Unsuccessful Attempts to Improve the World

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Many technological advancements have without doubt affected humanity. They have improved and changed our lives for the better. Some have offered short-term benefits. Others have terrible long-term effects. Here are a few inventions that have brought more harm than good. 

Plastic Clamshell Packaging

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Have you ever bought a pair of scissors only to find out that you need scissors to open its packaging? One user is angry at “those plastic containers that are like crimp plastic stitch welded around the entire edge and its super thick plastic that will slice your stuff open.

Coffee Pods

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Coffee pods allow you to try different coffee beans without using fancy coffee-making tools. Plus, they’re convenient to use – you just insert the pod into the coffee machine, and the device will do its magic.

However, as we’ve learned, these pods are not environmentally friendly and are slowly clogging up landfills. Fortunately, some coffee pod companies have made reusable and biodegradable pods to prevent further environmental damage. 

Data Mining

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I remember when anything remotely identifying being put anywhere online was a huge NO. Now, everyone gives all their information out willingly for free everywhere,” notes a user. 

We’ve become too comfortable with how much we share online” and have become the product and more prone to security threats. “You have no privacy to big tech nowadays, which is terrible for society,” mentions a poster. 

Pop-up Ads

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These ads help a website increase its visibility and conversion rates. But they also put customers at risk of “malware and viruses.”

Slot Machines

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Another invention that has brought great harm is slot machines. “Once you get a taste of winning some money back, it gets eaten in no time. You think you can beat the system, but that’s how they suck you and take you for all your worth,” explains a poster on how addictive this gambling method is. 

Polygraph Test

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They are also known as lie detector tests, while in truth, “they cannot accurately detect anything.” 

Leaded Gasoline

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Leaded gasoline “was useful as an anti-knocking agent.” But it has also been associated with causing violent crime rates, especially among kids who grew up exposed to it. 

Online users are bitter that the person who invented leaded gasoline also came up with chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that break the ozone layer. “His whole life is one harmful invention after another,” says a poster. 

Popcorn Ceiling

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Popcorn ceilings were popular from 1930 to 1990. They hid any flaws in the ceiling and would absorb noise. However, these ceilings contain asbestos, a mineral that is harmful to humans. 

High Fructose Corn Syrup

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When marketers advertised high fructose corn syrup, they failed to mention that it can lead to obesity. 

“Cheap high fructose corn syrup is an easy way to improve flavor, which leads to higher than average caloric content for the same food – which equals fatter humans,” explains a post. 

Low Flow Toilets

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These toilets were designed to save water using much less than a full-flush toilet. However, one user complains, “They result in you wasting more water because you have to flush it multiple times to get it to take a log down.


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This mineral was widely used in the 70s in the construction, automotive, and shipbuilding industries. People soon learned that breathing asbestos fibers increases your risk of developing cancer, asbestosis, and other serious diseases. 

Social Media

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Social media keeps us connected with family, friends, and the outside world. But it can also negatively impact your mental health.

Source: Reddit
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