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
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Ted Cruz is the new Sarah Palin
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How liberals are unwittingly paving the way for the legalization of adult incest
- How the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover revealed the worst of both shows
- Watch out, China — America is working on dogfighting drones
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- You're reheating pizza wrong
- Why you probably don't have Ebola — even if you shook hands with America's 'patient zero'
- Fall film guide: All the movies you should see in October
Subscribe to the Week