Pick Up Your Phone: Young Adults and Technology

I would like to take this moment to ask everyone, particularly the generations above mine, to CHILL about social media and smart phones and how they are ruining our generation. I am here to tell you that we may actually be better at conversation, happier, and less socially awkward because of today’s technology.

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Smart phones, the internet, social media, apps, and tablets have certainly changed society.  As a young person, I do not believe I could live the same life without these things.  And I don’t want to. I like my life and I love my friendships and I am very grateful for all the technology we have available.  I would like to clear up some myths about today’s young adults (people around ages 17-28)  and technology:

1. No, we are not brainwashed. We are aware that technology can be consuming and we fall prey to its vices on occasion.  But who doesn’t become obsessed with something at some point in their life? However, most young adults also view technology as a tool that can genuinely help improve most, if not all, aspects of their life.

2. Yes, we know how to spell. We have all attended school. It is not like English classes now teach us to write “lol” when we are trying to add humor to our papers. We are literate and are very capable of spelling and writing at a high-caliber.  In fact, I would argue that we use abbreviations much less than the older generations when texting, typing, messaging, etc.

3. Yes, we can talk to someone face to face. In fact, we may be more comfortable talking to someone because we have things to talk to them about. Rather than wasting time with superfluous conversation about the weather or what they did this weekend, we can get to deeper, more meaningful conversation quicker.  Since we know most of the surface information about one another, we can ask questions that will actually help us get to know someone.

4. No, we are not afraid to admit struggle. For some reason, people assume that just because we don’t post selfies of us crying or statuses about the problems in our lives that we pretend like it doesn’t exist. We simply just don’t feel the need to put everything out on social media. However, lots of people will still post their struggles on social media because they need support. More often than not, those posts are followed by much-needed encouraging texts, comments, and phone calls.  People will still call a friend and tell them they need prayer or encouragement.  I may even go as far to say that people are more aware of one another’s struggle because of technology and it can help a person get help faster.

5. Yes, we call people. Calling people is more efficient. Our generation is supposed to be all about efficiency, right? Even we don’t like texting paragraphs to a friend. (I will say, we are less likely to leave voice mails.)

6. No, we are not bragging just because I post an accomplishment, accolade, or positive experience.  Letting people know that something good happened to you does not have to be a cry for attention, a form of bragging, or a way to rub it in someone’s face. Asking people to celebrate with you should not be frowned upon.  Pride in yourself and your accomplishments should not be swallowed.  If you are proud of yourself or your child/friend/family member, then let the world know!! People can respond by rejoicing with you and being happy alongside you.  Just like misery loves company, so does happiness! If someone is trying to share happiness with you, just accept it! Jealousy and negativity are choices just like happiness. Pick happiness.

Since we had a technology free childhood, we are very aware of life without the Internet at our fingertips.  We have used landlines, know what “broadband” means, and have taken pictures on disposable cameras.  We remember what it was like to not have a cell phone/tablet/computer.  Technology has helped us carry conversations with people and feel more comfortable around them because there are fewer strangers in our lives.  I have lots of friends who would claim to be introverts, but they like social media/texting because it is a less intimidating way to talk to someone.  It is helping lots of people (who would not on their own) come out of their shells, which is definitely a benefit of technology.

All this being said, there are still flaws and problems with technology. I am not going to pretend that it is perfect or the ‘magic fix’ for all the world’s problems (See myth #1). It can be, and frequently is, misused. Some people are too attached to their phones.  Not unlike every other generation, we have our problems and issues that we need to work through.  Just please stop assuming that the future generations are going to ruin everything because we like our smart phones.  Believe it or not, we may actually improve the world using technology.

Now please use your technology and share this post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc (:

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