Technology generation may forfeit advantages of Luddite predecessors

Every Tuesday afternoon, I go to my mailbox and open a letter from my mother. It tells me about what’s happening at home, how things are, and what I am missing while I am away at school. After I finish reading this weekly letter, I usually proceed to call my mother and tell her about my week. It is there that you can already see a technological gap in our two different generations. The gap between the oldest generation and the youngest generation and technology is growing at a rapid pace. The generation born from the ‘90s up until now is referred to as the "i-Generation." The ‘i-Generation’ can be defined as a generation that was born when cell phones and home computers already existed; they did not know what life was like before our present technology.

The ‘i-Generation’ is social-and-self-sufficient if they have a device in their hand that can connect to others and/or the web, but is that really self-sufficient or social? If you have a whole conversation via texting but never really say anything meaningful is it still considered socializing? I do not think that having a phone where your parents pay the bill for you to surf the web and chat with your friends makes you self sufficient.

What happens when these kids grow up and have to afford their own technology? Maybe some of them won’t at first and they will have to learn to live without a laptop, a cell phone, DVR and cable. They will run into trouble, and will not know how to read a map or do research without a computer or even make friends because they will not have a Facebook page or number to exchange.

Another issue with technology are distractions in the classroom; too often teachers are stopping the class to tell someone to put their cell phone away. They say kids are bored learning with a pen, notebook and lecture, but really they just lack focus and motivation. Their parents give them a phone, computer, TV and gaming device at such a young age they think that things are just handed to them. So why sit in a classroom when you could be surfing the Web that has always been there. It’s not that they need to learn with technology, it’s just what they are used to.

That is not to say that technology is not a useful tool for learning, I just think that young people are making excuses. If so many children cannot focus then there would be a lot more children diagnosed with ADHD and then we would have to change the standards of diagnosing ADHD.

Technology has done wonders to help us during everyday life but it seems to me that it has become a crutch and something the ‘i-Generation’ has become dependent on. We need to use technology to its fullest potential but not let it become a distraction when we’re trying to complete everyday tasks, such as learning at school or working at a job. We also need to teach the ‘i-Generation’ that there was a time before cell phones, video games, and iPods when kids played outside at parks and actually spent time together.