“Life passes you by in the blink of an eye,” is a popular saying, but so is, “A picture is worth a thousand words” … and what about “What are the special moments if there’s nobody to share them with?”
We’re stuck in a constant revolving door. One that wants us to cherish every moment that life has in store for us, but also one that wants us to take full advantage of the technology our generation is lucky enough to have access to. Or unlucky enough. That’s still up for debate.
It seems as though there’s an unspoken rule or invisible wall that’s been put up, saying that authentic experiences and technology use are mutually exclusive, so much so that they cannot exist in the same realm as the other. There’s a privilege in growing up during such an innovative shift, but at what price?
I’m as guilty as they come when it boils down to social media and cell phone use. I also get sucked into the milky way of social media, where screen time seems foreign. And while I wish that I wasn’t on my phone so much, I also know that technology is inescapable, so I can either use it to my benefit or fall victim to the isolation that exists outside of that bubble.
Consider my daily life as a student: I have from two to three classes a day, all of which require me to take notes in order to pass the class. The subject matter that I take notes on is displayed to me on a screen. The student database where I submit the work I’ve done–that’s also online. Where do I check my grades? Online. The list goes on.
Just for the sake of extending an olive branch–how about looking at the job search process? In order to apply for a job, you have to find one you’re qualified for. Nowadays, 99% of those are online. Building a resume, cover letter and profile are also online. Now, in the wake of the Covid-19 Pandemic, we’ve seen just how valuable online literacy is, as we’ve shifted nearly every institution to operate online.
Networking is an umbrella term in the technological world. The intrinsic value of technology and social media lies in the connections they bridge. While we’re entering a time of building personal brands, social media companies have not lost sight of the importance of human connection. Technology and social media are the new medium by which we share memories, ideas, opinions, thoughts and perspectives, all of which are what enable progress in our lives.
It would be foolish to insinuate that the world would operate at the same pace or that our generation would be better served without the technology we have today. Like anything, balance is a skill that is necessary for all aspects of life, not just technology and screen time. Where our generation could be better served, I might add, is in learning what it means to find balance.
While it’s feasible to argue that social media and technology have their downfalls–which they do, it’s much easier to encourage becoming a part of the solution rather than enabling the problem. The world is transforming, and times are changing right in front of us, there’s no fighting it. The challenge lies in whether or not we use that to our advantage.