For Easter my family and I had our annual get-together. As tradition, my mom got me an Easter basket and filled it with candy, including some eggs filled with cash. Even though I am almost 23 years old, I am completely comfortable with the fact I still receive an Easter basket, even if it only contains candy and enough money to buy myself a few burritos at Chipotle.
Backtrack to Mill Fest a few weeks ago.
I went through the tragedy of breaking my iPhone during such a joyous occasion. I woke up the next morning in a complete panic because God forbid I was without a phone. Although we all may know that it is not the end of the world to break or lose a phone, it is still extremely stressful to feel completely disconnected from the world.
Because that was the second or third time I have destroyed an iPhone, my mom refused to buy me another one. Instead, she mailed me my dad’s old 4G Droid. I was upset that I would not be using the latest version of cell phone technology, but I came to my senses and reminded myself that a Droid is better than no phone at all. This was a complete first world problem and I accepted the fact that until I could pay for my own iPhone, the Droid would suffice for the time being.
Fast forward to Easter morning.
This year, I was more than thrilled to find an iPhone in my Easter basket. I did not care at all that the phone was about four generations old, completely used and legitimately a reconstructed white iPhone put together with a black front screen and a silver back screen. It is probably the worst iPhone I have ever seen, but it was mine and I was so grateful.
Then, I realized something about technology.
I was obviously in a great mood because my parents went out of their way to do me this huge favor, that is until my ten year old cousin walked in the door and immediately flashed her brand new iPhone 6 Plus for our entire family to admire.
No, I did not feel jealous, but I felt actual anger. I wasn’t angry because of the fact she had a better phone than I did. I was angry because of how much she took the gift for granted.
Like I said, I am completely on team iPhone, and maybe it’s a little hypocritical to judge my cousin for having one when I was horrified about not having one myself. However, my point is that why the heck does a 10-year-old need the newest version of an iPhone? And on top of that, why did she act so ungrateful when it came to receiving such a generous and expensive gift?
In my defense, I am a senior in college. I am (practically) an adult. I would be lying if I said I didn’t use my phone for apps like Instagram and Snapchat, but it is also how I communicate with my professors, my boss and my internship supervisors. It is more than just something I carry around to text my friends on a 24/7 basis and to look at pictures of what my peers are doing.
This whole iPhone debacle then got me thinking about how much technology controls our lives and how much we depend on it, even at the age of 10.
I remember getting my first phone when I was a freshman in high school. I was given that phone strictly to stay in contact with my family because I was at the age where I would be on my own more. The phone was pretty much just a safety precaution. There were not any apps, there was no high tech camera and there was no such thing as being able to see when someone else read your text message.
Not having those features on phones were more than enough for kids of my age. But the truth is, people my age grew up on the cusp of the age of technology. We have seen phones and computers and other devices evolve at a rapid pace through the years and we are all guilty of craving the latest and greatest versions of whatever technology are available at the time. We are slaves to advertisements and trends. This is our lifestyle.
What I find so daunting is that the fixation on technology is becoming more and more relevant to the generations following ’90s kids. When people my age were first introduced to mobile phones, the phones were simple. The devices did not control our lives. Nowadays, kids seem to be completely dependent on technology and social media.
While I am able to be grateful for a simple, extremely outdated iPhone, a 10-year-old sees getting a brand new mobile phone as normal and as no big deal. It scares me to see how much teenagers and preteens rely so heavily on technology. Those kids are completely absorbed in communicating through text messages and following people on Instagram.
At the end of the day, I know what’s important in life. I know that people who are famous on social media are probably not that happy in real life. It is disheartening to see my little cousins sitting around the family dinner table, checking their social media when they should be focusing on spending time with their family and living in the moment. I know times have changed and that is now the world we have come to live in, but that doesn’t make it O.K. or acceptable.
The lifestyle we have come to know is one that I can only see evolving more and more. I believe that kids in future generations are in trouble when it comes to being humble and living a life that doesn’t revolve around narcissism and happiness in the form of an electronic device. I think that it’s basically inevitable that our population is going to be completely focused on consumerism instead of finding peace and happiness among the little things in life.
Yes, I care more than I should about having a phone, but at least I am aware of how stupid this fixation on social media is. Future generations will not see any problem with the obsession they have when it comes to technology and I am more thankful that I am able to see the bigger picture than getting an iPhone for Easter.