From Bad to Worse: 40 Inventions That Have Backfired on Society

Indicators of economic development, like the GDP, do not always tell us how people are really doing. Or at least how they feel.

When the Pew Research Center asked 43,000 people from 38 countries if the world is better off now than it was 50 years ago, 43 percent said yes while 38 percent said no.

Interested in what things the latter group blames for their discontent, Reddit user Madbonkersbean made a post on the platform, asking everyone “What invention has most negatively impacted society?” Here are some of the most upvoted replies they’ve received.

Image credits: Madbonkersbean

From Bad to Worse: 40 Inventions That Have Backfired on Society The thing that has the most negative long term impact on society is probably going to be something affecting us right now that we have yet to experience the full ramifications of

My bet is on the widespread presence of plastic in literally everything

badgersprite , Magda Ehlers / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

Facebook. Hands down.

Millions of users that are basically technologically illiterate with no critical thinking skills finly connected. They put faith/trust in the articles with attention grabbing headlines that are shared by their peers because they trust their peers and grew up in a time where you relied on the people in your community. But with no critical thinking skills they don’t understand that an article about the earth being flat that was produced by an amateur crystal enthusiast has no scientific basis. They don’t even know at the bare minimum to verify the source.

“Well aunt Edna shared it and she knows a thing or two.”

It allowed misinformation and stupidity to spread incredibly quickly.

TheStankTank Report

Deepfake, the fact this has lead to morphing of many women images to “punish” them or to sexualize them is scary af. Literally feels like revenge p**n

Jarisatis Report

From Bad to Worse: 40 Inventions That Have Backfired on Society Kid friendly ‘youtube shorts’. I just feel like it ruins the attention span of children, giving them short/one minute attention spans over time. They just get sucked into that s**t. I know it’s not super significant compared to other inventions that could’ve negatively impacted society. I’m trying to think of something that might not have been mentioned here yet lol.

Bojack89 , Jessica Lewis thepaintedsquare / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

Guns. Literally their only purpose is to take the life of another living thing.

Tictacjo Report

Everyone here is only drawing from relatively recent examples , but if you go back longer then really alcohol is the winner here as it has had the most long lived and consistent negative impact on all societies around the world.

dettrick Report

From Bad to Worse: 40 Inventions That Have Backfired on Society Ive got a few here but if i have to pick one:

Fractional reserve banking and fiat currency. Giving the banks power to manipulate the value of currency has been a blight on society, it has been used to enrich the banks and steal wealth of money, i wish we could go back to money being a unit of value not a fiat currency that can be manipulated.

SneakyLabradoodle , Expect Best / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

From Bad to Worse: 40 Inventions That Have Backfired on Society PFAS


This should be higher on the list. Almost all waterproof products and stain resistant products contain PFAS. Even fast food wrappers contain them. It is found in majority of water supplies and 90% of people’s blood and we don’t fully understand the health effects. It does not degrade and accumulates in the food chain.

Robertorgan81 , Esra Afşar / pexels (not the actual photo) Report


In hindsight very few unlucky people actually underwent lobotomy but still.

Doom0nU Report


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