Technological Artifact: Brandon Bliesner

For my artifact, I originally wanted to choose something like a phone or personal computer. Although, those are both quite basic and so after some browsing I decided to choose an escalator.


Olympic Skier Fabian Bösch dangles one-handed from an escalator.

Escalators are meant to make it easier for people to go up and down sets of stairs. However, I feel that the escalator, invented in 1892, was a step towards a lazy America. Looking at the world today, society is constantly looking for technological advancements that may simplify our lives for the better. We have microwaves, toasters, bluetooth headphones, In-Plane-WiFi, and even a self-checkout line in select grocery stores. I am not meaning to say that these are bad or they shouldn’t be used, I am simply providing context for the fact that the world loves technological advancements. In relation to the escalator, an elevator is used for the same reason, to lift people up an incline which requires minimal effort by the user. How many times have you seen people take the stairs when there is an elevator nearby? Pretty rare, right? With that being said, we are led to the downside of the escalator. The biggest problem is that it has tainted our perception and when there is an escalator next to a set of stairs, we are going to take the escalator nearly every time. The same problem occurs with elevators and it is only going to get worse! In fact, they have “escalators” that are in airports on flat ground, called “moving walkways.” In my opinion, these technologies should only be used if you’re truly in a rush. Nowadays we have so many people that sit at desks all day, sit in front of their computers, sit in their cars, and it feels like everyone is progressively getting lazier as time goes on. As a society, I believe that we should continue to make technological advancements that simplify our lives, while at the same time promoting a healthy lifestyle.

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