Thoughts of a Technologically Attached Student
Just an Opinion Piece on Technology as It Relates to My Generation and the Baby Boomers
In this day and age, everyone has some sort of mobile technology; whether it’s a phone, an iPod, e-reader, or laptop, most people have at least one. Adults aren’t always as technologically dependent as we “youngsters” are. The other day I was trying to teach my grandpa how to answer a text on his flip phone, and after about an hour he goes, “I fought in Vietnam and had to disable bombs, yet that is easier than learning how to text.” That got me, your average 20-year-old who probably can send ten texts a minute, thinking. Why is it that the older generations can live without technology, yet my peers and I can’t even put our phones down long enough to make our beds in the morning? I mean, you’d think that the older generations would want to get their hands on this new technology more than we do since they grew up without it. Yet, I’ve found that most of them would be just as happy to carry on as if technology never existed.
My grandpa refuses to even have an email, whereas I have two different ones. As I sat on my unmade bed wondering about this, I came up with some startling conclusions. First, I looked at the amount of people I knew over the age of 50 with a phone—the number barely made it to twenty. Then, I looked at the amount of people under the age of 21 that had a phone—nearly all of them, myself included, did. I remember getting my first phone in fifth grade; it was a flip phone for emergency use only. I didn’t have unlimited texting or calling, and it had a pink case on it. The limited texting and calling only lasted a year until I got my first real friend who also had a phone. I went over my texting limit by 30 bucks and that’s when I joined the unlimited texting high rollers who text over 1,000 texts per day. My life with a flip phone lasted four years until I graduated to a phone with a keyboard that slides out, which lasted two years until last year when I graduated to a smart phone. Now, my phone (which is probably smarter than I am) is always on me. I don’t think I’ve ever been more dependent on technology, and when my phone needs to charge I go through the device rotation. I go to my computer, and when it starts to overheat from use, I switch to my iPod. I’m an addict and I don’t like it, but step one is admitting you have a problem, right?
Now, if using my phone is an option, I won’t put it down. The longest I’ve gone without my phone is a week when my high school’s music department went on a cruise to Bermuda. My phone plan didn’t cover international texting. I thought it’d be ridiculously hard to hold out, but I didn’t even miss it. I made friends and had a genuine vacation that I hadn’t had in a long time.
If I could last a week back then, why can’t I last ten minutes now? How is it that my grandpa can want nothing to do with technology, yet I want everything to do with it? I’m always using apps, looking something up, texting, or writing while he’s reading a magazine or working on his latest hobby shop project. The one conclusion I could come to is that he doesn’t want anything to do with it since he learned how to have fun without a technological crutch. He can have conversations face-to-face since he has people skills. However, I think he wishes he had a laptop when he had to write a paper—no one appreciates an old fashion hand cramp. I think that it would benefit most of us if we could find it in ourselves to unplug and recharge our own people skills, have fun the old fashion way (board games, arts and crafts, etc.). But, my opinion still stands: Typing is so much more comfortable than writing.