Lazy or Simply More Efficient?
By Sophia Bittner
My generation, Gen Z, is becoming more and more lazy. Some say it’s just because life is becoming increasingly more efficient, while others say we are becoming less communicative and more glued to our screens. Indeed, it is proven that humans often tend to look for the easy option—the shortcut of success. This shortcut of success is backed up by technological advances that almost make it impossible to take the harder route, and why should we? If we have a car, why walk to the grocery store? Or better yet, if you have Instacart, why drive to the supermarket if you have the ability to pick out each item and get it delivered to the front of your house? And finally, if you can manage to put in the fraction of the work as your peers or coworker and still be fine with the result, why wouldn’t you do that? I mean have you ever heard of the phrase, “Work smarter, not harder?” Alas, if you are one of those shortcut people, you'll be relieved to hear that choosing the easy way out is only human. Humans are inherently lazy, a trait that we actually inherited from our ancestors so they could conserve energy for the next day or hunt.
Take TikTok. TikTok is a new, innovative social media platform that only consists of videos that are 60 second or less. In other words, one’s attention span has to be active for 60 seconds or less for each video, without having to read or think very hard. It’s easy, fun, entertaining, and very addicting. According to Brian Dean, TikTok has 1 billion monthly active users, with 47.4% of active users aged 10 to 29. While this correlation does not indicate that Gen Z is apparently the most attracted to fast and easy social media, it does demonstrate that we love the efficiency of it. TikTok is a perfect example of how we enjoy entertainment that requires less thinking, and more content rich videos. So is it social media that leads to our laziness, or is our inherent laziness leading us to innovate and create such platforms, like TikTok?
I don’t think it’s a problem for there to be outlets like social media to distress. However, I believe our inherent laziness becomes a problem when it inhibits the creation of new relationships just because we are content with the ones we have now. I see it so much these days—when people have their friend groups and feel settled enough to not reach out to study with another individual or reach out to someone else and get something as simple as coffee. It all of the sudden becomes such a forced effort to reach out to new people for other things. As someone who values knowing many people and being friends with a wide array of different people, I find it discouraging that so many people are becoming less inclined to make more friends. Each individual has their own attributes that can be beneficial in various circumstances. Whether that would be a job opportunity, someone who you can relate to on personal levels, or much more.
It doesn't matter if social media is a reflection of our laziness or if our laziness is reflected in social media. It doesn’t matter if we Instacart our groceries or sit on the couch and watch T.V. instead of doing work. It doesn’t matter if we “work smarter, not harder” and still create the same level of success. However, it does matter when it comes to personal relationships, including friends, family, significant others, or other dope people you find yourself encountering. Even if you do have a stable friend group, getting lazy when it comes to meeting new people and keeping those relationships up will do harm to our generation and future generations. Keep doing random things with people you don’t necessarily call your “best friend” because you never know when you will need that person.