A new age that brings new challenges

Kristin Jindra, Columnist

I am constantly hearing negative things about technology and how we seem to be dependent upon it as a society.

I’m not arguing these negative claims. There are many adverse effects to having the world constantly at our fingertips. Socially we seem to be less sensitive.

Now it’s not as big of a deal if you get a notification about a mass shooting, if it doesn’t involve you personally. The text that you got from your significant other saying you’ve been dumped is probably more meaningful to you. It also does seem like we spend a lot more time socializing through a screen then we do face-to-face. Anywhere you go, you’re more likely to stare down at your phone or tablet than you are to look at the world around you and the people in it.

Many of these things I am guilty of as well. It just seems easier to talk through a phone than to a person’s face. Even if you can’t find the right words with your tongue and it comes easier with your fingers, we are losing that social interaction.

What we gain, though, is something that is hard to give up. It’s a revolutionized way to interact with others. For a lot of us college students, we don’t often get the opportunity to see family members the way we did before, but with phones their voice is just a couple of clicks away. Instead of waiting days, sometimes weeks, to receive replies from friends or colleagues, now we can receive them almost instantly.

There are so many other uses for cellphones that are, or can be, beneficial to society. To name a few: calorie counters, reading, timetables, alarm clocks, watches, health information, answers to questions, entertainment, and so much more. The problem is all this technology is still fairly new, even to the upcoming generation, that we haven’t willed ourselves to find the balance between what’s in our hand or at our desk and our lives in general. These devices have made life so much easier for so many, but it’s important to take the time to notice what we may also be missing.

I think we should take time throughout our day to challenge ourselves. Talk to someone new that you didn’t meet through Facebook, Snapchat, or Tinder. Find the answer to one of your questions by looking in a physical book such as a dictionary or encyclopedia.

Take a walk and look up the entire time, and try to take note of things maybe you’ve never noticed before. Shut your phone off for an hour or two and find another way to spend your time.

Try board games, crosswords, Sudoku, or just take some time to write or nap. Overall, just do something you realize you haven’t done in a long time.

It doesn’t matter how ridiculous it is, whether it’s swinging on a swing set or coloring in a coloring book, we are the generation who still remember what it’s like to find other ways to bide our time; and though this new age of technology is refreshing and fun, the way we grew up is how we have become who we are today. Don’t let go of that.