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January 16, 2013 / NextStepU

Technology and the college girl

I now pronounce you man and phone.

I now pronounce you woman and phone.

The other day I was out to lunch with my parents and we were talking about cell phones. My mom is not a huge fan of technology (she sometimes struggles with copying and pasting if that gives you an idea) so she was ranting (THAT’s where I get it from) about how she hates when people are married to their cell phones. To this, my father adds, “Yeah, not unlike someone we know.”

I wait, expecting him to fill in who he’s talking about. Then, after a few seconds of awkward silence it occurs to me that, “Wait, do you mean me?!” And both my parents give me a resounding “yes.”

I have to say, I was rather offended by this. I actually think I do a pretty good job as far as balancing the whole real world/technology struggle in my life as I make an effort to be with the people I’m in the room with but will text other people on my phone if there’s a lull in conversation or my attention isn’t 100% mandatory.

Apparently, though, this is not the case at least according to my parents. I can understand where they’re coming from, but the fact is it’s a whole new world out there. If you’re not available for every single second of your day you should be. I’ve gotten many an angry text from friends saying the likes of “why haven’t you answered me yet?” or “what do you mean you didn’t know that, it was on Facebook!” Like, okay, I’m sorry, but despite the fact that I do like to know what’s going on and stay updated with my friends, I honestly have no interest in finding out what you’re doing every second of your day. So, for me it’s annoying to see like 8-year-olds on their iPhones talking about what so-and-so did on Facebook last night. I may be aging myself right now but seriously? I had this thing when I was 8 to entertain myself and that was called “the outdoors.”

I realize that I sound rather ornery (I might even start shouting “get off my lawn!” to random people on the street) but, for me, it seems like our whole technology boom in the past few years has become more annoying than it has been useful. I consider myself lucky to be part of the generation where I knew how to communicate before Facebook and texting but I also appreciate and use it to my advantage. I also feel a little ahead of the game as a communication student; I’ve learned to question everything that I read or say or see, especially when it comes to media. Which may be the point of my (long-winded) rant here: I certainly am not suggesting people put away their technology for good and think, “well that was fun, let’s go back to dial-up!” (never again!) but I do think we can be more aware of how we spend our time. The people you’re with are the ones who took the effort to get out and see you so make them your priority instead of your blinking green light. Because at the end of the day, that’s the contact that is going to mean the most to you.

Now, go ahead and check your Facebook, I’m done. :)

Until next time,

Laura

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