge has never been easier. However, the ease and speed of learning can sometimes lead to a shallow understanding of subjects. Without the need to delve deep, wrestle with complex concepts, or engage in exhaustive research, learners may settle for surface-level comprehension. This approach may impede the cultivation of analytical skills, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities.

Diminishing Effort in Personal Care

Advancements in technology have also extended into the realm of personal care, often reducing the effort we invest in maintaining our physical wellbeing. Digital health trackers , diet apps, and online fitness tutorials offer us streamlined ways to stay healthy. While they provide valuable services, an overreliance on them can result in us being less actively involved in understanding our health and wellbeing. Instead of listening to our bodies or seeking professional medical advice when needed, we might depend too heavily on what our apps tell us, cultivating a form of health-related lazy.

Desensitization to the Environment

In an era where virtual reality can replicate natural experiences and indoor technology can simulate outdoor climates, we may become increasingly disconnected from our environment. The ease with which we can control our surroundings might lead us to become less adaptive and more complacent. This can foster a form of environmental lazy, where we fail to actively engage with our environment or respond adequately to changes in it.

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Online Activism vs. Real-World Action

The rise of digital platforms has given birth to a new form of activism – often termed ‘slacktivism’. While technology allows us to spread awareness, sign petitions, and donate with a click, it might also decrease the likelihood of taking concrete action in the real world. This easy, low-effort form of activism can lead to a decline in active participation in societal issues, thus fostering a sort of civic lazy.

These examples further illuminate how technology, while making life easier, can also foster different forms of lazy. However, it’s important to remember that the key lies in our approach to technology, not the technology itself. By adopting a balanced approach – one that involves deep and active learning, conscious engagement with personal health, active involvement with our environment, and real-world participation in societal issues – we can mitigate the risk of falling into the trap of lazy.

Also read: Strategies To Prepare Your Business For Future Automation

So, how can we circumnavigate these issues?  

Striking a balance is key. Promoting physical activities and integrating them into our routines can counteract the sedentary lifestyle that technology often promotes. Balancing digital learning methods with traditional ones can help retain our critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Emphasizing the value of face-to-face interactions and utilizing technology to enhance these experiences, rather than replace them, can foster deeper social connections.

Technology, in its many manifestations, does indeed have the potential to foster lazy. Yet, it’s crucial to remember that these tools are not inherently detrimental. They are, after all, just tools – their impact lies significantly in how we choose to use them. Striking a balance between digital convenience and active effort is key. We can embrace the benefits technology offers while consciously avoiding its potential pitfalls. By fostering active learning, encouraging physical activity, promoting in-person social interactions, and engaging proactively with our environment, we can ensure that technology serves as a catalyst for progress and not an enabler of complacency.


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Exploring How Technology Makes Us Lazy: An In-Depth Analysis

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By Happy Sharer

essay on science has made us lazy


Technology is defined as “the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry” (Oxford Dictionary). On the other hand, laziness is defined as “an unwillingness to work or use energy” (Cambridge Dictionary). With the advancement of technology, it has made humans increasingly reliant on machines, and this has led to an increase in laziness. This article will explore how technology has made us lazy by examining its impact on human laziness, such as increased dependency on machines, reduced physical activity and decreased motivation.

Examining the Impact of Technology on Human Laziness

Examining the Impact of Technology on Human Laziness

The rise of technology has had a major impact on human laziness. From automated machines to voice recognition technology, many aspects of our lives have become easier and more convenient. However, this convenience comes with a cost – it has made us increasingly dependent on machines, leading to a decrease in physical activity and motivation.

Increased Dependency on Machines

One of the most significant effects of technology on human laziness is the increased dependency on machines. With the advent of modern technology, many tasks that used to require manual effort can now be done by machines. From washing machines and dishwashers to robotic vacuum cleaners and self-driving cars, technology has enabled us to do things faster and with less effort. As a result, we have become increasingly dependent on machines to do even the most basic tasks.

Reduced Physical Activity

Another way in which technology has made us lazy is by reducing physical activity. The availability of technology means that people no longer need to expend energy doing simple tasks. For example, instead of walking to the store, people can now order groceries online and have them delivered directly to their doorstep. Similarly, instead of cleaning the house manually, people can now use robotic vacuum cleaners. This reduction in physical activity has had a detrimental effect on people’s health, as it leads to a sedentary lifestyle.

Decreased Motivation

Finally, technology has made us lazy by decreasing our motivation. While technology can make life easier and more convenient, it can also lead to a sense of complacency. When people are able to rely on machines to do tasks for them, they become less motivated to do things themselves. Furthermore, since there is no reward for using technology, people may not feel satisfied with their accomplishments.

Exploring How Technology Has Increased Our Dependency on Machines

Exploring How Technology Has Increased Our Dependency on Machines

As previously mentioned, technology has made us increasingly dependent on machines. Examples of technology that can replace human effort include robots, automated machines and voice recognition software. These technologies are designed to make tasks easier and more efficient, allowing people to do more with less effort.

There are several reasons why people rely on technology. One of the main reasons is convenience. Technology enables people to do things quickly and easily, without having to put in much effort. Additionally, technology can save time, as it can automate tasks that would otherwise take a long time to complete. Finally, technology can provide accuracy and precision, which can be beneficial for certain tasks.

Assessing the Adverse Effects of Technology on Physical Activity

While technology can be beneficial in many ways, it can also have adverse effects on physical activity. Since technology enables people to do things faster and with less effort, it can lead to a decrease in physical activity. Furthermore, the availability of technology has encouraged people to adopt a sedentary lifestyle, as they no longer need to expend energy doing tasks. This can have serious consequences on people’s health, as it can lead to weight gain, fatigue and an increased risk of developing certain diseases.

Analysing the Role of Technology in Making People Less Motivated

In addition to reducing physical activity, technology can also make people less motivated. As mentioned earlier, when people are able to rely on machines to do tasks for them, they become less motivated to do things themselves. Furthermore, since there is no reward for using technology, people may not feel satisfied with their accomplishments. This can lead to a feeling of complacency and a lack of motivation to do anything.

Investigating the Relationship Between Technology and a Lack of Creativity

Another way in which technology can make us lazy is by limiting our creativity. Technology can make it easier to do certain tasks, but it can also limit our ability to think outside the box. For example, when writing an essay, a student might rely heavily on spellcheck and grammar check software, which can limit their creativity. Similarly, when designing a website, a designer might rely heavily on web design software, which can prevent them from coming up with creative solutions.

Looking at How Technology Has Altered Our Expectations of Convenience

Looking at How Technology Has Altered Our Expectations of Convenience

Finally, technology has altered our expectations of convenience. As technology has made our lives easier and more convenient, we have come to expect instant gratification. We want things done quickly and without any effort, and technology has enabled us to do just that. While this can be beneficial in some ways, it can also lead to a sense of entitlement and a lack of patience, which can make us lazy.

In conclusion, technology has made us increasingly dependent on machines, decreased our physical activity and decreased our motivation. It has also limited our creativity and altered our expectations of convenience. To overcome technology-induced laziness, it is important to find a balance between technology use and manual effort. For example, instead of relying on machines to do tasks for you, try to do them yourself. This can help to increase your motivation and reduce your reliance on technology.

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Hi, I'm Happy Sharer and I love sharing interesting and useful knowledge with others. I have a passion for learning and enjoy explaining complex concepts in a simple way.

