Oh dear god. We have become the laziest species on the planet. Sloths got nothin’ on us, it seems. Perhaps it is wrong for me to get aggravated over such a small thing, but I can’t help but feel that it’s a sign of a larger problem.
What has gotten me so perturbed this early in the morning, you ask? It’s the automatic door button.
Yes, that’s right. The button you touch (or slap, as seems to be the case in the building where I work) to cause the outside door to automatically open for you. A wonderful contraption for those who need assistance — a life-saver, in fact. And I will gladly admit to having used the button myself when my hands were full of packages or when I’m bringing my bicycle inside. You see, I’m not totally against this device. In fact, one of the courses that I created and teach addresses accessibility, and one of “hooks” I use to get folks to buy on to the idea of making a little extra effort to make their websites accessible is the curb cut: originally designed to assist people using wheelchairs, it’s used every day by folks with strollers, suitcases on wheels, bicycles, etc. Technology can make our lives better. That’s a fact.
Perhaps the fact that one of these doors — and buttons — is located next to my office makes me acutely aware of just how many times a day this feature is used by healthy hands-free people of all ages. The more it is used this way, the more my Luddite self resists. It’s gotten so bad that I found myself extremely annoyed when someone coming the building behind me yesterday hit the button, causing the door to “magically” open right before my eyes. He thought he was doing me a favor. He actually caused my blood pressure to go up a few notches.
I just can’t help but think about Wall E. Sure, it was funny when those humans of the future sat in recliners all day and couldn’t lift a finger. Ha ha. Silly people. Fiction? Perhaps. But perhaps one day we humans will just have these worthless appendages hanging at our sides, limp and too weak to use. Or, perhaps not, given that the many of the same people who don’t expend any energy to open the door themselves will spend much money and time at a gym, “working out.”
Don’t even get me started on the ones who circle their cars around the parking lot to find the closest spot to the front of the gym door.