The Assumption That Young People Are All Obsessed With Technology Needs To Stop

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Picture it. You are on a bus, sitting opposite an older couple because you’re one of the few of your age too uncool to drive.

Suddenly, the *ding* of your phone sears through the mist of stagnant urine in the air. Your hand slowly creeps towards the comfort of your pocket as you think maybe, just maybe, you’re safe this time. Nope. You can’t escape the hawkish gaze of little old Gladys as she turns towards her husband and tuts: “Oh you young people, SO attached to your phone!”.

… Seriously?

Those who assume you must be a #selfie millennial zombie with no mental capacity to function in the real world are not only insanely annoying, but also wrong in so many ways.

These days, we apparently substitute friendships for ‘likes’ as we hiss in our cesspit of gadgets 24/7. However, the very essence of a ‘mobile’ device is to increase communication between people. It means you go beyond the bare minimum of seeing people during the day or through unreliable landlines, thereby enabling you to communicate with people more than you used to. Therefore, I struggle to see how social media, Skype and phones cut us off from each other. Increased contact and communication with somebody demonstrates an increased interest in that person and their life, and with more contact naturally comes a stronger relationship. This makes technology a reinforcer rather than an isolator in real-life relationships.

Speaking of reinforcing relationships, this technology also makes it a lot easier to remain in contact with those who are no longer in our peripheral. We can maintain a closeness that goes beyond the unreliable Royal Mail. It’s the instantaneous nature of this technology which doesn’t take over real life, but improves upon it. Now, when you say to somebody you’ll ‘stay in touch’, you actually mean it (most of the time). Is this not an improvement?

One might be judged for playing computer games rather than going outside, but if you had the choice to aimlessly kick a ball or slay a fricking dragon, what would you do? Some would choose the former, but that’s based on personality, not digital indoctrination. You will always get ‘outdoorsy’ people and ‘indoorsy’ people – new inventions won’t change that and shouldn’t get the blame.

Before phones, there was television. Before television, there was that darn punk rock music. Prior to that, it was books. The fact is that people who are used to living their life in an established way are so afraid of change, they forget that they were exactly the same. The world around us is in constant development, and perhaps that means that we are too, but fundamentally our generations are not that different from one another.

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Wessex Scene's friendly neighbourhood Opinion Editor with a love of memes, food and complaining. Also News Editor at the Soton Tab and occasional contributor to The Daily Touch.

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