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Is technology making us dumber or smarter? Yes

essay on science has made us lazy

Professor of History, Texas A&M University

Disclosure statement

Jonathan Coopersmith does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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essay on science has made us lazy

The smartphone in your hand enables you to record a video, edit it and send it around the world. With your phone, you can navigate in cities, buy a car, track your vital signs and accomplish thousands of other tasks. And so?

Each of those activities used to demand learning specific skills and acquiring the necessary resources to do them. Making a film? First, get a movie camera and the supporting technologies (film, lights, editing equipment). Second, learn how to use them and hire a crew. Third, shoot the movie. Fourth, develop and edit the film. Fifth, make copies and distribute them.

Now all of those tasks are solved by technology. We need no longer learn the intricate details when the smartphone programmers have taken care of so much. But filmmakers are now freer to focus on their craft, and it is easier than ever to become a filmmaker. Historically, technology has made us individually dumber and individually smarter – and collectively smarter. Technology has made us able to do more while understanding less about what we are doing, and has increased our dependence on others.

These are not recent trends, but part of the history of technology since the first humans began to farm. In recent decades, three major changes have accelerated the process, starting with the increasing pace of humans specializing in particular skills. In addition, we outsource more skills to technological tools, like a movie-making app on a smartphone, that relieve us of the challenge of learning large amounts of technical knowledge. And many more people have access to technology than in the past, allowing them to use these tools much more readily.

Specialized knowledge

Specialization enables us to become very good at some activities, but that investment in learning – for example, how to be an ER nurse or computer coder – comes at the expense of other skills like how to grow your own food or build your own shelter.

essay on science has made us lazy

As Adam Smith noted in his 1776 “Wealth of Nations,” specialization enables people to become more efficient and productive at one set of tasks, but with a trade-off of increased dependence on others for additional needs. In theory, everyone benefits.

Specialization has moral and pragmatic consequences. Skilled workers are more likely to be employed and earn more than their unskilled counterparts. One reason the United States won World War II was that draft boards kept some trained workers, engineers and scientists working on the home front instead of sending them to fight. A skilled machine tool operator or oil-rig roustabout contributed more to winning the war by staying at home and sticking to a specialized role than by heading to the front with a rifle. It also meant other men (and some women) donned uniforms and had a much greater chance of dying.

Making machines for the rest of us

Incorporating human skills into a machine – called “blackboxing” because it makes the operations invisible to the user – allows more people to, for example, take a blood pressure measurement without investing the time, resources and effort into learning the skills previously needed to use a blood pressure cuff. Putting the expertise in the machine lowers the barriers to entry for doing something because the person does not need to know as much. For example, contrast learning to drive a car with a manual versus an automatic transmission.

essay on science has made us lazy

Mass production of blackboxed technologies enables their widespread use. Smartphones and automated blood pressure monitors would be far less effective if only thousands instead of tens of millions of people could use them. Less happily, producing tens of millions of automatic rifles like AK-47s means individuals can kill far more people far more easily compared with more primitive weapons like knives.

More practically, we depend on others to do what we cannot do at all or as well. City dwellers in particular depend on vast, mostly invisible structures to provide their power , remove their waste and ensure food and tens of thousands of other items are available.

Overreliance on technology is dangerous

A major downside of increased dependence on technologies is the increased consequences if those technologies break or disappear. Lewis Dartnell’s “The Knowledge” offers a delightful (and frightening) exploration of how survivors of a humanity-devastating apocaplyse could salvage and maintain 21st-century technologies.

essay on science has made us lazy

Just one example of many is that the U.S. Naval Academy resumed training officers to navigate by sextants . Historically the only way to determine a ship’s location at sea, this technique is being taught again both as a backup in case cyberattackers interfere with GPS signals and to give navigators a better feel of what their computers are doing.

How do people survive and prosper in this world of increasing dependence and change? It’s impossible to be truly self-reliant, but it is possible to learn more about the technologies we use, to learn basic skills of repairing and fixing them (hint: always check the connections and read the manual) and to find people who know more about particular topics. In this way the Internet’s vast wealth of information can not only increase our dependence but also decrease it (of course, skepticism about online information is never a bad idea). Thinking about what happens if something goes wrong can be a useful exercise in planning or a descent into obsessive worrying.

Individually, we depend more on our technologies than ever before – but we can do more than ever before. Collectively, technology has made us smarter, more capable and more productive. What technology has not done is make us wiser.

Editor’s note: This article was part of a collaboration with Point Taken, a program from GBH that aired on PBS .

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Essay on science has made you lazy.

Answers (1).


Science has surprised us with many inventions and discoveries and that will continue to be surprising in the future. Science has changed in every field of life and science impossible things have become impossible.

In our day-to-day life, there are thousands of things related to science that are a gift of science. Science is a very deep concept; it is an ocean of knowledge about science. Science has made our life worth living but there are some people who are misusing it very badly. We all know that science will surprise us with many theories and discoveries but we should be ready for other uses of this in the future also.

The way we use science leads to some important side effects like global warming, pollution, and sandstorm, etc. Science leads man to invent bombs too. Science helps us to make our life easier, healthier and smarter, etc. There are developments on earth done on the basis of scientists who also share our knowledge. When I say science it means Mathematical, chemistry, Physics and Medical sciences, etc. Without science we are unable to analyze life and what our life would be like in the future. Science makes man wonderful. There are huge amounts invested towards various researches that are done by scientists. If there is science there are more and more Jobs available in the Market, and more Professionals will rise.

Deependra Verma

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Essays About Science: Top 12 Examples and Prompts

Science can explain almost every aspect of our lives; if you want to write essays about science, start by reading our guide.

The word “science” comes from the Latin word Scientia or “knowledge,” It does indeed leave us with no shortage of knowledge as it advances to extraordinary levels. It is present in almost every aspect of our lives, allowing us to live the way we do today and helping us improve society. 

In the 21st century, we see science everywhere. It has given us the technology we deem “essential” today, from our mobile phones to air conditioning units to lightbulbs and refrigerators. Yet, it has also allowed us to learn so much about the unknown, such as the endless vacuum of space and the ocean’s mysterious depths. It is, without a doubt, a vehicle for humanity to obtain knowledge and use this knowledge to flourish. 

To start writing essays about science, look at some of our featured essay examples below. 

1. The challenging environment for science in the 21st century by Nithaya Chetty 

2. disadvantages of science by ella gray, 3. reflections from a nobel winner: scientists need time to make discoveries by donna strickland.

  • 4.  ​​The fact of cloning by Cesar Hill

5. T. Rex Like You Haven’t Seen Him: With Feathers by Jason Farago

6. common, cheap ingredients can break down some ‘forever chemicals’ by jude coleman, 1. what is science, 2. a noteworthy scientist, 3. why is it important to study science, 4. are robots a net positive for society, 5. types of sciences, 6. science’s role in warfare.

“Open-ended, unfettered science in its purest form has, over the centuries, been pursued in the interests of understanding nature in a fundamental way, and long may that continue. Scientific ideas and discoveries have often been very successfully exploited for commercial gain and societal improvements, and much of the science system today the world over is designed to push scientists in the direction of more relevance.”

For South Africa to prosper, Chetty encourages cooperation and innovation among scientists. He discusses several problems the country faces, including the politicization of research, a weak economy, and misuse of scientific discoveries. These challenges, he believes, can be overcome if the nation works as one and with the international community and if the education system is improved. 

“Technology can make people lazy. Many people are already dependent and embrace this technology. Like students playing computer games instead of going to school or study. Technology also brings us privacy issues. From cell phone signal interceptions to email hacking, people are now worried about their once private information becoming public knowledge and making profit out of video scandals.”

