A few months ago I went to Starbucks.
Now you’re probably wondering why the heck that matters…and on the surface, it doesn’t. However, something happened during that coffee break that I thought of last night.
There I was, standing in line. It was a brisk, snowy day, and I was bundled up to my ears in anything with down or fur. While standing and waiting patiently, I heard a ding ring out from my coat. I was expecting an email with my work schedule for the following week.
Eager to look, I hastily pulled my phone from my deep pockets. The line was long and moving slow, so I opened gmail and scrolled through.
Before I could even react, I heard a man yell belligerantly next to me.
“Holy shit, you kids with your damn cell phones! I can tell exactly what kind of girl you are just by looking at you, god damn it.” As soon as he was finished, he stalked away.
Now mind you–this is a middle aged man, drunk out of his mind on a Tuesday afternoon.
He’s going to judge me?
Now, his opinions of me could have been 100% correct; and you know what? They probably were, to an extent. I was at Starbucks, buying a Pumpkin Spiced Latte with my I Phone firmly grasped in my hands–but this stranger’s opinion of me is not the problem I’m referring to.
So often lately, I’ve heard countless complaints, and never-ending babbling on the topic of technology–social media to be exact. Why is it technology use is turning into a plague in the eyes of anyone who’s been on the earth longer than us millennials?
Maybe it’s my inner twenty something year old brain talking, (yes I fall into the millennial category) but I decided this topic was one that needed to be addressed. Not just for myself, but for most young adults.
Now don’t get me wrong. There comes a time when it’s not needed, say at the dinner table or church or whatever else. Maybe I’m giving people too much credit, but I think the majority of us know our limits, and know that there is a time and place for it. I just can’t bring myself to crawl into the new trend of hating social media and criticizing us young people that use it.
This man took one look at a twenty year old with her phone, and assumed he had her all figured out, and I know very well that he is not the first person or the last that will jump to the same narrow minded conclusion. I’m okay with that. What I find strange is this new developing idea that all of us millennials are naive, air headed, good for nothing but selfies kids who will never contribute anything to society.
Just remember–it wasn’t us who invented the selfie stick.
If there’s one thing I firmly believe in is that times will forever be changing, and that there are two types of people in this world. The people who can change, and adapt to their new world, or the stubborn ones, who choose to push away the change, and live a life apart from reality. The fact of the matter is, we were born in a day and age where technology has been in our grasp. That is not our fault.
Plenty of people participated in the trends of the 70’s and 80’s and you don’t see those floor length floral skirts or neon tube socks still around do we?
That’s because things have changed–and I haven’t come across any of those wanna-be go-go dancers getting heat for retiring their gear.
One thing I’m sure of is that social media has saved my life. Living far away from home, it has been so amazing to see my mother via FaceTime and these social media sites have been a great way to stay updated with friends and family back home. For that I’m so thankful. I find it impossible to say that there’s too much technology, because I utilize it so much in my everyday life. I use it to keep in contact with my family, and even to get my education. *Cue the voicing of opinions towards online learning.*
I understand the desire for communication, believe me I’m a big supporter of having a real conversation, but who’s to say that we as young people can’t do that? And if there’s a child who can’t verbally communicate then what or who is really to blame? We live in a society that is so quick to place blame on anyone or anything, in order to avoid being under the microscope, when in reality, there’s a reason these kids have a lack of communication skills.
Consider this; Go Fund Me. How often has this website helped in providing a sick child the care he/she needs? How often have we read a beautiful article shared over and over again on Facebook? Don’t you think it’s great that “so and so” could give the old man some money for food? We spend everyday of our lives focusing solely on the negative things social media brings, and we ignore so many positives that it provides. I’d hate to live a life of which I can only pay attention to the bad things that occur around me.
I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen something on the news about the woes of cell phone use, whether its the bent pinky bonanza or the “I set my pillow on fire by sticking the phone under it while I slept phenomenon”. Yes, that’s horrible, and also something most of us don’t do.
Of course these things are all “tragedies”– and I can’t say I didn’t check my pinky when I read that article, but should a few unusual circumstances affect the way the world views us youth? Those of us with aspirations and goals to change the world, possibly through the use of technology? When is it going to be time for society to step back and realize we are not all that bad? When is the day going to come where we focus on the good things us millennials do, instead of acting as if we are all brainwashed by our phones, our tablets, or our computers?
Heck, I’m twenty years old, and here I am communicating my thoughts coherently to my readers–some of you who are adults. What about my friends or acquaintances reading this? Is it possible they are actually normal, functioning human beings who are capable of forming their own thoughts without help from the media?
I’m sure all of you will have your own opinions, and while you form them, keep this in mind. You are reading this on your phone, or your tablet, or your computer.