“Ah! Kids these days- couldn’t get them to go outside or read a book if you tried! Technology has taken over this vapid generation! If Jesus appeared to them right now they’d probably say: ‘ hang on I have to Snapchat this” Most college kids have heard a rant of this sort from a parent, uncle, cashier at Walmart, or hipster friend. It’s not surprising why some people feel this way- but could they be wrong? As a college student with various aspirations, I feel we shouldn’t be put in a box labeled incompetent for utilizing the tools that are so readily available to us.
Once while sitting on my work break, I opened up my Kindle app on my phone to continue reading my latest book. . “You know, I never get why young people waste their times fiddling with those all of the time. There could be a much better use of time”, a man remarked while looking over his newspaper. If one could read my mind at that moment it would have looked like a jumble of question marks. I paused- slightly irked at the comment, “Oh, I’m actually reading a book! It’s called-“ he interjected “yeah, yeah what’s wrong with a regular old book?”. I sighed while I am doing something that is not frowned upon- it somehow is because I am using my cell phone to do it. The action of reading a book suddenly becomes lesser in the eyes of some because it isn't sitting in front of me physically- but more so because it’s occurring through technology.
While not all feel this way- I feel some of the previous generation must take into account that had they been born in this era of technology they too would be fiddling away right beside us. Many previous generations had selfish and bratty little children being raised in them prior, because some kids are just selfish and bratty. There has been a large amount of change in the way that kids interact and play- but this has always been happening. When video games first came out there was likely the same worry that children wouldn’t play outside as their is now in the iPhone era. However, these children have access to SO much new information and ways of learning that no generation had before.
Why is this so often overlooked? Instead of choosing to look at this change as horrifying, what if we just looked at the bright side? The kindle book incident could have easily changed for the positive if the right mindset was involved, “Oh, actually I’m reading a book!”, “That is amazing! You must be able to get a lot more reading in then!”. The change doesn't have to be scary or sad. Many iPads and Kindles have kid safe apps that limit time on the device and protect what they see. There are apps for learning languages, puzzle games, and homework help. Why would a child not take advantage of this technology for learning and play? The children who use this technology will clearly be using technology later in life and will have a better understanding of how to responsibly use it than had they not had the opportunity to grow with it.
While it can be said that some people do not use their devices for these purposes, why choose to assume a person is being rude or self-centered. A text a person is sending may be about their sick relative or about an assignment- but even if it is not, doesn’t it feel better to just look for the best in people? Simply knowing what the iPhone in someone’s hand is capable of should be incentive enough to not see it as only being a social crutch so that the other guy in the elevator doesn’t have to look you in the eye- or even worse say “hi”. There are endless opportunities available at the fingertips of many in this generation-here’s to hoping that that technology will inspire, assist, and help them create an amazing future to themselves. As for anyone who sees only this change as awful, here’s to hoping that you can open your mind because technology is here to stay.