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Me, Myself, and I

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Me, Myself, and I

RICHARD GALLINA

RICHARD GALLINA

RICHARD GALLINA


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By Eli Finley

 If I had a nickel for every time that I’ve heard someone older than me say, “Kids these days”, then I could probably pay the college tuition I’m due on next year. But as I think more and more about this figure of speech, there is a realization that kids and teenagers nowadays are truly something that has never been seen before. We’re dependent, in fact addicted, to technology, specifically our phones and smart devices.

Dubbed, “The Selfie Generation” by Forbes, the generation now growing up today has not had any pre-technology experience, since their inception, they have been surrounded by computers, video games and “Next gen” systems. But these pieces of hardware were only the beginning, true addiction came with the arrival of front facing cameras and a new and improved wave of “smart” technology.

Taylor Swift was quoted in saying, “The photograph is the new autograph”. Which rings true as we observe today’s society: Everything seems to be about oneself. Check twitter, instagram or facebook, each of one of these social media engines display picture after picture of people turning the lens on themselves and firing away, hoping to gain the attention of others. According to the online “You’re so Vain” articles, close to 93 million selfies are taken each day. Attention has been turned away from the surrounding elements of a picture, designed to create memories, and shifted towards the person. In my opinion, though I do enjoy selfies, they lack context. What was the purpose of taking a picture of only my face? And I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a post on Instagram or Facebook with a terribly depressing quote about how life doesn’t make sense anymore, but along with the super depressing quote there’s a selfie with someone (most of the time it’s a girl) with a huge smile on her face… Once again, I would like to refer to the context issue here, it doesn’t seem to make much sense.

Now I’m going to throw some statistics at you, and you can take whatever conclusions out of them that you want: 64% of American adults now own a smartphone, that’s up from 35% in 2011. According to Luster Premium teeth whitening brand, the average millennial will take around 25,700 selfies in his or her lifetime. According to national statistics, the average amount of time to take a “good” selfie is seven minutes, which is 54 hours a year, which is literally two whole days plus some every year of selfie-ing. And here is the big one: cell phones are checked for messages literally a billion times each day. That means a phone is checked every .0000864 seconds… and many are still not convinced this world is not addicted to what is in their hands now.

Like any addiction, technology has proven to have a deep control over our personal lives. As smart technology has grown and become widespread, so has this idea of cyber bullying. Many of the statistics online may be misleading, there is such a large disparity in percentages between all of them over the past four years that I don’t feel comfortable making any sweeping generalizations or conclusions about the data, other than one: Cyber bullying exists, and it is slowly taking the place of traditional trash talking if you know what I’m saying. (In other words, I witnessed a brutally awesome subtweet/twitter fight last week).

Now don’t get me wrong, technology can be an amazing thing. It has become a very efficient way of communicating, and has a large realm of influence on speed. Many constructional projects that would have taken days to draw out and figure dimensions on can now be done in hours. Technology has definitely changed our world, in some ways good, and in some ways bad. But the problem does not lie in how much we advance or what we make next, it is how was use it, and whether or not we decide to let it control our lives.

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