Gray discusses the adverse effects technology, a science product, has had on human life and society. These include pollution, the inability to communicate properly, and laziness. 

She also acknowledges that technology has made life easier for almost everyone but believes that technology, as it is used now, is detrimental; more responsible use of technology is ideal.

“We must give scientists the opportunity through funding and time to pursue curiosity-based, long-term, basic-science research. Work that does not have direct ramifications for industry or our economy is also worthy. There’s no telling what can come from supporting a curious mind trying to discover something new.”

Strickland, a Nobel Prize winner, explains that a great scientific discovery can only come with ample time for scientists to research, using her work as an example. She describes her work on chirped pulse amplification and its possible applications, including removing brain tumors. Her Nobel-awarded work was done over a long time, and scientists must be afforded ample time and funding to make breakthroughs like hers. 

4.  ​​ The fact of cloning by Cesar Hill

“Any research into human cloning would eventually need to be tested on humans. Cloning might be used to create a “perfect human”. Cloning might have a detrimental effect family relationship. However the debate over cloning has more pros out weighting the cons, giving us a over site of the many advantages cloning has and the effects of it as well. Cloning has many ups and downs nevertheless there are many different ways in which it can be used to adapt and analyse new ways of medicine.”

Hill details both the pros and cons of cloning. It can be used for medical purposes and help us understand genetics more, perhaps even allowing us to prevent genetic diseases in children. However, it is expensive, and many oppose it on religious grounds. Regardless, Hill believes that the process has more advantages than disadvantages and is a net good. 

“For the kids who will throng this new exhibition, and who will adore this show’s colorful animations and fossilized dino poop, T. rex may still appear to be a thrilling monster. But staring in the eyes of the feather-flecked annihilators here, adults may have a more uncanny feeling of identification with the beasts at the pinnacle of the food chain. You can be a killer of unprecedented savagery, but the climate always takes the coup de grâce.”

In his essay, Farago reviews an exhibition on the Tyrannosaurus Rex involving an important scientific discovery: it was a feathered dinosaur. He details the different displays in the exhibition, including models of other dinosaurs that helped scientists realize that the T-Rex had feathers. 

“Understanding this mechanism is just one step in undoing forever chemicals, Dichtel’s team said. And more research is needed: There are other classes of PFAS that require their own solutions. This process wouldn’t work to tackle PFAS out in the environment, because it requires a concentrated amount of the chemicals. But it could one day be used in wastewater treatment plants, where the pollutants could be filtered out of the water, concentrated and then broken down.”

Coleman explains a discovery by which scientists were able to break down a perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substance, a “forever chemical” dangerous to the environment. He explains how they could break the chemical bond and turn the “forever chemical” into something harmless. This is important because pollution can be reduced significantly, particularly in the water. 

Writing Prompts on Essays about Science

“Science” is quite a broad term and encompasses many concepts and definitions. Define science, explain what it involves and how we can use it, and give examples of how it is present in the world. If you want, you can also briefly discuss what science means to you personally. 

Many individuals have made remarkable scientific discoveries, contributing to the wealth of knowledge we have acquired through science. For your essay, choose one scientist you feel has made a noteworthy contribution to their field. Then, give a brief background on the scientists and explain the discovery or invention that makes them essential. 

Consider what it means to study science: how is it relevant now? What lessons can we learn from science? Then, examine the presence of science in today’s world and write about the importance of science in our day-to-day lives- be sure to give examples to support your points. Finally, in your essay, be sure to keep in mind the times we are living in today.

Essays about science: Are robots a net positive for society

When we think of science, robots are often one of the first things that come to mind. However, there is much to discuss regarding safety, especially artificial intelligence. Discuss the pros and cons of robots and AI, then conclude whether or not the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. Finally, provide adequate evidence to reinforce your argument and explain it in detail. 

From biology to chemistry to physics, science has many branches, each dealing with different aspects of the world and universe. Choose one branch of science and then explain what it is, define basic concepts under this science, and give examples of how it is applied: Are any inventions requiring it? How about something we know today thanks to scientific discovery? Answer these questions in your own words for a compelling essay.

Undoubtedly, technology developed using science has had devastating effects, from nuclear weapons to self-flying fighter jets to deadly new guns and tanks. Examine scientific developments’ role in the war: Do they make it more brutal? Or do they reduce the casualties? Make sure to conduct ample research before writing your essay; this topic is debatable. 

For help with your essays, check out our round-up of the best essay checkers .

If you’re looking for inspiration, check out our round-up of essay topics about nature .

essay on science has made us lazy

Martin is an avid writer specializing in editing and proofreading. He also enjoys literary analysis and writing about food and travel.

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Are lazy people more efficient and innovative than we think?

Dr Kate Raynes-Goldie

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Are you feeling lazier lately? You can’t go to the gym. You’re probably stuck at home. You might be sitting on your couch in your pyjamas writing an article about laziness.

And you could be feeling a bit guilty about it.

But what if a bit of laziness was a positive thing? What if laziness was a sign of intelligence or a driver of innovation?

Efficiency through laziness

You may have noticed that lazy people are good at figuring out the easiest and quickest way of doing something. In other words, lazy people are efficient and even innovative.

In 1947, American automobile executive Clarence Bleicher gave Congress a hot tip about laziness.

“When I have a tough job in the plant and can’t find an easy way to do it, I have a lazy man put on it. He’ll find an easy way to do it in 10 days. Then we adopt that method.”

The science of laziness

So what does the science say about laziness?

Associate Professor Todd McElroy from Greensboro College in the United States studies laziness through the lens of decision science and psychology.

In 2016 he led a study that investigated the relationship between physical activity and “need for cognition” (aka laziness).

It found that people with a higher need for cognition used their energy to problem solve mentally, rather than physical activity.

“What the data is showing us is that humans may possess a type of compensatory model,” Todd says.

essay on science has made us lazy

“Different people may have relatively similar energy levels, but they actually spend this energy in fundamentally different ways.

“Some people may expend relatively more energy on physical activity, whereas other people may spend relatively more energy on intellectual energy.”

In other words, what we perceive as laziness may be people using their energy to think and innovate.

Todd says this makes sense given the energy our brains need.

“Don’t forget that the brain represents only about 2% of total body weight, yet it utilises 20 to 30% of the body’s total energy,” he says.

You snooze, you … win?

Preliminary findings from Todd’s current research project could debunk another laziness myth.

“When people are well rested, they actually have more overall physical activity than when they are sleep-deprived,” he says.

“This is a bit surprising, because when you think about it, sleep-deprived people have several more hours of awake time.

“However, the ‘good night’s rest’ seems to offset the additional wake time and yields greater overall physical activity.”

So if you’re feeling bad about having an afternoon nap, don’t be. It could help you become more efficient and innovative.


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essay on science has made us lazy

Women in Science: Representation is Only Part of the Problem

Essay on Science for Students and Children

500+ words essay on science.

Essay on science:  As we look back in our ancient times we see so much development in the world. The world is full of gadgets and machinery . Machinery does everything in our surroundings. How did it get possible? How did we become so modern? It was all possible with the help of science. Science has played a major role in the development of our society. Furthermore, Science has made our lives easier and carefree.

Essay on science

Science in our Daily Lives

As I have mentioned earlier Science has got many changes in our lives. First of all, transportation is easier now. With the help of Science it now easier to travel long distances . Moreover, the time of traveling is also reduced. Various high-speed vehicles are available these days. These vehicles have totally changed. The phase of our society. Science upgraded steam engines to electric engines. In earlier times people were traveling with cycles. But now everybody travels on motorcycles and cars. This saves time and effort. And this is all possible with the help of Science.

