Being Lazy Makes Us Dumb

Being Lazy Makes Us Dumb

Does technological advancement have more of a negative or positive effect?


From fire to the first automobile and from rocks to cellular devices, humans have been productively developing technology ever since the Stone Age. In "Automation Makes Us Dumb," Nicholas Carr elaborates how as technology advances with time, the human intelligence begins to decline. Carr incorporates University research and real-world statistics to emphasize how as the world becomes smarter through technology, humans have become less dependent on their own hands-on skills.

The reliance on an artificial variety in technology begins to concern him, as mistakes are more prone towards people's safety as a result of a lazier mindset in completing tasks in daily life. Although technology is a contributing factor to lower quality work, Carr fails to consider how resilient people are, how humans cause laziness and how higher skills are required in modern-day technology.

Difficult obstacles entail mistakes, but also room for growth. Although it is highly concerning that there are reports of tragic airplane crashes such as the "2009 crashes of Continental Flight 3407 in Buffalo and Air France Flight 447 in the Atlantic Ocean, and the botched landing of Asiana Flight 214 in San Francisco in 2013," people must be reminded events like those are reported because media outlets report the events that do not commonly occur. However, due to these fears and news over plane crashes, pilots are now being evaluated more over their skills.

Naturally, there are some pilots who lack manual training. It is concerning knowing that there are people out there who are less prepared in difficult situations in the air, but Carr only expands on pilots who lack manual skills and there is no mention of pilots that have maintained all types of training. People are prone to mistakes. If something like this occurs, it is only brought to more attention. As a result, pilots become more aware and their training becomes more flexible to incorporate more practice to better equip themselves with crucial knowledge for future flights. Therefore, with the abundance of in-depth research over failing pilots, Carr's evidence is flawed due to the lack of analysis for the current solutions to those problems.

Technology is a contributing factor to laziness, not a cause. Carr claims that "Computers are taking over the kinds of knowledge work long considered the preserve of well-educated, well-trained professionals." Nowadays, teenagers procrastinate on schoolwork with the rise of social media, video games, and television shows. Low performance is the effect of their choice to be more active through leisure activities rather than dedicating their time to work on assignments. In relation to people in the workplace and students in a school setting, low-quality work is the result of a choice that people make, not an effect from technology. Humans have a tendency to work hard in finding something external to blame as a result of an unfavorable consequence. The reality is that people have the option to expand on their skills and sharpen their knowledge, but they choose not to expand their skills of traditional and updated use of that knowledge. As more people are making that choice, the result is that there are more instances where lower quality work is produced where it seems like technology is to blame, but truthfully, it is the people themselves that should take on more responsibility.

In the article, Carr narrowly focuses on the people who have negatively been affected by technology but fails to consider the wonders people have devised in advanced devices. In order to keep up with today's fast-paced, competitive world, people must stay updated with modern technology. He states that "the evidence is mounting that the same de-skilling effect that ate into the talents of factory workers last century is starting to gnaw away at professional skills," in order to prove that the development of new technology takes away from the skills of workers in their jobs. Carr focuses too much on the negative reliance of technology in various work areas, rather than considering the positive effects it has for the majority of the population. In contrast to his thoughts, an example of important development would be the powerful machinery mass producing everyday necessities such as refrigerators, cars, and cell-phones.

These devices are the result of people who have worked hard, with their skills at the time, to develop a solution to a problem and acquire new skills. Without a refrigerator, food would perish much quicker, and without more advanced transportation methods and cellular devices, the world would not be as connected and developed as it is today. In addition, technology has allowed many researchers and doctors to aid third-world countries and share new discoveries to combat conflict around the world. Therefore, recognizing that although some traditional skills are fading, it takes a lot more skill to keep up with modern technology to further benefit the world.

People would be more grateful for modern advancements if the timeline were to be compared to people in the Stone Age. Although humans have the power to create such advanced materials, they also have the tendency to destroy, especially personal qualities of hard work. That results in an increase in unproductive humans who become lazy and thus blame it on technology for their own growing failures. People often find excuses for their unproductivity, because, in reality, technology can be a contributing factor to growing laziness, but it is in the people's control on whether or not they should be so reliant on technology.


Nicholas Carr

Works Cited

Carr, Nicholas. "Automation Makes US Dumb." Perspectives on Argument,

edited by Nancy V. Wood and James S. Miller, Pearson, 2018, pp. 393- 396.

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12 Unhealthy College Habits That Never Should Have Become Normalized

No, you shouldn't have to pull an all-nighter to pass every exam.


College is a weird time in our lives, but it doesn't have to be bad for our health. Here are some trends I've seen on social media and watched my friends practice that really never should have become a "thing" for college students in the first place.

1. The "freshman 15."

Everyone has heard of the dreaded "freshman 15," where college freshmen gain 15 pounds because of access to all-you-can-eat dining halls. Rather than eating healthier options at the dining halls or, you know, only eating until you're full and not stuffing yourself, we've just accepted our fate to gain what's really a large amount of weight. Not a very healthy mindset.

2. Eating only junk food because we're "too poor" to buy real food.

For off-campus students, the theme is ramen and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. This is really not how it needs to be. You can buy a bunch of romaine lettuce for around $1 at the grocery store I go to in my college town, and other produce like broccoli, potatoes, and apples are always cheap. Shop sales and keep your pantry stocked on staples like dry pasta, rice, beans, and other canned vegetables. It's not that expensive to eat decently.

