It has become the norm in this day and age to blame all of our problems on technology. Society makes smart phones and internet apps out to be the bane of our existence and the origin of all things evil. The older generation, in particular, pretends as if the younger generations have all been ruined by their TVs, iPhones, and video games. But technology is not the enemy, it is a great advance that we have made as humankind, and I think we should stop condemning those who choose to embrace it.
Think about where you would be without technology- not reading this article for one. The internet allows people from anywhere and everywhere to express their thoughts and ideas that would not otherwise ever be heard. It allows scientists and researchers to share their data and make important discoveries about the word we live in. If we ever find the cure for cancer, you can bet that some sort of technology will be involved.
But there’s a difference between employing technology for paramount medical research and using it to share pictures of yourself on Instagram or update you followers on Twitter, you say? I concur. But that doesn’t mean that it’s wrong. Social media is an incredible invention that gives people the tools to communicate and share their lives with one another. It allows me and many of my peers, college students, to post pictures to an album on Facebook to keep our families updated and involved in our college experience, without having to individually email each person a large file of photos. Many argue that we should just go out and talk to these people face to face and that we are quickly losing all interpersonal skills necessary to be successful in the workforce. But I counter- there are many people I can’t see everyday, extended family that live far away, friends that go to different schools, that would take me hours a day to contact every single one of those people via phone call or email (again, using technology, but wasting significantly more time). Do some people take social media too far? Yes. You don’t need to broadcast all of your personal problems to the world or post pictures of yourself drinking every single night, but that’s the beauty of it. You are allowed to make poor decisions, just like in real life. If an employer checks your Facebook page and finds photos of you partying every night and decides not to hire you, that’s your fault. And hopefully you’ll learn a lesson from that and move on.
Now to address you older folks who like to pretend that we “kids” are wasting are lives away in front of a screen because we you were younger, you “played outside with sticks and your imaginations.” First of all- I’m sorry you childhood sucked. Seriously. Don’t blame me because I grew up 50 years after you did in a time where technology takes prevalence in our lives. If you were in my shoes, you damn well would have been playing flappy bird on your iPhone instead of playing outside with a pet rock. And what you fail to acknowledge is that the corporate world and the business world and the medical world and pretty much any other profession in present times requires its employees to be able to comfortably use laptops, printers, cell phones, scanners, and a number of websites and apps. That’s the world we live in. And since when did spending time on the internet become the equivalent of not using your imagination? Plenty of kids use the internet to design things on websites, or write articles or fan-fiction. Sure, they’re not writing the next Romeo and Juliet, but at least they’re writing and reading. And maybe that kid playing video games all day is going to grow up to be a developer at Hasbro. Maybe not. But you never know. Should some kids go outside more and learn to communicate in a professional and respectful manner? Yes. Should kids be more active and play sports and learn to be on a team? Yes. But guess what? That’s the responsibility of the parents, the generation that a lot of YOU raised.
Many others denounce the use of cell phones at concerts and other important events like vacations, because “how can you live in the moment of you’re watching it on a screen?” I’m sorry, but I call bullshit. I do actually have an IQ higher than 50 and am capable of doing more than 2 things at once. I can hold my phone and still listen to the music and enjoy the concert. And secondly, I paid the same damn amount of money for this concert ticket as you did, so why is it your business how I spend the concert? And while you get to enjoy the concert once, I get to watch my favorite artist perform my favorite song as many times as I want, right from my phone or camera. The same concept applies to pictures. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve seen someone get mad at someone else for taking a picture and “ruining the moment.” Now I’m not talking about your mother feeling the need to document every time that you breathe and/or leave the house. But if you’re on vacation and want to snap some photos of your adventure, you go right ahead. If you’re out with your friends, take some pictures of you all looking fabulous and have a good time. Even if you’re enjoying a night in binge watching the Kardashians, take a picture if you want to! Because someday you’ll stumble across those photos and reminisce in great memories that had slipped your mind in the clutter or work or school that is your life.
If you don’t want to use technology, that’s fine. But don’t burn people at the stake if they choose to integrate themselves into the technology and social media laden culture of today. Technology is not something to be feared, it’s something to be celebrated.