Secondly, Science made us reach to the moon. But we never stopped there. It also gave us a glance at Mars. This is one of the greatest achievements. This was only possible with Science. These days Scientists make many satellites . Because of which we are using high-speed Internet. These satellites revolve around the earth every day and night. Even without making us aware of it. Science is the backbone of our society. Science gave us so much in our present time. Due to this, the teacher in our schools teaches Science from an early age.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Science as a Subject

In class 1 only a student has Science as a subject. This only tells us about the importance of Science. Science taught us about Our Solar System. The Solar System consists of 9 planets and the Sun. Most Noteworthy was that it also tells us about the origin of our planet. Above all, we cannot deny that Science helps us in shaping our future. But not only it tells us about our future, but it also tells us about our past.

When the student reaches class 6, Science gets divided into three more subcategories. These subcategories were Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. First of all, Physics taught us about the machines. Physics is an interesting subject. It is a logical subject.

Furthermore, the second subject was Chemistry . Chemistry is a subject that deals with an element found inside the earth. Even more, it helps in making various products. Products like medicine and cosmetics etc. result in human benefits.

Last but not least, the subject of Biology . Biology is a subject that teaches us about our Human body. It tells us about its various parts. Furthermore, it even teaches the students about cells. Cells are present in human blood. Science is so advanced that it did let us know even that.

Leading Scientists in the field of Science

Finally, many scientists like Thomas Edison , Sir Isaac Newton were born in this world. They have done great Inventions. Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. If he did not invent that we would stay in dark. Because of this Thomas Edison’s name marks in history.

Another famous Scientist was Sir Isaac Newton . Sir Isaac Newton told us about Gravity. With the help of this, we were able to discover many other theories.

In India Scientists A..P.J Abdul was there. He contributed much towards our space research and defense forces. He made many advanced missiles. These Scientists did great work and we will always remember them.

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Home Essay Samples Life

Essay Samples on Laziness

Laziness as an enemy of caution and security.

A great enemy of caution and security is laziness. The lazy person can never arrange his own success and security because he cannot use the right opportunity to work due to the nature of his laziness and remains lazy throughout life. Crooks and sly people...

  • Social Security

Technology Makes Students Lazy

In this age, many people, especially students, use technology to make complicated things simpler—from the use of phones, internet, modern gadgets, appliances and many other services that technology offers. But, if we go beyond what's really happening right now with the use of technological advancements,...

  • Dependence on Technology

Different Ways How Technology Has Made Us Lazy

“How many times have I told you to clean your room? How many times have I told you to wash the dishes? Why are you so lazy?” We often hear our parents constantly yelling from across the house several times to do the chores. We...

  • Effects of Technology

Mental Slavery: A Mother for Many Slaves in India

In the modern world, the importance of independent contemplation is important. Often other countries indulge in superstitions on Indians, but this error is only in our country in the dark half of the last few hundred years, otherwise, Vedic literature explicitly supports independent thinking. Because...

  • Mental Slavery

Conquering Laziness: Overcoming a Common Human Weakness

It is normal that most people have common weaknesses such as selfish, greedy, laziness, and jealous. They can bring people not only negative effects but also positive effects. It is thought that almost all students have the same enemy called laziness. Some of them overcome...

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Experiencing Laaziness in the Work Environment

Laziness means when you are unwilling to work and having no intention to spend one’s energy seems to have a negative impact in multiple areas. It kills our life gradually with deep impact. We begins our careers with a passion, we all setup a goal...

The Troubles Of Sloth

It’s easier to work hard than to be lazy. Being lazy, like many things in life, is a type of bittersweet pleasure that many get easily pulled towards. Sloth, like many of the other seven deadly sins, is a human trait that many experience and...

  • Human Behavior
  • Procrastination

Best topics on Laziness

1. Laziness as an Enemy of Caution and Security

2. Technology Makes Students Lazy

3. Different Ways How Technology Has Made Us Lazy

4. Mental Slavery: A Mother for Many Slaves in India

5. Conquering Laziness: Overcoming a Common Human Weakness

6. Experiencing Laaziness in the Work Environment

7. The Troubles Of Sloth

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  • Personality
  • Actions Speak Louder Than Words

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How Technology Made Us Lazier and Less Productive

Technology has drastically re-shaped the way we function on an everyday basis. From communication to entertainment, health and education, innovations and new gizmos are being introduced each other day promising to make our lives more convenient, productive and hassle-free. But is it really the case? Nicholas Carr has started this discussion back in the late 2008 with a provocative question posed in his article : "Is Google making us stupid?" Since then researchers, corporations and data scientists have been haunted with the same idea – do digital devices and innovative technologies actually improve our lives or just bring additional chaos into them? Social Media Networks: The Necessary Evil It's safe to say most of us can't imagine our lives today without logging-into Facebook, Twitter or other social media network a couple times a day. Obviously, social media networks have made it simpler for us to stay in touch both with our personal or business contacts, discover information, get news and more. For businesses, social networks have taken advertising on a whole new level – getting your product seen by highly targeted audience got easier than ever. You no longer need a storefront to operate a six-figure retail business and can use your fans to spread the word for you without paying for expensive advertising time on TV or radio. On the other hand, social media also account for a huge loss in productivity. In fact, according a recent research conducted by Office Broker , the time wasted on Facebook costs the UK economy over whopping £25bn annually. As the company's CEO Chris Meredith recently commented: "These survey results really got us thinking so we decided to look at deeper Facebook usage statistics to try see how big of a problem this really is. A recent study last month said using Facebook can cause depression? Well, the cost to employers of staff wasting business hours on it might just well tip some bosses over the edge" Talking of depression and being unhappy, social media networks are often guilty of making us feel that way. According to Ethan Kross , a researcher from the University of Michigan, the more the tested subjects used Facebook in the time between the two texts, the less happy they felt. In fact, the participants overall satisfaction with their life was on steady decline during the experiment. Envy plays a massive role here too as frequent usage of social media triggers the social comparison mechanisms within us, which is further exacerbated by a general similarity of people's social networks to themselves. As we are forced to compare ourselves with like-minded peers, learning about success and achievements of others hits us much harder. The catch here is we often join social networks to learn about how other people live and show what's been going on in our lives, yet through this process of "learning and sharing" we may start to resent both others' lives and the image of ourselves we've created and now feel obliged to maintain on social media. "It may be that the same thing people find attractive is what they ultimately find repelling," said the psychologist Samuel Gosling, who did a research on social-media use and the motivations behind social networking and sharing. Does Texting Make Us Dumber? A recent study conducted at the University of Coventry in Britain uncovered some curious results after analyzing texting habits of a group of 8 to 12 year olds. Each participant was asked to write a sample text in the lab longhand. It turned out that kids, who have sent three and more texts a day scored lower on literacy tests than children who don't send any. Yet, texting fans proved to score higher results on a measure of verbal reasoning ability—likely because the condensed language of texting requires an awareness of how sounds relate to written English. Search Engines Impact Our Memory Another group of researchers from Columbia University decided to study how the frequent usage of search engines impacts our brain. Having any information readily available with a few quick taps actually has a negative impact on our memory and cognitive performance in general. Betsy Sparrow has noted that when using search engines people have lower rates of recall of the information itself and enhanced recall instead for where to access it. In simple words – we all know where to find the information we may need; yet we have troubles storing it up in our memory. The latter is actually crucial for our problem solving and critical thinking skills as they can only be developed when we have some factual data stored inside our heads, not our laptops. Conclusion So does technology makes us better or worse? The correct answer is both. Certainly, living in absolute digital isolation these days is merely impossible, yet you always have different options for optimizing your daily routine, getting "off the grid" and not getting lost in "productivity porn", which is just another form of procrastination.