3. Gorging on food at the dining hall just because you can.

This is what leads to the freshman 15. Just because you can eat whatever you want doesn't mean you should.

4. Procrastinating EVERYTHING.

I'm always ahead of my schoolwork, but all of the people in my classes push things right down to the wire. It creates unnecessary stress. Just get things done in advance so you don't have to worry.

5. Being generally unorganized and struggling to keep your life together. 

Actually using my planner is one of the best things I've done for myself in college so far. I don't know why it became popular for college students to be a hot mess all the time, but again, do what you can to avoid putting unnecessary stress on yourself.

6. Pulling all nighters, ever.

If you don't understand it by midnight, you won't understand it any better by five in the morning. You'll do so much better with less studying and more sleep than the other way around. Take the L and go to bed.

7. Waiting until the very last minute to start studying for your finals.

This is what typically leads to the aforementioned all-nighters. If you have an exam in two weeks, start studying NOW. Give yourself time to figure out what you need to focus on and get in contact with your professor or a tutor if necessary. Do yourself the favor.

8. Getting blackout drunk Friday and Saturday night...every weekend.

A lot of college students like to drink. That's fine, I get it, college is stressful and you just want to have a good time. But you don't have to go out every night of every weekend and drink so much you don't remember anything that didn't occur between Monday-Friday every week. Give yourself a break from drinking every so often.

9. Getting iced coffee before class and being late because of it.

I always make sure I get to campus early if I plan to get Starbucks, which I often do. It's rude to come in late, and it's detrimental to your education to consistently miss class. Your coffee can wait if you're running late. Plan better next time.

10.  Committing to 10 different extracurriculars because "it'll boost your resume if you have more on it!"

If you only participate in one club where you're the head of marketing and the treasurer, that will look SO much better than if you participated in five clubs but were just...there for all of them. Excel in one thing rather than being mediocre in many.

11.  Skipping class whenever you feel like it.

You can take the occasional mental health day, but if you're just being lazy, you're only hurting yourself. Go to class. You're paying a lot of money for it, after all.

12.  Spending every last penny you have to go somewhere for spring break (Daytona Beach, anyone?).

"Broke" college kids always end up taking the most extravagant spring break vacations. I'm sure it's fun and you'll cherish the memories, but wouldn't you cherish that $500 more if you saved it for things you actually need rather than living off of ramen for a month when you get home?

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Keeping A Journal Handy Keeps Me From Forgetting My Eventful Past

Also, it's genuinely the best way to get out pent up emotions.


Time is flying by so quickly, and it's so difficult to keep track of every little event I'm a part of. At the same time, though, I find myself sitting at my desk wide awake every Saturday at midnight just writing in a journal about the past week.

Who did I see? How did I feel? What did I accomplish?

Even the most minute of details becomes the most important topic in the world, and I find myself enthralled in memories now immortalized in a notebook. The moment in which I'm writing as much as I can remember is peaceful, and I think that I am most at home when it's the middle of the night and no one can disturb the flow of thoughts.

After all, the purpose of having a journal is to expose one's future to reminders of the past otherwise unforgotten. One of my essays from eighth grade is wedged between two pages in an older book of mine, and when I stumbled upon it just a few weeks ago, I spent the next hour dissecting every little feeling I could remember from the time when I wrote that piece.

There's something amazing about having a journal to presently write in and eventually look back upon with open ears and listening eyes. There's something magical about being able to recount the tirade of feelings I experienced three, four years ago even now. It's as if I've envisioned a pathway to walk down (some would call "Memory Lane"), and I can find myself walking down that road at any given time.

In freshman year, I would spend an hour every day of the weekend just writing. About anything and everything that came to mind, only as long as the pen I was holding wasn't lifting itself off the paper. The amount of vivid description I put into every nit-picky part of my day was astonishing to read. I didn't want to forget anything, and I thought I could avoid forgetting by telling my future self what I knew.

Recollecting plain information, whether it be facts and figures or charts and data, can seem mundane, something one is unable to relate to and therefore "care" about, but recollecting emotions is putting on those same shoes one wore in a previous time and revisiting a slew of old memories.

It's embarrassing sometimes to find little mistakes in my writing or little places in which I attempted to sound profound but ended up sounding paranoid, but that characterized who I was as a writer back then (and maybe even today). Because I have journals full of pages and pages of sketches and words and feelings, I know who I used to be. I can remember who I was two years ago because of a journal entry from January 2017.

There was a day in sophomore year when I realized that high school was meant to be stressful, not a carefree adventure. I wrote down everything I felt that day, down to the sound of the bell ending the school day. And when I sat there a month ago and reread everything I had poured out, I laughed to myself, thinking that this rude awakening I had been ranting about was just the beginning.

It's comical and heartbreaking at the same time to sit through a journal written so long ago, but I think it's all worth it. The weeks are counting down as this school year is coming to a close, and while I spend all my time ranting aloud about how stressed I am, my true emotions only show up on the pages of my journal. Safe to say, I feel more at peace knowing that there's someone in the future going through this journey with me.

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