Humanity is becoming ensnared in the menacing web of technology. Nearly 40% of Americans are obese, and overall fitness is rapidly declining, largely due to our increasing obsession and involvement with various forms of technology. A quote by Frank Lloyd Wright largely speaks to this idea:“If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger.” The “it” most certainly refers to technology.  Wright is saying that people are no longer getting sufficient exercise, physically or mentally, they are simply seeking all work, play, and anything in between from some form of technology that requires no more exertion to operate than a few swipes of a finger.

Work environments in the 21st century largely revolve around sitting at a desk, typing away at a computer, or else sitting, poking at doodads to operate machinery. Manual labor is becoming increasingly rare as technology becomes a prominent part of our lives. It would be healthier for both the planet and our physical well being to have millions of small-scale farmers working the land by hand. However, this role has been replaced by technology, with only a few employees hired to prod and twist the gizmos on the technological creations that are taking over the workforce. The result of the great influx of technology is causing jobs to be so devoid of bodily movement, that people are becoming increasingly overweight, out of shape, and physically unwell.

60 years ago there were no cell phones and entertainment, such as TV, and video games were practically unused and unavailable. Kids did not sit mindlessly on their beds, scrolling through their Facebook feed. They did not spend hours on a sunny day with their eyes glued to the television. They had no video games, no technology, no media to distract them from what they should be doing: getting outside and getting exercise. Now, sadly, the outdoors and exercise are clearly peripheral to all the new video games, iPhone upgrades, and the multitude of other technological forms of entertainment. Kids have gone from thin, tanned, healthy beings, to fat, pasty, technological slaves. These days, if you are not overweight you are in the minority. If you are tan, people would say you are bound to get skin cancer. Norms are changing, and not for the better, as our society pushes itself towards a world of technology.

Frank Lloyd Wright could mean that our “limbs” will atrophy in a less literal sense. As technology takes over many of the jobs, tasks, and even thinking humans would otherwise do, the necessity of our own intelligence lessens. It is no longer common to see students reading through dense volumes in an attempt to find information for research. Now, the student can type a few keywords into their computer and have a clear answer displayed before them in less than a second. It is effortless to type differential equations and integral problems into a computer and get out an answer, without the user needing to know the faintest thing about calculus. Furthermore, the ability of many people’s ability to write has declined with the rise of texting, something that encourages brevity and lack of creativity. If there are computers that can execute equations, and programs that can collect data for us, the need for our own thought and problem-solving diminishes. As technology becomes smarter, we become dumber, allowing it to do the thinking for us.

Technology, due to its multitude of capabilities and power has made life easier for bodies, yet the repercussions of allowing it to take over such a large part of our lives are severe, questioning whether it is really worth having technology at all.

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