The following is a response to the New York Times‘ article “Stop Googling. Let’s Talk.”
The first thing I felt when I read this piece was guilt, oddly enough. I catch myself sitting on my phone scrolling through tumblr when I’m with people in real life all the time, and part of me knows that I shouldn’t be doing it. I feel bad when I live my life through a snapchat story because of the looks I get when I take a selfie in public, feeling the judgment burning into the back of my head while I try to pull a face that probably qualifies as a duck face but I try to pass off as a kissy face. For some reason, society frowns upon using technology in social situations, or really just in public, even though the same society has become so dependent on the same technology in the last few decades. So, why is it such a bad thing that we use it?
After pondering for a few days, my guilt actually turned into frustration. I shouldn’t be criticized for my utilization of the incredible technology in my pocket. I agree that people should unplug sometimes and “live in the moment” or whatever cliché you prefer, but this article suggests that we shouldn’t even use our phones to add factual backup to a heated debate amongst friends. I, for one, will never stop pulling out my phone during a discussion about film to verify the name of that actor on IMDb or checking to see if that musician is still alive, because pulling away from a conversation for thirty seconds can extend that conversation by ten minutes with the information we have such easy access to.
I like to think that my generation is particularly special. No, that isn’t my 90s baby narcissism talking, but rather the fact that we’ve truly grown up with technology. We were the last kids to get VHS tapes, the first teenagers to get smartphones, and we’ll be damned if we don’t wholeheartedly embrace the universe presented to us at the literal touch of a button.
Hey millennials, how many of you have ever felt personally victimized by baby boomers?
P.S. In case you missed it, check out my post on a similar topic from a few weeks ago: luxury and technology.