By Iz Gius

Latin’s relationship with technology is strange. In a recent sophomore English class on the day of the iPhone 6 release, breaks were given every 15 minutes to check the latest new updates. Add in the fact that every teacher has a Mac or an iPad and how impossible it is to get anything done without a laptop or computer at home, and it becomes abundantly clear that our school is, whether we like it or not, defined by technology. More specifically, defined by Apple technology.

So, another year, another iPhone. Has everyone at Latin fainted from excitement yet?

Opinions were flying around the day of the release–everyone had something to say, whether it be good or bad. Perhaps that’s the first thing: “the serious divide” as someone put it, between the Apple-haters and everyone else. Maybe it’s because Latin is so intertwined with Mac products that those without feel they must overcompensate, or maybe it’s too complicated to tell, but the people that have an android or a Galaxy or whatever else is out there will not give up their loyalties and commit the betrayal of getting an iPhone, and they will certainly not cease to be vocal about their thoughts. Others don’t really care either way, but feel pressured by the community to at least choose a side. “It’s unnecessary,” as one student put it, but it’s certainly there.

Another important aspect that was being discussed was that of technology as a status symbol. In the millennial generation, there’s no denying it. Why else would people wait in line for hours to get the new iPhone as soon as it’s released? As one senior put it, “What kind of phone you have is one more thing that shouldn’t matter at all, but does.” The release of the iPhone 6 was not long enough ago to really see the effects around Latin, but they’ve slowly been appearing over the course of a few weeks. The new iOS upgrade is much more visible; countless abandoned phones and computers were plugged into the outlets upgrading in Mr. Windus’ office the day it came out. It’s difficult to tell how many of these students were actually interested in the new phone or software versus just following the crowd, or even where one begins and the other ends in the minds of Latin students.

But the iPhone 6, and the increasing influence of technology in our community, is not all bad. It provides important tools for both academic and nonacademic life, allows for communication between those who would never before have opportunities to communicate, allows a greater variety of opinions to be heard, and provides one of the only truly open forums in the form of the internet.

The release of a new iPhone might seem inconsequential, but the small ways in which it changes the Latin dynamic says a lot about our school and our generation. New technology has become such a fundamental factor in how we define ourselves and how others define us. One student suggested that Latin’s unquestionable affiliation with Mac products only continues to reinforce the negative stereotype of our school as exclusive and conceited. But Latin is certainly not alone in its mindset and involvement with technology, suggesting a larger trend among teenagers. A New York Times article on that very topic describes the “major shift in teenage trends, and in teenage spending.” What matters and what is revealed within our own community is only a reflection of a nationwide, and on some levels a worldwide, trend.

So whether you are a proud owner of an iPhone 6, one of the outspoken critics of Apple, or somewhere in between, technology is a part of your life. And the variety of opinions existing within our school in regards to the iPhone 6 are essential to a future that will only continue to be defined by technology. As for the phones themselves? They’ve got to stop getting bigger eventually.