Digital = Lazy?

BY Reed Smith
ON March 09, 2012

Has the wave of digital technology made us lazy?

I wonder this as I see how instant information and instant feedback rules our lives (mine included.)

  • I do not check for spelling unless I see a red wavy line.
  • I hardly ever re-read a email prior to sending – although I have tried to get better about this.
  • I can hardly read anything longer than 140 characters anymore.
  • Give me pictures and videos vs words any day.

You get the idea.

Most of all if the content is not easily displayed on my iPhone then why bother?

What does this mean about how we communicate and how we should communicate?

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Reed Smith

Social Media Consultant to Hospitals and Healthcare Organizations. Advisory Board Member, Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media.
  • Jason Boies

    RE: your point about 140 characters; that reminded me of one of the funnier tweets I’ve ever seen. It was from @MissingBlakes : “Boss just sent me an email with 155 characters. What a windbag.”
    : )

    I’m not sure if it’s made us all lazy so much as we have adapted to keep up with the increased volume of information we get thrown at us every day. Sadly, I’ve fallen into many of the same traps you note above, though I still re-read emails a few times before I send them. And then, go into my sent folder and agonize over every spelling mistake. :)

    Jason Boies
    Radian6 Community

    • Reed Smith

      Very true… we do get much more content than we did historically. Plus we are much more accessible to the world. Thanks for the comment!

  • Stephen Moegling

    I remember reading years ago in Fast Company a story an anthropologist told about how the modern washing machine actually complicated our lives. Used to be, you wore a set of clothes for a long, long time, then every month or so, washed them at the river or in a bucket. But the invention of the washing machine gave us a whole new set of standards: wash a shirt every time it’s worn, buy more clothes that required more washing…the average woman spends more time doing laundry today than she did 75 years ago.

    Technology can make us lazy –I find it most in expanding the hard talent of focus and clarity. But I think technology also complicates us by inviting a whole new set of expanding choices.

  • Bryan Vartabedian

    I’m lazy. But I’m good with it.