TWIN FALLS • Our generation is one of technology. While we may be critiqued for our short attention spans, lack of face to face communication and procrastinating abilities, we will change the world. In fact, we already have.
Our short attention spans created a demand for fast service — by 2015 drones will deliver to your door a half hour after you order a package from Amazon. If we don’t talk to you face to face, you can text us, post on our wall, message us on Facebook, or send us a Tweet. If you want to really SEE how we are doing, give us a Skype call or FaceTime us. While we may seem insensitive, no longer sending Christmas cards to our family, we may update our status to “Merry Christmas” and tag you in it. Every year, I chat with my extended family over a videocamera on our laptops to share our Christmas gifts.
Procrastinating may be the worst of our faults, but it is a symptom of a huge leap for humanity. Information is readily available to each of us, from our smartphone to our tablet to our home laptop or desktop. When teachers warn that “This essay cannot be completed in the hour before class” we take it as a challenge. Typing is often faster than writing with pencil and pen, and I have every database across the country at my fingertips. When we don’t procrastinate, we create the best projects our teachers have witnessed. I created a brochure for astronomy, far from the threefold, crayon-colored and glued dinosaur of the past, this was created on Pages with a template. My teacher asked if he could have a copy, and I could easily mail him. In English, we can create a Prezi (3D presentation platform) that will keep the interest of our peers while we present on Hamlet.
Creativity is encouraged with new technology, because we have so many options to express our passions. I can create an interactive website to prove my knowledge of a concept instead of a lengthy essay. Time is a hot commodity, and while we waste much of it on trivial sites like Pinterest, we also save it on the important projects by having technology to aid in creating it. With responsibilities piling up during senior year, applying to schools needed to take as little time as possible. Thanks to the Common App, I only needed to create one application that I sent to all the schools where I was applying. Trying to get a head start on my college education, I take a college class streamed through a TV at my high school.
Although we have sped up the world a bit, we remember that tradition is important. For instance, we document all events that happen in our lives. We can create online scrapbooks and photo albums. Entire libraries fit into a tablet the size of a children’s book, and can be shared with family members. Technology is slowly creeping into schools, as well. While I can take online classes and have creative presentations, I cannot access a document sharing website called Google Drive while at school. My astronomy teacher is often thwarted in showing us interactive presentations of constellations because they are blocked by the filter on our WiFi. Computers are slow, and the netbooks are outdated. Even though there are obstacles to our progression, we are steadily integrating technology into our education.
Our generation is also obsessed with online trends, which is both beneficial and damning. Revolutions began on Facebook, hashtags on Twitter allow movements to rally in everyday life. If ever there was going to be a situation like in the movie Catching Fire, the resistance would be strongest on the Internet. A common love can unite people from across the globe, whether that be for a TV program or a cause needing attention. While we have our shining moments, we also have some questionable movements. The worst trend of late would have to be Vine, a video sharing website that can only create videos that are six seconds long. Our attention span hits a new low with this one. Miley Cyrus sparked an obsession with “twerking” and the song “Blurred Lines” outraged bloggers across the internet. Still, the exponential use of technology continues. Those that said the Internet would just be a “phase,” are swallowing their words.
Truly, our generation is different from the last. We don’t send Christmas cards, or go out of our way to have a lengthy conversation face to face. Relationships are not signified by a the sharing of a letterman jacket or pins, but rather a status change on Facebook. Our communication and vocabulary may be lost on the older generation, but we can talk faster and with more people than ever before. Our leaps in technology are expansive, and may soon reach Back to the Future decibel. For now, we will continue to change the world — if we are not too busy scrolling through our phones.
Michaella Owens is a senior at Kimberly High School, active in Speech and Debate. She plans to attend College of Idaho and major in Journalism. She writes a monthly Youth Perspective column for the Times-News.