The cost of convenience


Josiah Thomas, News Editor

When ease of access and innovations in technology come at the cost of moving or thinking for ourselves, the cost of convenience becomes more than what you see on a price tag.
Let me be clear, first: I’m not against innovation or convenience as a concept, nor do I think that what I’m singling out here should be phased out. Instead, we should pay closer attention to the trade-off between things coming easier, in exchange for becoming so sedentary and dependent on technology that basic life skills are lost.
Due to an increased reliance on technology, personal initiative, patience, awareness, problem-solving and even knowing how to get from point A to point B has become a tall order. Often, the immediate satisfaction we receive from our cell phones bypasses the need for patience and other basic skills we learn by waiting. Many of us have these skills to varying degrees, but as we rely more on technology, we use them less and they die off. The more we need the device, the more we depend on it and the less able we are to rely on ourselves.
Let’s look at how hard it is to make friends.
It’s so easy to assume that adding someone on Facebook and just passively storing their name on our friends list is good enough. This takes for granted the personal investment needed to really make a friendship lasting, meaningful and fulfilling; instead of being compelled to reply with a letter, return a phone call or even shoot back a text, Facebook and all its distractions fill the senses.
As we get older and time gradually becomes scarcer, the question is how much it matters on which terms someone is there for you.
Having convenience isn’t all bad news, though.
Have you ever gone to the library to look up a book or find a journal or news article for an essay without computers? It was better than going in blind, but we had to wait for a librarian to find a card inside of a desk with a book’s information on it or hope that the library had access to that archive you were trying to get at.
With computers, you’re more or less pinpointed to the exact location without the help of a librarian, so librarians become more competitive and use their power of intuition and knowledge of a topic to use computers to our mutual advantage. That saves everyone a lot of work and can even get information from worldwide sources.
Heck, I used Google to gather all of this information, but the skill to decide which resources were most credible took time to develop.
As the saying goes, anything worth doing takes time and effort.