More often than not I find myself yelling at my sister to put her phone down and talk to me. Or looking disapprovingly to my friends who are on their phones instead of watching the movie playing in front of us. And more than anything judging strangers who are sitting at the dinner table looking at their phones. It is so sad how in today’s society your likeness is measured in the number of followers and likes you get. My sister sometimes turns to me and says “I got 100 likes on my insta pic.” And I feel a sadness inside because today’s young girls measure their self worth on how many likes a picture got. It’s no secret that since the beginning of time, young people feel the necessity to be validated by their peers and “friends.” With the technology today that acceptance can be quantified which only adds to the pressure of being a teenager.
I personally try to live my life balancing both the technology that allows me to communicate with friends who are far, and the day to day interaction. If I am at dinner with someone, you will find my phone in my purse totally ignored. And more and more I try to avoid taking out my camera at concerts because I’ve noticed how involved I get with taking a good picture instead of enjoying the music. So I take a few pictures and maybe record a song for 30 secs and enjoy the rest of the concert. In the back of my mind, I know someone else is recording the whole thing so if I really want to relive it, YouTube allows me to do so.
I just wish today’s generation would realize that there is so much more to life than the brightly lit screen in front of them. For proof that today’s generation is so out of touch with people, allow me to retell an experience I had. I went to the beach with my sister and some of her friends. We were sitting at the beach on a beautiful sunny day with the beautiful ocean in front of us and they were all on their phones. I looked at all of them in complete disbelief. How could they be so out of touch with reality to appreciate the beautiful day in front of them and actually talk to each other. I told them all to put their phones away and talk or play a game. They all looked at me like I had 3 heads. I’m sure the train of thoughts were “Talk to each other. What do you think we’re doing on our phones.” “This girl is crazy. Who even has conversations face to face?” My guesses at least. I can tell you this, once I convinced them all to put their phones away and play a scattergories style game, we all laughed until our abs hurt. This story just proves one thing, that if people actually take the time to show the young generation that there is more outside their phones they can really interact and enjoy life like we grew up.
Most often, I wish I could go back to being a kid not only because you lived a carefree life, where your biggest worries was doing your cursive properly or your addition homework right. But because that was a time that nothing was a stupid idea and your imagination could run wild. Running outside with your dog was the best time of your life. And playing with other kids was essential. Today’s kids are growing up in a world of isolation where your interactions with others happen on a screen.
So this is what I have to say to older generations, we have an obligation. Whether you are an older sibling, a parent or friend to a younger generation kid, show them what it’s like to live a life where people interaction is normal. And if you yourself happen to live glued to your phone, put it down for an hour or so. I can promise you it’s an incredibly liberating experience. I love traveling abroad for the simple fact that I am forced to rely solely on myself and my ability to communicate with others without technology. You don’t have to get rid of technology altogether but just limit the use of it so you can truly enjoy the life that is happening right in front of you. Go out and live your life! Have amazing experiences alone or with people. Whatever you do, just makes sure you are focused on that and not on the technology you carry.
So after a lot of rambling I shall end this with a perfect quote I read this morning: ” Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” –Ferris Bueller