Technology has become such an integral part of modern life that, given the choice, 53 percent of 16- to 22-year-olds say they would rather give up their sense of smell than their laptops, smartphones, or social networking, according to a McCann Worldgroup's study. And it isn't just American youth: The study looked at 7,000 people in the U.S., Spain, the U.K., China, Brazil, India, and Mexico. Is this a reasonable sacrifice, or have the kids gone mad?
What has smell ever done for us? There's nothing particularly shocking about this study, says HyperVocal. After all, "Facebook started revolutions in the Middle East," but "for the average young adult, sense of smell has yet to provide anything other than surplus pounds."
"Study finds youth would rather Facebook than smell"
The kids need to get a grip: This is nuts, says Matt Kiebus in Death + Taxes. "I think senses are pretty dope," and if you take away smell, you kill taste. "Learning Morse code and re-learning how to utilize our postal system are better options than never tasting a medium rare filet mignon again." We already knew that email and text messages are stunting our interpersonal skills; now, they're also mangling our priorities.
"Technology trumps the sense of smell among young people"
It's a harder choice than you might think: Take off your "old man hat" for a moment, and you'll see how tough this is, says Chris Gayomali in TIME. "Quite honestly, if I were presented with the same question, I'm not quite sure what I would answer." I guess that's testimony to our "weird necessity" for technology these days. Maybe the gadget gurus can whip us up an artificial nose?
"53% of youngsters would choose technology over sense of smell"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The Obama era is over. The presidency continues.
- America created the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria? Meet the ISIS 'truthers'
- What is Molly? Everything you need to know about the party drug
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- How American businessmen are ruining American business — and the U.S. economy
- Russia's giant spy ship was a high-tech disaster waiting to happen
- On ISIS, neocons and liberal hawks have a 'boy who cried wolf' problem
- How Harry Houdini escaped death
- The constant struggle of running a family farm in 21st century America
- Fall movie guide: All the films you should see in September
Subscribe to the Week