The escalator shows us everything that is wrong with humanity. You're in your local Westfield browsing through the latest consumables. You reach an escalator and you think, ''Oh great, I wanted to be on the next floor up, but I really didn't want to walk there. I needed a rest, you know, because life is so hard.''

OK, so my coming point is bleedingly obvious. People are getting lazy. We are so used to having some kind of technology do everything for us, we're barely able to function without an internet-enabled handheld device nailed to our palms. You don't believe me, I've discovered the formula for laziness. No bull. It's 412 multiplied by 18. Seriously, work it out. Do it now.

The answer? You just used a calculator. People don't use their brains to do maths, they use calculators. They don't know how to cook, they get takeaway or oven-ready dinners. You can't remember how to get somewhere, but why should you when you've got a GPS? Spelling above the level of a year 7 student is a lost art. In fact, nowadays, we can't confidently talk about anything without sneaking a look at Wikipedia. The information age has brought knowledge to the fingertips of anyone with the internet, but this only means a six-year-old can function about as well as the average adult.

Worst of all is that we can't get up a flight of stairs without a machine carrying us. Oh, the horror of walking.

The escalator is the perfect example of not only our laziness but also our contempt for the natural environment. It's not as if they're powered by elves, love or solar panels. Think about how much energy it would take to pull 50 people up a flight of stairs, then multiply that amount by the minutes in a day. That's a lot of energy. Think of the children, man!

My suggestion is this: unless you sincerely cannot, next time you need to go upstairs, take the old-fashioned type. If there's only an escalator, at least walk up it. You will get some exercise, save that little bit of planet and take the first literal step in breaking away from technology dependence.

It won't be long before you prefer to walk. It's faster than standing idle and it's healthier. You'll look at all the Biggest Loser candidates being hauled to the next McDonald's and think, ''look at those porkies.'' You may feel a little mean for thinking that, but deep down you'll feel superior.

Soon you'll be able to do other stuff without a machine helping you. Someone will ask you a question and you'll answer without pulling out your iPhone.

Take the stairs.

Pete Malicki