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Life Gets Easier (or Lazier)

Technology-driven shopping, donating, investing and activism have led Americans to expect more return for less time and energy.

Technology has made shopping easier. From Amazon's 1-Click ordering to replenishing diapers at diapers.com, we can shop with almost no effort. Consequently, the average number of minutes per day spent shopping has been declining year-on-year (49 minutes in 2006 vs. 43 minutes in 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), mainly due to the decrease in having to travel to the store.

Living in general has been getting lazier. For a subscription, Birchbox will send you sample beauty products based on your specific needs, saving you time in researching and deciding on new products. Click and Grow produces plant growing kits that water themselves. And why make the effort to be a vegetarian when you can be a "flexitarian" and go meatless just a few days a week?

Kickstarter has made investing in startups easier; visitors to Change.org have been increasing as people can sign petitions from the comfort of their armchairs; and activism has turned to "slactivism" with "Buy 1Give 1" initiatives by companies like TOMS and Warby Parker.

Erik Isakson | Blend Images | Getty Images