CCI, Section 344
October 30th 2008
Techno-Logic-Kill: Could the Millenials Be Killing Face-to-Face Communication and Allowing Technology of the 21st Century to Run their Lives?
Positive correlation is when one thing increases or decreases, the other increases or decreases parallel to it. Technology, the amount it is depended on by society and time has a positive correlation. As the years increase, more companies compete to make the fastest, easiest, most reliable and tiniest piece of technology that can multitask. Today everyone can be in constant contact with anyone they feel, and have multiple ways of accessing whatever and whoever they need, when they need it and "seem" to be able to more than one thing at once. Although many may argue these technological advances may be convenient but they have led to the decrease in face to face conversation, losing a sense of personal relationships and a connection with or coworkers, friends and family, created a dependence on these technological advances to fill personal voids, and has caused interruptions emotionally, mentally, and physically in a number of ways. As we’re connecting we’re disconnection important aspects of life.
In a booming generation, that is full of surprises, and fast paced much of these technological toys have caused laziness. Now, these Millenials have such easy access to information and resources. The future generation is able to find information at their fingertips through iTouchs and PDA phones, such as BlackBerry’s, etc. These, literally, “handy” resources reduce motivation to actually try researching information for their selves and also are led to believe that they can multi task which evidently leads to stress and anxiety. In the article, “Meet the Future”, Brian O’Reilly interviewed a Harvard-bound student (and an array of many other high school students) who even says “We’re a distracted generation”.
Is the increase in technology decreasing our attention causing focus problems? The past generations say the millenials are lazy and unmotivated, they don’t care, and are not advancing or making society succeed but rather failing it, even though it may seem like we are rather intelligent to create all these gadgets. Researchers are fearing that technology is weakening attention and students begin to lack critical thinking skills or self reflection which was implied in “Welcoming a New Generation to College: The Millennial Students” by Elam, Stratton and Gibson. When everything is tangible there is no motivation or desire to want to try harder, kind of like how rich kids are given everything and they most do not feel motivation to work hard to gain their desires, when they know they can easily access the money to buy whatever they want. It is even stated in O’Reillys article that many of these Millenials have wealthy parents who emerged from the economic increase in the 90’s therefore these kids grow up on easily having everything they want for example many of these kids have cell phones as young as first grade.
As soon as puberty starts around thirteen and moving on into ones twenties, sleep and mental health are very important in physical and mental development. An article that summarizes a cross sectional study based on the responses to questions about texting and text messages of first and fourth grade secondary students who text message. There was a very interesting outcome to those were questioned about bringing their cell phones to bed, how often they are woken up due to incoming messages and how tired they feel. Of the first graders 2.2% were awaken EVERY DAY due to an incoming message. The percentage increased to a 2.9% for the fourth grade group that was studied. Although 2.2% may seem rather small, it is the point that a child around the age of 13 (this was a first grade of a secondary school) is being woken up every night due to an incoming message. The age of 13 is rather important in growth and adolescent development which much growth occurs during sleep.
When a teen is not getting enough sleep their growth is hindered, mental health is usually interrupted, and they cannot focus well in school. The next question asked how tired they were showed how tired they were when asked how often they felt tired and majority responded: generally speaking, at school and after the weekend. A growing teen showed be getting enough sleep so that generally they do not feel tired and at school they aren’t so they can focus and learn. Clearly due to the dependence to be constantly connected has caused these teens to be distracted from school work and also causing sleep deprivation and attention disorders. I have personally seen young people with high tech toys such as cell phones and I question whether or not growing up is still the same, after these results it seems like all teens are worried about is little non emotional responses, where’s the experience in that?
In this roaring century the millienials feel obligated to multi task and the idea of multi tasking has saturated many people’s live and some more worse than better. The idea sounds rather productive, logical and may seem like there’ll be a rewarding outcome, but it has been observed it has created the opposite effect and/or not executed properly. E-Mails that pop up and on a computer screen right when they arrive or catch the attention of the owner through a vibrate or an obnoxious beep, text messages, phone calls, voicemails, two-way, three-way, forwarding, instant messaging allowing multiple IM’s, devices that allow anyone to check stocks and news every second, it sounds great the but the abundance of things that can be done at once is very overwhelming. Everything is so quick; therefore people feel rushed and pressured to get things done faster causing a lot of stress (which also adds to a lack of sleep). The quickness needs to slow down; many are losing focus on their lives and are now having a hard time setting priorities which leads to a plethora of serious brain exhaustion.
