Has America Become Too Tech Focused?

As we walk down the street we see children under the age of six playing on an iPad. The teenagers have their headphones on. These headphones are connected to an iPod or iPhone. College aged kids are snapchatting or texting their friends. None of these individuals have actually used their smartphone to make a phone call. Many would think that adults are better, but they can actually be worse. Mom and dad are using their Blackberry to check it with work email. They put their Blackberry in their pocket and pull out their Android or iPhone. On these smarter phones they play words with friends or candy crush saga. Even grandma and grandpa have a phone they are using as a calculator. I think it is safe to say that America has become a country that is a little bit too plugged in when it comes to technology and the Internet. Unfortunately, it looks as if it is going to get worse before it gets better.Picture of technology

My Generation is Different

This is something every generation says. The conversation usually starts, "back in my day." Well, hear me out. I do think my generation will be a little bit different when it comes to the technology era in which we live. I am currently 31 years old and I got my first computer when I was 16. Within two weeks of getting my computer I was able to connect to the Internet at 14.4 mbps. For those that may not know, this is about as fast as a snail can crawl. Anyone my age and older can remember the Netscape Navigator wheel just spinning away when trying to load the most basic of websites. My generation had to actually work to get online. We were limited as well. My first month of Internet service was 20 hours. I will never forget my mother coming into my bedroom to tell me that I had been on the Internet for over 30 minutes so I had to sign off. It was also true that the phone line was connected to the Internet. There was no way to hide it from my mother when I was online. Who will ever forget those times when mom would go pick up the phone and it would disconnect the Internet service. Ahh, the good old days.

The fact that my generation had to work to get on the Internet makes it different than the generation above me. My older brothers and sisters did not grow up having these struggles as the Internet was not an option. Now they are more than willing to give their children and iPod or an iPad. Many of my friends have expressed that their children are not going to get access to a smartphone or tablet until they are 15 or 16 just like us. When they do get access to these technological advances they are going to have to pay for them. None of this just giving the little ones a smartphone and allowing them to text and play games all day. We did not get to do it when we were kids so there is no way we are going to allow our kids to do it. This is something that will be interesting to see. Personally speaking, I do not allow my nieces and nephews to use any of my smartphones or laptops. If they want to use them they have to go get it from their mother or father. Funny enough, their mother and father happen to be 10 years older than me so they were not part of the generation that had to dial up and hope the interest speeds were fast enough to get Webcrawler to work.

I have no desire to have children at this point in my life. Will that change in the next half decade? Maybe so. When I do have children it will be a lot of tough love when it comes to technology. I will be more than happy to tell them what daddy is doing in terms of computers, tablets and smartphones but they will know they are not getting any of these devices until they can actually afford them. I grew up in a household where I had to work for these type of gadgets. Very rarely did mom or dad just buy me a new video game system or computer program. I had to work at the local campground or rafting company to earn the money to make the purchase. My mother used to call it tough lover and now I believe her. It was very hard to accept as a teenager but now I understand where mom was coming from. She is the same way with her grandchildren. When her grandchildren are around they are not allowed to have their smartphone or tablet out all the time. They are more than welcome to bring it but they cannot be playing on it the whole time they are there.

While I can hope that my generation has a little more discipline when it comes to technology who knows what will happen. When little Johnny or jenny is being a pain in the rear end it is sometimes easier to just hand them a video game and let them go to town. This is now in the form of a tablet or a laptop. When I was growing up my mother rarely set me in front of the TV but it did happen every once in awhile. If I ever decide to have children they will not be playing on a tablet. They will be outside running around and burning off some energy. Every time I see my niece and nephews I try to get them active rather than allowing them to sit and build up all their energy while playing on the iPad. Hopefully, in the near future I will be able to write that America is a country that is not too tech focused.




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