By Annie Tran:
Our generation truly is a paradox unto itself. We have grown up with a need for speed and a greed for success; it is a time of innovation and great change, but as with every great thing, there comes a catch. In our case, the Internet Generation has a borderline obsessive attitude towards technology, along with an almost ridiculous desire for instant gratification. We seek faster processors and prompter web browsing. We grumble over millisecond lags in gaming. We are easily angered over short five minute waiting periods. We’ve got it bad, and what’s worse is that we know it, but we haven’t done anything about it.
One could argue that with all of this technology, society is progressing towards a better place, a place of ease and comfort for all. However, in reality, this overly optimistic view is hindering the youths of today and turning them into the morons of tomorrow. All of this tech has led to a culture always wanting more, looking to receive the next best thing, namely the fastest gadgets possible, but what the heck do we actually do with the “extra time” we receive with these time-reducing devices? Last time I heard, we haven’t cracked open a device that accelerates our ability to comprehend or heightens our critical thinking skills. If anything, one could say that we’ve become dumber because of our constant use of gadgets.
Ever see those annoying ads that use average everyday people in everyday scenarios toting around the statement “Wow, that was so 29 seconds ago”? Are we that crazy and controlling to want to know about every single detail of people’s lives the second it happens? I’d like to believe that we have enough self-respect in our society that creepy stalkers isn’t one of the prime descriptions we’d like to uphold. But the level of connection we retain among our peers is so counterproductive in itself, that it has actually made everything impersonal.
Our generations’ obsession with social media has led us to absorb useless information and to partake in shallow learning and superficial interactions. In short, we have become consumed by intellectual laziness, and our ability to think at a higher order has sharply declined. Let’s be honest: Too lazy to read a book? Hook me up with some Sparknotes! Don’t want to analyze a problem? Yahoo! Answers, here I come; We’ve all done it, I know I have and I’m pretty sure Mr. Hernandez is annoyed every time he catches me in the act (my bad, but “The Sound and the Fury” just isn’t my thing). It’s no wonder the United States’ education rankings have been lagging behind, I’m sure it’s not just due to our useless “time-saving” devices, but I’m also pretty sure that they aren’t helping us out much.
We have learned to heighten our comfort levels to an almost all too comfortable plateau, and we have lost the virtue of patience. These days, the see-want-buy process isn’t all that uncommon, in fact, that’s how most instant gratification stories go when it comes to our general populace. Knowing all of this, it is our job to try to resist these kinds of temptations for the sake of personal intellectual growth, even when they’re literally a button’s click away. Let’s learn how to exercise our brains without the use of sites like Sparknotes and Schmoop; let’s become more self-sufficient and make real connections with real people. We’re a smart school. We know it, society knows it. Now show it.