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Technological Progress Has Made Us Lazy

Autor: gokutheman   •  November 24, 2012  •  Essay  •  755 Words (4 Pages)  •  3,446 Views

Technological progress has made us lazy.

Technological progress is a continuous process, which plays a very important role in our daily lives. However, some people believe that this progress has made us lazy, saying we rely on machines too much. For me, the progress, while not making us lazy, makes human beings more active both physically and mentally.

First of all, machines or high technology don’t help people do less work but help them complete tasks more quickly. With washing machines, vacuum cleaners, other housework machines, people can quickly complete trivial tasks and move on doing other important tasks such as going out with their friends, family, doing exercise, doing their jobs. For instance, parents have more time with their kids after finishing household chores, or have more time for themselves after a hardworking day.

Second, machines as well as other technological achievements like the Internet have helped human do and complete tasks more effectively, and enjoyably. For example, doing exercise becomes much easier and enjoyable, while it becomes more effective. Instead of running on the roads in order to keep our shapes, running machines and other body building machines which are both convenient and safe can help us consume larger amount of calories, and fat.

Finally, we not only physically work harder but also mentally develop along with the technological progress. Communicating means such as the Internet, television and radio daily provide us with large amount of information. Our brains work harder to process the information unless we want to be outdated. We mentally improve the ability to analyze, research, and innovate to understand and get useful information among various sources.

In conclusion, unlike making us lazy, the technological progress helps us effectively work harder, and develop ourselves both physically and mentally.

We no longer need to do back breaking work around the house. The washing is done automatically, meals can be cooked in the microwave at the press of a button, mobile phones allow us to send instant messages, the internet lets us see family and friends in other countries, and while this all takes place the obesity crisis escalates. Why? Because technology

Neel Burton M.D.


The psychology of laziness, the psychology of laziness, procrastination, and idleness..

Posted October 25, 2014 | Reviewed by Kaja Perina

  • What Is Procrastination?
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  • Unlike a lazy person, a procrastinator aspires and intends to complete the task in question.
  • Although people's natural instinct is for idleness, most find prolonged idleness difficult to tolerate.
  • Some people fear success, and laziness is a way to sabotage themselves.


A person is being lazy if he is able to carry out some activity that he ought to carry out, but is disinclined to do so because of the effort involved. Instead, he carries out the activity perfunctorily; or engages in some other, less strenuous or less boring activity; or remains idle. In short, he is being lazy if his motivation to spare himself effort trumps his motivation to do the right or expected thing.

Synonyms for laziness are indolence and sloth. Indolence derives from the Latin indolentia , ‘without pain’ or ‘without taking trouble’. Sloth has more moral and spiritual overtones than laziness or indolence. In the Christian tradition, sloth is one of the seven deadly sins because it undermines society and God’s plan, and because it invites sin. The Bible inveighs against slothfulness, for example, in the Book of Ecclesiastes: 'By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through. A feast is made for laughter , and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.'

Laziness should not be confounded with procrastination or idleness.

To procrastinate is to postpone a task in favour of other tasks, which, though perceived as easier or more pleasurable, are typically less important or urgent.

To postpone a task for constructive or strategic purposes does not amount to procrastination. For it to amount to procrastination, the postponement has to represent poor and ineffective planning, and result in a higher overall cost to the procrastinator, for example, in the form of stress , guilt , or loss of productivity . It is one thing to delay a tax return until all the figures are in, but quite another to delay it so that it upsets plans and people and triggers a fine.

Laziness and procrastination are similar in that they both involve a lack of motivation. But, unlike a lazy person, a procrastinator aspires and intends to complete the task and, moreover, does eventually complete it, albeit at a higher cost to himself.

To be idle is: not to be doing anything. This could be because you are lazy, but it could also be because you do not have anything to do or are temporarily unable to do it. Or perhaps you have already done it and are resting or recuperating.

Idleness is often romanticized, as epitomized by the Italian expression dolce far niente (‘it is sweet to do nothing’). Many people tell themselves that they work hard from a desire to be idle, rather than because they value their work or its product. Although our natural instinct is for idleness, most people find prolonged idleness difficult to tolerate. Queuing for half an hour in a traffic jam can leave us feeling restless and irritable, and many drivers prefer to take an alternative route even if it is likely to take them longer than sitting through the traffic.

Recent research suggests that, though our instinct is for idleness, people will pick upon the flimsiest excuse to keep busy. Moreover, people feel happier for being busy, even if their busyness is imposed upon them. In their paper, Idleness aversion and the need for justifiable busyness (2010), Hsee and colleagues surmise that many purported goals that people pursue may be little more than justifications for keeping busy.

This, I believe, is a manifestation of the manic defence: the tendency, when presented with uncomfortable thoughts or feelings, to distract the conscious mind either with a flurry of activity or with the opposite thoughts or feelings. 'To do nothing at all,' said Oscar Wilde, 'is the most difficult thing in the world, the most difficult and the most intellectual.' I discuss the manic defence at some length in my book Hide and Seek: The Psychology of Self-Deception .

Albert Camus introduces his philosophy of the absurd in his essay of 1942, The Myth of Sisyphus. In the final chapter, he compares the absurdity of man’s life with the plight of Sisyphus, a mythological king of Ephyra who was punished for his chronic deceitfulness by being made to repeat forever the same meaningless task of pushing a boulder up a mountain, only to see it roll back down again. Camus optimistically concludes, ‘The struggle to the top is itself enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.' [‘ La lute elle-même vers les sommets suffit à remplir un coeur d’homme. Il faut s’imaginer Sisyphe heureux. ’]

It should be noted that many people who can seem bone idle are, in fact, nothing of the sort. Lord Melbourne, Queen Victoria’s favourite prime minister, extolled the virtues of ‘masterful inactivity’. As chairman and CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch spent an hour a day in what he called ‘looking out of the window time’. Adepts of strategic idleness use their ‘idle’ moments, among others, to observe and enjoy life, find inspiration, maintain perspective, circumvent pettiness, reduce inefficiency and half-living, and conserve their health and energies for truly important tasks and problems.

essay on science has made us lazy

Evolutionary theories of laziness

Our nomadic ancestors had to conserve energy to compete for scarce resources and to fight or flee enemies and predators. Expending effort on anything other than short-term advantage could jeopardize their very survival. In any case, in the absence of conveniences such as antibiotics, banks, roads, or refrigeration, it made little sense to think long-term. Desire led to action, and action led to immediate gratification, without much need for proposing, planning, preparing, and so forth.

Today, mere survival has fallen off the agenda, and it is a long-term strategic activity that leads to the best outcomes. Yet, our instinct is still to conserve energy, making us reluctant to expend effort on abstract projects with delayed and uncertain payoffs.

Intelligence and perspective can override instinct, and some people are more future-oriented than others, whom, from the heights of their success, they deride as 'lazy'. Indeed, laziness has become so closely connected with poverty and failure that a poor person is often presumed lazy, no matter how hard he might actually work.

Psychological theories of laziness

In most cases, it is deemed painful to expend effort on long-term goals that do not provide immediate gratification. For a person to embark on a project, he has to value the return on his labour more than his loss of comfort. The problem is that he is disinclined to trust in a return that is both distant and uncertain. Because self-confident people are more apt to trust in the success and pay-off of their undertakings (and may even overestimate their likely returns), they are much more likely to overcome their natural laziness.

