For the longest time, generations have looked down on those younger than them and say that they do not know how to balance their use of whatever is considered a privilege. 21st century kids are known to be addicted to technology, and those from the 20th century are known to complain and whine at them. However, even 21st century kids pit themselves against each other, saying that the younger generation is more addicted. Upon entering a restaurant, you will see at least four occupied tables where everyone isn’t talking to each other, but instead looking down at their phone.
Before the iPhone became extremely popular, people were given phones that did not have very many functions, other than text or call. This left kids to interact and find their own way to entertain themselves.
“I had one of those keyboard phones, you know those that slide up. And you couldn’t do much other than texting. I got that at the beginning of 7th grade and I thought that I was the coolest guy ever.” Aman, ’16, said before talking about his little sister and her addiction to technology. “She has an iPad and a phone, and a Mac. She’s on all of them 24/7. She doesn’t even come out of her room.”
This is where younger siblings come into the picture. They tend to be the target of the “you’re worse than I was at your age” comments. Although not allowed to use phones in school, middle schoolers don’t take their eyes off of them in the morning, after school or weekends.
“She has Snapchat and she’s snapchatting moments with her friends. I wasn’t like that when I was her age. Technology wasn’t that big for me, I don’t think I even had a computer.” Margaux, ’17, said about her 6th grade sister.
A lot of topics of conversation are based around something they saw online, whether it be a picture from an event or something that happened halfway across the world, or a funny picture. Due to the quick access to technology, it sparks conversation and binds people together due to common interests.
“You can find common interests with someone and it’s easier to share what pictures you have and past experiences,” Raiya ’18, explained.
However, friendships made online can be under false impressions. The ease of screenshotting, sending a message you received to a friend and constructing a response, while the other person is under the impression that you just hadn’t had the chance to reply yet, is not genuine. You can also exaggerate your true personality, or create a completely different one. This does tend to take a toll on a generation, creating an easy tendency to switch from your true character to an embellished one.
“It’s easier to make more friends, but they aren’t as genuine as they would be without technology, because a genuine connection isn’t there.” Shane ’18 believes, a valid point that many would agree with.
However, you can also make many different friends while keeping what you’re saying in check. The world has become so much smaller ever since the online world has become so prominent in our life.
“You can actually meet more people, even if you don’t meet them, you know who they are. You can have friends from other school, you would’ve never met them but through Facebook, you have mutual friends somehow.” Margaux ‘17 said. “The increase of social mediums has helped how people meet and keep in touch, as well as taking away from conversation in real life as you already know what everyone has done at every second of the day.”
So, technology has really changed our lives, whether for better or worse, we’ll never really figure out.