In the article, “Help! I’ve Lost My Focus”, which describes the effects of this technological era in the work place; Wallis observes what these minute but “abundant” devices have done. He interviews Hollywood producer who is constantly on her Blackberry (the first thing she does before the plane lands she gets out her BlackBerry so as soon as she lands she can see her messages) as a result of this she has become very fidgety and demanding. Another woman does her daily sit-ups during her conference calls and while driving is drinking coffee, and checking her palm pilot. This technology is turning a generation run on electricity, invisible radio waves and wifi. These people let technology run their lives as opposed to them running the computers lives, this brings up the question are we human beings or just mere machines? Is a woman who can’t even enjoy her own time to relax during sit-ups and not actually connecting with her clients in person foreshadowing the majority of us?
Edward Hallowell, a psychiatrist (Sudbury, Massachusetts) commented in “Help I’ve Lost My Focus” about multitasking. Hallowell said multi tasking and these 21st century devices have created a mental condition (which he coined), attention-deficit trait (ADT). These little devices, which were originally aimed at organization and order in life, have just caused mania, in this case “organized” chaos. Many of these people cannot focus as a matter of fact interruptions in the workplace has increased causing a personal stress and economic stress. In this article (“Help! I’ve lost..”) a study was mentioned. Basex (an information-technology research firm in NYC) found that 2.1 hours of the day are interruptions. So take that 2.1 hours or the day, 28% of the days, then multiply 2.1 and $21 (average salary). To save you time, since were in a time of quickness, that equals $588 billion a year, that is $588 billion worth of interruptions. That is quite a large number, especially in the current economic crisis. Clearly there is something that needs to be done about this. Yes, our world needs somewhat of a quicker connection, but it shouldn’t resort us to Starbucks running our sleep patterns, McDonalds controlling our appetite and BlackBerry’s controlling our ability to communicate, focus and task. The Millennials are getting too ahead of themselves, allowing quick business and non face-to-face work interactions and alternatives to run their lives as opposed to themselves and eventually leading to stress, loneliness and anxiety.
Fact: there are billions of people in the world. Ironically enough millions are at a feeling of loss with not only world but themselves. The dependence on cell phones, internet and non personal communication has opened new doors into emotional problems. The stress and disconnection from friends, family, co-workers and clients has driven the millenials down a road of communication problems. Many of these avid and addicted technological fiends are very lonely and/or anxious. For what, attention? Bonding? Connection? Social skills are declining. In a world that desires change, constant improvements and wants to become the best it is very crucial that social skills are at a peak state. In “What the F%$# Is Wrong With You People?” a short article which posed a problem and readers replied their feelings about it, there were some lashings about texting and talking on cell phones constantly. The problem was people on their cell phones during the movies. A user responded that people who are addicted is because a text or a call is rather rewarding and is positive reinforcement which makes the users addicted. Someone calls or texts you and it makes you feel important and happy. A key to human survival is attention and importance it increases chemicals that make us happy. Logically a quick fix to the blues is constant cell phone and online communication. To these jaded people, why not? But they don’t understand their strong magnetic attention towards these devices is going to make social skills worse and therefore losing a sense of connection with the world. Throughout my years in high school I’ve seen many students get so hung up over not getting responses from their friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc. Many of these lost teens turn to questioning their place in society and start losing self esteem and confidence, all from the lack of communication through a text message; this just leads to verbal communication problems. It is a shame how a person’s mental health is being scarred over a simple little computer.
“In Text of Talk? Social Anxiety, Loneliness and Divergent Preferences for Cell Phone Use”, Reid & Reid did a psychological survey about the incessant feelings to text or call and why people are constantly on their phones and are attached to connection. They found it was because most of these people were lonely or anxious. It was stated that social anxiety which is, the combination of fear, apprehension and worry that people experience when they anticipate being unable to make a positive impression on others is correlated to loneliness and loneliness is in direct connection to the desire to talk online or through a cell phone constantly. Cell phones or the computer disallow face to face communication which enable more time to think of something to say and allow informal behavior. This growing society shouldn’t lack informal communication. We’re booming, we’re growing, and informal non verbal communication is leading to lack of trust and miscommunication in the world. In today’s world this doesn’t help. Think about it, there are that are behind machines making large decisions and having “time” to make them, that’s an issue. The ability to be able to have a mature face to face conversation is very valuable to making impressions, an impact and developing connection.
The Millennials have to step back for a second and realize that maybe all this technology isn’t benefitting us as much as we thought. It is time to realize, change and not be depended on it. Our society will decline when we’re all going as far as spending intimate time with our significant others and having our BlackBerry’s right next to us as Wallis said in “Help! I’ve Lost My Focus”. Our growing world is weakening due to the lack of face to face communication from the addition to devices, lack of sleep from these addictions and the overwhelming “to-do’s” that can pop up at any given moment of the day. Hopefully the Millennials will strive to be like the example in “Meet The Future”, O’Reilly brings up a situation where a group of twelve year old boys stood up in front of a group of adults, taking a stand as to why a skateboard park should be built in their town. It is imperative to our society and generation to gain respect through personal relationships and also making our health a priority and to not increase stress.
yeah fuck your jaded relationships, idiots.