People are also poor calculators. Tonight they may eat and drink indiscriminately, without factoring in the longer-term consequences for their health and appearance, or even tomorrow morning's hangover. The ancient philosopher Epicurus famously argued that pleasure is the highest good. But he cautioned that not everything that is pleasurable should be pursued, and not everything that is painful should be avoided. Instead, a kind of hedonistic calculus should be applied to determine which things are most likely to result in the greatest pleasure over time, and it is above all this hedonistic calculus that people are unable to handle.

Many lazy people are not intrinsically lazy, but are lazy because they have not found what they want to do, or because, for one reason or another, they are not doing it. To make matters worse, the job that pays their bills may have become so abstract and specialized that they can no longer fully grasp its purpose or product, and, by extension, their part in bettering other people's lives. A builder can look upon the houses that he has built, and a doctor can take pride and satisfaction in the restored health and gratitude of his patients, but an assistant deputy financial controller in a large corporation cannot be at all certain of the effect of his labour—and so why bother?

Other factors that can lead to laziness are fear and hopelessness. Some people fear success, or do not have sufficient self-esteem to feel comfortable with success, and laziness is one way in which they can sabotage themself. Shakespeare conveys this idea much more eloquently and succinctly in Antony and Cleopatra : 'Fortune knows we scorn her most when most she offers blows.' Conversely, some people fear failure, and laziness is preferable to failure because it is at one remove. "It's not that I failed," they tell themselves, "it's that I never tried."

Other people are lazy because they see their situation as being so hopeless that they cannot even begin to think through it, let alone address it. Because these people do not have the ability to think through and address their situation, it could be argued that they are not truly lazy, and, to some extent, the same could be said of all lazy people. In other words, the very concept of laziness presupposes the ability to choose not to be lazy, that is, presupposes the existence of free will .

The solution

I could have ended this article with a self-help pep talk or the top-10 tips to overcome laziness, but, in the longer term, the only way to overcome laziness is to profoundly understand its nature and particular causes: to think, think, and think, and, over the years, slowly find a better way of living.

Neel Burton M.D.

Neel Burton, M.D. , is a psychiatrist, philosopher, and writer who lives and teaches in Oxford, England.

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I’m Too Lazy to Come Up With a Good Title: How the Internet Makes Your Brain Lazy

Undercurrents default

This anonymous student writer is a Computer Science major and a Massachusetts resident who describes himself as “interested in everything but passionate about nothing” — except not divulging any personal information. He presently spends his days secluded, enjoying living his ideal lifestyle enshrouded “in the devastating abomination that we all know to be the Internet.” He wrote this paper for a Composition II research assignment in order to rationalize a “terrible memory.” He is currently “overcoming(?) perfectionism after a long 4-year battle.”

It’s becoming increasingly harder for me to remember things. When I was younger, I used to remember a lot of things, such as people’s ages, their birthdays, their favorite foods, their favorite colors, their phone numbers, and even their license plates. Unfortunately, that’s all changed. Nowadays, I can barely remember their names without looking through my meticulously crafted stalkery profile of them on my phone. Before I jump to the glaring conclusion that I’ve reached a fairly early case of cognitive decline, I think it’s important to take a step back and think about what has changed since then.

When I was younger, I didn’t have a phone to take note of people’s birthdays or phone numbers or even their names. I just remembered them. I stored all of that information in a seemingly infinite directory that was my brain. What’s changed since then isn’t necessarily that directory, but rather where it’s kept. That phone that I have now, in which I store all of that information – the birthdays and phone numbers and names that I would never be able to remember today – has made it so that there’s not much reason to remember things like that anymore. That directory that once existed in my brain is now my phone.

But if my phone is now that directory, then what of my actual brain? Surely my brain exists and I can still memorize things to a lesser degree and with an increased effort, but how else has this change in location affected my brain? Searching just the terms “internet” and “brain” on the Internet leads to a pretty concentrated array of results, most, if not all, alluding to the many cognitive functions such as memory and attention that are being utterly obliterated by the devastating abomination that we all know to be the Internet. Not something I want to be reading at three o’clock in the morning.

But for the sake of knowledge, and quite possibly for the sake of scaring myself into cutting down the unhealthy amount of Internet I consume each day, I think it’s important that I educate myself on this matter. Matthew Hennessey, author of “The Cost of Our Digital Addictions,” cites psychologists from Columbia, Harvard, and the University of Wisconsin that review four studies testing people’s information recall with access to a computer, concluding that the test subjects performed poorly when they knew that the information was accessible on the computer. (Hennessey) This made enough sense. The Internet provides an abundance of quality information in a very convenient and easily accessible manner. It makes sense to rely on it because of that. The Internet makes it unnecessary for the brain to work so hard. And just like when you stop using your muscles and your muscles become weaker, the brain will perform poorly the less you use it.

Dean Burnett, author of “Is the Internet Killing Our Brains?,” offers some insight as well. His stance on how the Internet may affect our brain provides some relief but feels inconclusive. He declares that damage from information overload is “unlikely” and cites sources both supporting and opposing the notion that Google is destroying memory. For things like attention span deficiency and social media addictions, he shifts the blame to how humans are wired. It makes sense how we’re to blame for our own Internet usage, but it seems as if Burnett’s trying everything to make it seem as if the Internet is not to blame.

Being let down by the seemingly pro-Internet Dean Burnett, and my increasing interest in the connection between social media and memory, I checked out Andrew Gregory’s “How Social Media Is Hurting Your Memory”. He cites a paper published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology that shows how people who shared their experiences via social media often had “less precise” memories of those experiences. In addition, he describes three studies led by Diana Tamir from Princeton University that researched this phenomenon, testing how the memory of experiences are affected by recording them through various external formats such as taking pictures or notes, finding that “those who wrote down, recorded, or shared their experiences performed about 10% worse on memory tests across all experiments.” (Gregory) The researchers concluded that it was the act of “externalizing their experience” that led them to ultimately forget the details of those very same experiences. (Gregory) This also makes sense because when we’ve externalized something, it shouldn’t be necessary for us to keep storing that information in our memory when we can fill that space up with other more important things such as how Grimmsnarl can’t learn the move Snarl, despite being both dark type and having the word “snarl” in its name. Weird, huh?

Being devastated by the sudden realization that my precious cherished memories were being utterly obliterated by the devastating abomination that we all know to be the Internet, I needed some respite that could only be found by reading some reassuring articles on the Internet. As if it was some sort of magical coincidence, I just nearly stumbled across godsend “Good News: Using a Computer Does Not Rot Your Brain” by Alice G. Walton and was met with immediate gratification at just the very sight of the headline. Walton discusses a study by the Mayo Clinic alluding to computer usage having positive effects on the brain. Just as I was getting my hopes up however, I was met with the crushing detail that the test subjects were aged 70-93 and that the study only showed correlation between computer usage and the lack of brain deterioration. (Walton) Just as I should’ve expected from the devastating abomination that we all know to be the Internet.

This was quite honestly the last straw. Being let down by the seemingly exploitative Alice G. Walton and overall disappointed in my pursuit to understand why the Internet was hacking at my already meager cognitive functions, I needed to understand more. What is it about the Internet that makes my brain rot? How does social media factor into that? The only insight I was able to get was from Matthew Hennessy who explained that because the Internet provided reliable and accessible information, the brain would naturally rely on it to make less work for itself and Andrew Gregory who weighed in with how externalizing information is effective in not forgetting the more important things in life. But even so, I was still left with some questions. Why does the brain decide to take the lazy route and why does the brain externalize information?

