It’s a normal Wednesday night and I’m making dinner, scrolling through my iPhone to double check if the recipe calls for 1 or 2 cups of flour. Suddenly I lose control and my phone drops to the linoleum, and I scream “Ouch! Oh God!” My boyfriend runs in assuming I have cut my finger off, to find me checking the glass for cracks or scratches. Nothing! I continue on cooking, when I realized it actually hurt when I dropped an inanimate object. I pondered why my iPhone feels like a part of my soul, and here’s what I came up with:
I’m in college, but I’m sure this applies to anyone who is over the age of 14, and even younger. In this society it is expected that we check our e-mail at least once a day, but I would guess we all do it a lot more than that.
In the program I’m in we get at least 3 emails a day, all explaining volunteer or study abroad opportunities. I get emails about cancelled office hours, notifications of deadlines extended, and alerts about crime in the campus area. Some emails come from Gap and J-Crew, which I ignore (usually), and from Tumblr telling me I have a new follower. Most importantly I get emails from friends and family with pictures, updates, and funny YouTube videos. All of these things are worth reading, and most are important to read throughout the day. Wether they are time sensitive or just enhance my day, I always make sure I know the status of my inbox.
I know the older generation doesn’t find email to be extremely important, but when you’re in school or working for a company that communicates mostly through email, it’s like a lifeline when you’re waiting in line for Subway.
2. Health Reasons
The United States is known well for being fat. Wahoo we love cheeseburgers! But I’ve noticed that most of the country has also become slightly obsessed with losing weight, counting calories, and keeping track of every tiny measurable thing possible. There are poop apps, symptom apps, weight loss apps, fitness apps, and many more applications that relate to health. How would I know what I had for lunch yesterday if I hadn’t put it in my iPhone? Ok maybe that’s a little extreme, but for people who are health conscious a smart phone can help tremendously.
In the past year I’ve had some major health problems, and I don’t think I would have been able to get the care I needed without being prompt with my phone. Being able to talk to a nurse whenever I needed, keeping up with appointments, and just being available to the pharmacist, doctors, and health insurance company helped me get healthy quicker than had I not answered my phone.
This is a huge reason I’m so connected with my iPhone. I have Facebook, Tumblr, Snapchat, Twitter, and of course iMessage. Those are my Big Five. I know many of my peers are all about Instagram as well, but I have yet to find the appeal. Keyword – yet. All of these application (or websites/companies, I guess) help me to stay connected with my friends wherever I am. I text my mother, who lives two hours away, on an almost hourly basis throughout the day. We are both extremely busy people with different sleeping schedules, and texting helps to feel close without actually having to speak, so I can text and do homework at the same time (more on that later). I take really ugly pictures of myself and send them to my friends, which they do in return so I get a few chuckles a day. Facebook helps pass momentary blips of boredom throughout the day, and Tumblr simply makes me happy. These are all apps I use to entertain myself, and keep up with my friend’s lives everyday.
4. Current Events/News
For me personally, this is where Twitter helps. I use Twitter to keep up on current events like the government shutdown, to follow pop culture news, and just generally stalk celebrities. It’s a way for me to see what’s going on in the world very quickly. I know that if anything serious was going on, like the recent Nevada school shootings, it would pop up on Twitter pretty quickly. It’s also a way for me to check what people are talking about, in the trending hash-tag area. So Twitter helps me to see major events, but also pop culture tidbits like if people like Katy Perry’s new album or who Chris Brown is beating up now.
Other people may use the actual New York Times app, or something similar. But those people are obviously smart and read way too much.
5. It’s Green
Almost everything I’ve mentioned used to happen in paper form, or took up a lot of energy. Writing letters instead of email or text, using a landline and answering machine to connect with doctors, keeping a journal for weight loss or symptoms, and especially reading a newspaper everyday. Although it’s unfortunate that hand written notes are a dying field, and people are losing their jobs as newspapers go out of business, why wouldn’t you keep all of this information in a small glass device that weighs less than 4 ounces? If everyone used an iPhone to read the news every morning, think of how many less trees would be cut down. Ok, you guessed it, I’m from Oregon.
6. Why It’s Ok
So yes, my generation is obsessed with technology, laptops, tablets, and smart phones. We have grown up using them, learning on them, and sharing our lives with the internet. We are capable of multitasking like reading and watching TV, doing homework and listening to the new – previously mentioned – Katy Perry album, and even texting while listening to a lecture (gasp!). I think the older generations are too critical on us for being too connected to each other, and our technology. Yes, sometimes it’s annoying and distracting to have a conversation with us, but it’s just how we were raised. When we are in your positions this will be the norm. It will be socially acceptable to check email during class, and maybe even encouraged. We will find a way to text, check Reddit, watch TV, do homework, and cook dinner all at once! But I’m sure once we have mastered these skills something new will come along and our children will drive us crazy, I just hope this something will be easy for me to pick up as well.