Looking Up from Our Cellphones and Towards the Future of Our Generation

Ella Katz I was born into a generation different from any group of young blue eyed babies before. They called us the 2000 kids, we were known as the generation that never lived in the 20th century. Although one could say we have had the privilege (starting at a rather young age) of having TVs in our kitchens or living through huge technological advancements (I mean we have gone from motorola’s to mophie’s) one thing that my seemingly advantaged and perfect generation lacks, is the basic skill of face to face communication with each other, or even a phone call to talk about the nightly homework. Lets just say that for the most part, us Latin students complete all of these daily interactions virtually, sometimes with Imessage but for many of us, through tinted blue exchanges that seem to disappear after 10 short seconds (yes, snapchat). I constantly hear all of the stories that my mom tells me about the days as a child when she used to have conversations that would last hours on the phone about homework, boys, drama… whatever it may be. I fear for people my own age, (Including myself) the millennials generation, as we are the ones who will grow into the adults that will one day inherit this society. We will be the business people, the doctors, the lawyers, the artists, the entrepreneurs. That will be us. And because of this I worry that we as a generation, ‘the soon to be adults’ will lack the necessary communication skills needed in order to collaborate, co work, and interact in a social and work setting due to our inability to put down our addicting goddamn phones.   This face to face communication is a necessary part of daily life for all of us. Contrary to what one may think, this isn’t so obvious to many students in our school. Whether it is talking to a co worker during a lunch break, sealing a deal at an important business meeting, or speaking with a client during a therapy session, we will all eventually need to get off Instagram and look up, talk to people. Latin students can’t live in our virtual realities forever. The Gold Iphone 6s doesn’t define us. It doesn’t determine whether we are funny or kind or rebellious or even selfish. We are cheating ourselves by effing around with Facebook and Phhhoto. Everyday we are missing out. We are missing the opportunity to help an old lady load the bus, the chance to admire the skyline at dusk. All of these things are important to appreciate and with our constant use of cellular devices and specifically social media, it is extremely hard to do so. I can bet that my parents, or really any adult in society would have never thought that eye contact would become even more of a struggle for kids alike. Moreover, it is one thing when my classmates go on their phones in class (maybe they are bored, I mean Shakespeare does make me a bit sleepy,) but the worst thing is when you are with the people who you text during class. Let’s say you are at lunch. You can finally talk to them. You shouldn’t have to snapchat, or text them… they are right next to you! But many of my friends (and I am guilty of this too) will just continue ‘iphoning’ if you will, and sometimes, the interaction between us is quite limited or nonexistent. One night I was at my favorite diner in the city with a big group of friends, but as I ate my cheeseburger and sipped my coke, Instead of talking to Sydney or Chloe, I realized that I was having dinner with the cholula hot sauce, and the painting of a Latina woman dancing the tango. My friends were on their phones for the remainder of the meal. I clearly remember being so frustrated. So, Latin students, the point is, we know the problem. And the only solution we have is ourselves. So let’s try. Let’s be there to hold the door for our friend, or look up from twitter to be polite to the Flik workers in the cafeteria. It is in our power, guys. And if we don’t do anything now? We keep our heads down and earphones in?… Coming from one of my all time favorite broadway shows, let’s just say it’s going to be a hard-knock-life.]]>