When it seemed as if all hope was lost, I looked back at Hennessey’s article and did a little digging. I thought that the study he cited on information recall might give me some additional insight on my inquiries so I used my expert sleuthing skills to locate the study, eventually finding Psychology professor Betsy Sparrow and other’s “Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips.” Whilst reading through this study, I came across the term “transactive memory.” They explain this to be a “combination of memory stores held directly by individuals and the memory stores they can access because they know someone who knows that information” (Sparrow, 776). Or to put simply, transactive memory is a term used to describe a system of memory that relies on others to store and retrieve information from. Now how does this relate to Google? Sparrow and others go on to explain that search engines like Google have become our “primary transactive memory.” (Sparrow, 776) This concept could explain why it’s so difficult to remember things that can easily be found with the click of a few buttons. If we treat others as databases of information in which we can store and retrieve information from, then the Internet can be treated as just another one of those databases of information, but a lot more easily and readily accessible, and in a lot of cases, more expert. To create a central location where all information can easily be found through a search engine is much easier to use than the sometimes unreliable experts you may be acquainted with. This seems to be an automatic process and thus it makes perfect sense for the brain to choose the Internet, a place where you can find high-quality and easily accessible information, to rely on as its primary transactive memory.

This answers my question on why we externalize information. In short, it’s just a way for us to store information elsewhere to compensate for our limited memory capacity. But even still, it almost seems as if information received from the Internet is forgotten more than information received elsewhere. Is the Internet responsible for our brains becoming lazier and if so, how? From “Behavioural and brain responses related to Internet search and memory” by Dr. Guangheng Dong and Marc N. Potenza, they studied information recall with “Internet-based or book-based searches” finding that “Internet searching was associated with lower accuracy in recalling information” (Dong and Potenza, 2553). This means that information received from the Internet is in fact forgotten more and that the Internet is in fact responsible for our brains becoming lazier. But I still don’t understand why that’s the case.

To my rescue was mental health researcher Joseph Firth and other’s “The ‘Online Brain’: How the Internet May be Changing Our Cognition.” Whilst reading through this article, I came across “cognitive offloading” a term they describe to be people “implicitly reducing their allocation of cognitive resources towards remembering this information, since they know this will be available for future reference externally” (Firth, et al., 122). To put another way, cognitive offloading is a term used to describe an automatic (unconscious) process of recognizing where to find information for future reference that people use to lessen the “load” of remembering information. (Firth, et al., 122) This concept could explain why it’s so difficult to remember things that can easily be found with the click of a few buttons. If high-quality information is so easily and readily accessible, it doesn’t make sense for our mind to do more than is necessary. The Internet has made our memory so obsolete to the point where it makes more sense to forget something. To create a central location where all information can easily be found through a search engine is much easier to reference than notes you’d have to flip through to find something. And if it’s an automatic process then it makes perfect sense for the brain to take the lazy route. The brain was designed to be lazy and the Internet just puts the laziness on full blast. This is what explains why the Internet makes us forget information received from it. And there’s a cute interplay between cognitive offloading and transactive memory. They work in conjunction with each other. With the Internet being one’s primary transactive memory, people choose to offload their memory onto that primary transactive memory. This is how the act of externalizing information to the Internet creates a more lazier brain as a result of the Internet.

Through this exploration I’ve learned of two new concepts—cognitive offloading and transactive memory—and the cute interplay between them. This interplay helps me better understand why the Internet is eating away at my memory. Before this exploration, I had already kind of guessed that the Internet was responsible for my gradually deteriorating memory but I didn’t know how or what I could do to stop it. The answers I found through this inquiry would have never been found by a simple glossing of the first few articles that showed up on Google and I probably would’ve never remembered the contents of those articles anyway. Unfortunately, what I’m missing is how to utilize my research to prevent my memory’s deterioration. The Internet is an indispensable tool for information acquisition and to be rid of it is near impossible. Heck, all of that research—the information that I acquired in order to write this inquiry-driven essay—was through the aid of the Internet. My findings and my research was all possible because of the Internet; so to step away from that just isn’t practical. But I’m still reluctant to believe that there’s nothing that can be done or that there’s no cognitive function which can benefit from using the Internet. Ultimately, though the Internet is to blame for my lack of information recall, it is not practical for me to stop using it.

Works Cited Burnett, Dean. “Is the Internet Killing Our Brains?” The Guardian , Guardian News and Media, 8 Oct. 2016.

Dong, Guangheng, and Marc N. Potenza. “Behavioural and Brain Responses Related to Internet Search and Memory.” European Journal of Neuroscience , vol. 42, no. 8, 6 Aug. 2015, pp. 2546–2554.

Firth, Joseph, et al. “The ‘Online Brain’: How the Internet May Be Changing Our Cognition.” World Psychiatry , vol. 18, no. 2, 5 June 2019, pp. 119–129.

Gregory, Andrew. “How Social Media Is Hurting Your Memory.” Time , 8 May 2018.

Hennessey, Matthew. “The Cost of Our Digital Addictions.” National Review , 4 Sept. 2018

Sparrow, Betsy, et al. “Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips.” Science , vol. 333, no. 6043, 5 Aug. 2011, pp. 776–778.

Walton, Alice G. “Good News: Using a Computer Does Not Rot Your Brain.” The Atlantic , Atlantic Media Company, 12 June 2012.

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The Internet Is Making Your Brain Lazy — Here’s How to Change That

essay on science has made us lazy

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essay on science has made us lazy

We live in a time of unprecedented access to information. You can get instant answers to almost any question by typing or speaking into a little black box that fits inside your pocket. Assuming they could’ve imagined such technology, our ancestors would’ve called it magic.

However, there’s a dark side to instantaneous information. While it does have many benefits, it’s also making us mentally lazy. It’s weakening our critical thinking skills and robbing our lives of richness.

How did this happen, why does it matter, and what can we do about it? Let’s take a closer look.

How the Internet Can Change Your Brain

Before the internet, looking up information was hard work. Even simple questions such as “What is the boiling point of water at sea level?” or “What year did Colorado become a state?” required effort to answer.

At a minimum, you’d have to:

  • Pull out an encyclopedia or another reference volume
  • Consult the index or table of contents
  • Thumb through the book until you found what you were looking for

And in many cases, you’d need to take the extra step of visiting your local library, where you’d:

  • Hope they had a book on the subject
  • Consult the card catalog or ask the librarian for help

And even after all that, you had no guarantee you’d find the answer to your question.

Today, it’s just a matter of typing a few words into your phone or asking your smart speaker. This seems undeniably good. You save so much time! But while that’s true, this easy access to information has some unexpected downsides

To start, constantly looking up information can diminish your ability to remember it. You may think you remember a fact, but you’re actually remembering where to look it up. The result, according to a 2011 paper published in Science , is that you begin to view the internet as an extension of your memory.

Furthermore, a 2016 paper published in the journal Memory showed that the more you use the internet to answer questions, the more you rely on it (instead of your own memory and critical thinking skills). With time, you rely on it to the point that you store less and less information in your brain.

This process is called “cognitive offloading,” and it seems harmless enough.

For instance, do you really need to take up brain space remembering every single step to bake chocolate chip cookies? You can look up the recipe any time, after all.

Heck, you can look up thousands of recipes for chocolate chip cookies. You aren’t limited to the ones you can find in your cookbook (assuming you even own any cookbooks).

However, the cognitive offloading that the internet enables can have some serious consequences for your ability to think and critically evaluate information.

