The price of greatness is responsibility.

My last blog, in response to lilmisskaty’s, was about how much things have changed over the last century.

But with greatness, responsibility sits beside it vying for attention. Something which I believe has been lost, to an extent.

With new inventions and progression we have created electric can openers, drive thrus, sat nav and the like. Fantastic inventions designed to make life easier.

But with making life easier comes the inevitable; laziness.

How many of these companies who invent ‘amazing’, ‘innovative’ products realise that they’re contributing to the laziness of others?

Automatic vaccum cleaners, you don’t need to push, you don’t need to move, you don’t even need to stand up. Instead you can carry on with whatever task you were doing before, whilst the floor is being vaccumed beneath your feet.

Drive thru ATMs and Starbucks are few and far between in the UK, but they do exist and well, they mean you don’t even need to get out of your car to do basic tasks that people do every single day.

Internet shopping has become both a slice of brilliance in life and also a massive hindrance for the high street and small businesses. We all like a good deal, 99p (or 99c) books on Amazon, eBay, it’s all so useful. We can sell our old items, we can buy new items, we can buy second hand items. Whatever you need, you can find it online. You can’t even find everything you need in a town centre anymore, yet on the internet, there it is. You don’t need to leave the comfort of your own home and you can buy things through your mobile internet on the go. You don’t even need to go to your shopping basket on some websites anymore, you can merely click ‘one-click payment’ and the money is taken from your bank.

eBooks and game downloads work in the same way, if you own a Kindle then you just have to click buy now and the book is there for you to read. No longer do you even need to wait for a physical book or game to arrive on your doorstep.

Microwave meals are quick and easy, you don’t need to spend twenty minutes chopping up vegetables and cooking meat, you merely put a plastic, frozen container into a metal box and press start. A few minutes later, the food is there waiting for you to eat it.

In a time where obesity is a real problem, growing waistlines and inactivity, why are we so adamant that we need more and more products designed to make life ‘easier’?

Isn’t the opposite happening? These easier options are making life harder for those who no longer go outside to play tennis (opting instead for the Wii sports game and so getting less physical exercise), for families who are all considered obese (thanks to fast food and microwave meals, over home cooked, healthy options) and even cars themselves have become nothing more than transportation from A to B, even if A to B is a ten minute walk away.

Don’t get me wrong, I love many technological advances. I live and breathe computers, iPads and Twitter for mobile. That doesn’t mean that I don’t understand the other side of the coin, the flip side to the greatest inventions the world has ever seen.

The fact sat navs exist is fantastic, but at what expense? Some people have no idea how to use a map or have no sense of direction because they rely heavily on that little box with the annoying voice.

Supermarket deliveries are great if you’re ordering for sixty people (which happened to me over the summer), but for the family of four, it means that families aren’t getting that exercise of walking around the supermarket, children don’t get the chance to learn how to navigate around a large store and you don’t get to have a natter with an old friend/acquaintance as you bump into each other in aisle four.

Companies aren’t being held responsible for their actions, instead we are accepting more and more items designed for laziness. We want the latest technologies as soon as they come out and we’re not willing to wait to purchase them, pre-ordering helps with that. Nor do we even need to go to the bank to check that we can afford them, just hop online, transfer money between accounts and bam, the item will be with you in 3-5 working days.

I hope that one day the world will take a step backwards, embrace new technology, but enjoy them on the side of physical activities and getting out of the house. Otherwise, we might as we live in a pod with internet, television and fast food that appears whenever we feel hungry. Or those chairs in Wall-E where people who are overweight and obese merely press a button and they’re served all that they desire.

Title is a quote from Winston Churchill.


2 thoughts on “The price of greatness is responsibility.

  1. I was a bit worried when you said about attention seeking that it was going to be about the horridness on my blog the other day! Glad it wasn’t. I completely know what you mean here, it feels like we’re taking one step forward and two steps back in many ways. We’re going leaps and bounds in terms of technology and progress but at what expense? I wouldn’t even know you if it wasn’t for technology…but I haven’t met all my neighbours yet. When was the last time you received a letter? And the joy that comes from having mail! In addition to the physical and social benefits of life ‘x’ years ago there is also an enviornmental one (remember this ?). The only way to have the best of both worlds is to educate ourselves, and the next generation to get the balance right!

    1. I’d never do that! It was a good blog! I think there are sooo many issues, the ones I mentioned, as you said environment and probably many more besides which we don’t even consider when we’re thinking about all of these technologies. I hope one day we do better at educating and creating a balance between life and technology!

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