I can't disagree that it is probably a waste of 5 minutes. I would guess 95% or more of websites have them. All those 5 minutes put together probably wasted enough time to mow all the lawns in the USA one time or more.
I will agree that not using them probably won't matter even a tiny bit. Using them won't hurt in most all cases. I plan to continue to use them on my sites but I am sure if someone prefers not to bother they won't lose anything.
I never worried about the competitors SEO but I do think the process changes all the time and isn't getting any easier.