The 4 Dangers of Cognitive Offloading

Arguments about how the internet is harming our ability to think remind me of what Socrates supposedly said about the “new” technology of writing:

“If men learn this, it will implant forgetfulness in their souls; they will cease to exercise memory because they rely on that which is written, calling things to remembrance no longer from within themselves, but by means of external marks. What you have discovered is a recipe not for memory, but for reminder.” – Socrates, quoted in “Plato on Writing”

These days, this argument seems absurd. Even if writing did diminish our ability to memorize information, it was worth the benefits to human culture and civilization. Why is the internet any different? Even if the internet does diminish our factual memory, surely it’s worth the brainpower it frees up to perform more complex cognitive tasks.

The problem, however, lies in the risk of offloading not just our factual memory to the internet, but also our critical thinking . When we rely on our phones to look up facts, it’s easy enough to do the same with more complex questions that we should be answering with our critical thinking skills.

This has some disturbing implications:

“Just Googling It” Prevents You from Learning

To start, defaulting to Google for answers can prevent you from doing the hard work required to learn a subject or skill.

For instance, I’ve been learning web development for the past few months. Part of this involves watching and reading courses that explain how the process works. But even more importantly, it means doing practice exercises and challenges to help me apply the information I’ve just read or watched.

In many cases, the instructor provides solutions to the practice exercises. And it’s quite tempting to skip to the solutions, read through them, and declare that I’ve learned whatever concept the lesson covered.

However, this is a serious mistake. Skipping to the answer deprives me of the hard work required to really learn the material. And when I’m working on a real development project, I won’t have the skills I need.

The same is true of googling answers to homework problems. Quickly looking up the answer provides a temporary jolt of satisfaction and removes the discomfort of struggling with a question on your own. But it also prevents you from learning the material, which can hurt your performance when it’s time to take the exam .

It’s the process of trying, struggling, and using your brain to find a solution that leads to real learning. The alternative is, at best, an illusion of competence .

Want to learn something new but aren’t sure where to start? Check out Skillshare .

A Lack of Critical Thinking Makes You Easy to Manipulate

If you assume the internet has the right answer to everything, what will happen when you run into information that’s inaccurate? Or even worse, deceptive?

Without a solid base of critical thinking skills, this information could lead you to make bad decisions. Sure, using incorrect information in a research paper for school may seem harmless enough (you’ll get a low grade, but it won’t kill you).

But what about when you encounter bad health advice? Or bad relationship advice? Or an article attempting to persuade you of an extreme ideology? If you can’t evaluate information critically, then it’s easy for others to mislead or even manipulate you .

Google Can’t Answer Life’s Most Important Questions

Getting a bit more philosophical, overreliance on the internet can lead you to believe it can answer questions that don’t have simple answers.

It’s easy to forget this, as the entire purpose of a search engine is to provide answers as quickly and concisely as possible.

When you’re looking up how many pints are in a gallon, a quick answer is helpful. But what about a more complex, existential question such as “What should I do with my life?” or “How do I find a romantic partner?” These searches will still return answers, but they’re often superficial and unsatisfying.

It’s easy to blame this on the quality of the resources the search returned. And while that can sometimes be the case, the broader issue is that life’s big questions don’t have simple answers. You can’t sum them up in a single blog post or snippet of text. People spend their lives exploring these questions, writing entire books about them. And even then, the answers remain ambiguous.

Ultimately, you need to contemplate and answer the big questions for yourself, seeking advice from history’s great thinkers along the way. Because even if someone claims to have an answer, it might not be the best for you. Once again, critical thinking is essential.

Internet Dependence Can Make You Helpless

When you’re without internet access, do you feel cut-off and helpless? As if you’ve lost a limb? I know I certainly do. And that’s a problem, because what are you going to do when you need to solve a serious problem and don’t have cell service?

For instance, let’s say you get lost in the woods and need to survive the night while you wait for someone to rescue you (which, by the way, is generally a better approach than wandering around trying to find your way out).

You need to make a shelter, and you have zero cell phone reception. If you’re used to googling everything, you may not make it. (Obviously, this is a good reason to carry a paper wilderness survival manual and to learn how to survive in the woods before your life depends on it, but you get the point).

Even if you have access to the internet most of the time, it’s still a smart idea to know how to survive without it.

How to Avoid Mental Laziness

Now that we’ve explored the perils of mental laziness, what can we do about it? How do we benefit from the internet’s power while still retaining our ability to think critically?

Here are a few ideas:

Use the 15-Minute Rule

“You must try, and then you must ask” – Matt Ringel

One of the best ways to avoid mental laziness is to practice the 15-minute rule. It’s a process you can apply whenever you get stuck on a school assignment or a work project. Here are the steps:

  • When you’re presented with a problem that you don’t immediately know that answer to, ask if you have even a small amount of confidence that you can solve it on your own.
  • If yes, then spend 15 minutes trying to solve the problem.
  • As you work, document each step of your process.
  • If you still haven’t solved the problem after 15 minutes, get help (either from a person or via a Google search).

This process has several benefits:

  • Often, spending 15 minutes working and documenting the process will be enough to solve the problem on your own.
  • If you can’t solve the problem, the documentation you create will make it easier for someone else to help you (since they don’t have to spend time listening to you explain what you did).
  • Imposing a time limit prevents you from wasting hours bashing your head against the wall to solve a problem that your professor, boss, or the internet could have helped you solve in minutes.

Over time, this process will help you build your critical thinking and self-reliance.

Give Yourself the Time and Space to Wonder

“It takes discipline, now, not to look things up immediately, but to sit and wonder…” – Austin Kleon

When I watched the video that inspired this article, I immediately thought of this blog post about the difference between wondering and knowing . The essential argument is that instant access to information has diminished our “space for wondering.”

Before everyone had smartphones, a dinner party question such as “What’s the fastest animal on Earth?” could be the source of a spirited conversation. But now, someone can just pull out their phone and look it up, killing the conversation before it begins.

I’m not discouraging you from looking up facts (particularly if knowing the answer is important), but I have tried to cultivate the habit of wondering about questions instead of immediately looking them up.

Often, I’ll realize that I did know the answer and just needed some time to remember it. Or, I’ll be able to arrive at the answer through logic. And other times, the process of wondering about the question will lead me to new creative ideas .

Finally, I’d argue that you don’t need to know every trivial fact such as the top running speed of a cheetah or the average height of a llama. If these facts are relevant to your interests or field, great. But otherwise, there are probably more fulfilling things you could do than fact check trivial questions.

Don’t Abandon the Internet Entirely

I’ve spent most of this article telling you not to use the internet. However, there are still plenty of cases when you should, when not doing so would be foolish.

When you’re doing homework , don’t waste time memorizing obscure formulae that you can just look up (unless your teacher requires you to memorize them, of course).

And in the professional realm, don’t be afraid to quickly look up things that would otherwise prevent you from continuing with your work. As a professional writer, for instance, I still have to look up certain grammar rules or how to spell certain words. Doing so lets me get on with the more important work of writing articles like these.

My engineer friends tell me much the same: they have all kinds of tables and databases for looking up the answers to common operations (as opposed to wasting time on manual calculations).

Don’t Let Your Mind Become Weak

The internet is a powerful tool. If you use it correctly, it can boost your work efficiency and give you access to information your ancestors could only have imagined.

But you need to have caution. Relying too much on the internet can degrade your critical thinking skills, prevent you from grappling with questions that don’t have a simple answer, and deprive your life of intellectual richness.

The internet affects more than your memory and critical thinking skills. Here’s how the internet can harm your ability to focus (and how to prevent it) .

Image Credits: brain model


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