The following sample essay on “My Generation”: there are many people within my generation who are fine with the world as it is. So how to define it?
When asked to define my generation, a plethora of characteristics flood my mind. While it may seem easy to narrow down our truly defining qualities, we have to consider the people in our generation that may differ from the rest. I’d like to believe that I am part of a generation of advocates capable of changing the world.
But there are many people within my generation who are fine with the world as it is. So how to define it? The more I thought about this, the more I realized how different we actually are. Trying to define an entire group of growing people in an ever-changing world seems completely impossible. After all, each of us grew up differently. Raised with different rules and practices, religions and beliefs, and privilege or lack thereof.
It is easy to say that the most prominent thing we have in common is simply the time period in which we grew up. Until you take a look at the one thing that nearly every single person in our generation has been surrounded by our entire lives. Technology.
In a time long before us, people relied on human interaction. They were commonly found doing things such as going to the movies, shopping for albums or new sneakers, going to the library for information, or even calling their girlfriend from the wall phone.
Some would argue that this was a simpler time. But what is simpler than having these things and more all in one place? With todays technology, you can technically have face to face conversations. You can watch movies, listen to music, make phone calls, shop, and find practically any information you need. So what could be the problem with having the majority of your entertainment come from a 5 inch screen that rests in your pocket? The true issue with such a convenient resource is that we’ve begun to develop a dependency. When everything is all one place, we start to believe that this place is where we need to be. We find ourselves being thrown post after post. Each new update being presented before we’ve even had time to finish reading the one before it. When the world is passing before us right here on a screen, it becomes almost pointless to look up and watch it happen for ourselves.
Technology becomes a distraction the from the first moment we hold it in our hand. And the longer we’ve had it, the more attached we become. I received my first phone at the age of six. It was a little pink track-phone from the dollar store and its primary use was to contact my overprotective parents. But soon it would become my favorite toy. For as long as I can remember, I loved dolls and toy cars and play-makeup, but before all of these, I loved my little pink phone. I remember being taught to call my parents if things were bad, and to call 911 if things were really bad. But thats about as much as my little brain could comprehend of such a new device. Though I knew nothing about the screen and keypad I loved so much, I still couldn’t set it down. These days we see children owning their own personal iPads and harboring every piece of information they need to know of how to perfectly navigate them. Our generation is accustomed to seeing children, as young as toddlers, have at least some knowledge of what these devices can do. This knowledge is carried with us as technology advances further, and we fall deeper into obsession. We are a part of a generation in which texting at the dinner table is normalized, and posting every aspect of your life is encouraged. We are a part of a generation in which face to face conversations are inferior to texting. Walking through the hallways of my school, there are more people are looking at their phones than there are people having actual conversations. This represents how our generation is so distracted by technology that the real world and people around us are almost less important than the screens.
While todays technology is to blame for most of our generations lack of social skill and short attention span, it can also be accredited for helping to raise awareness about social issues of the current world. Because so many people are attached to social media, it becomes an outlet for us to express our opinions. And when these opinions are political, they can be used to make change. For example, survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting were able to use social media to raise awareness about the issue of gun violence in schools. And eventually they were able to hold an event called March For Our Live in which over 200,000 people were in attendance. If it were not for these teens use of social media, this cause would have been significantly less recognized. Young advocates on social media use hashtags to help bring attention to serious issues. For example, the hashtag #RefugeesWelcome started in 2015 when the worldwide refugee crisis began. The hashtag was used over 180,000 times in a two day time period, bringing awareness of the topic to all ages. Politics has begun to reach a younger audience within recent years, and technology is the primary reason for this. And while it is imperative that our generation become informed, the amount of information we are given can be quite overwhelming, ultimately giving us more to be distracted by.
My generation is not easily definable. We are the phones at the dinner table generation. The The inattentive yet more inspired. The ones with so many questions, yet all of the answers at our fingertips. We are the ones constantly being told to look up and notice the world around us. But if we are given the option to look up and see the world or simply look up the world, which are we more likely to choose?