Generation-Y is at the core of the target market for the latest and greatest advancements in technology. We are a generation thirsty for cool new sh*t. We strive to be a part of the in-crowd and that means keeping up with the most recent trends. Shifting trends and a constantly evolving culture are shaping our society, but is it for the better, or worse?
With new gadgets and handheld devices appearing left and right, our generation is getting first-hand exposure to some of the biggest changes going on in the world today. Media platforms are making a gradual shift from print to digital, for starters. Instead of grabbing a morning paper, commuters are grabbing their iPads to read three different publications. It's obvious that with growing advancements and innovative tools at our disposal, our society is growing increasingly dependent on technology.
Hand-in-hand with the evolution of smartphones, texting is one major evolution of our tech-savvy culture. According to a study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, the number of cell phone owners among teens ages 12 to 17 has risen from 45 to 75 percent since 2004. One in three of these teens sends more than 100 text messages a day, averaging 3000 texts a month.
Our ancestors would be disgraced if they saw these numbers. Have we become so socially inept that we revert to hiding behind a machine to communicate with one another? Are we incapable of picking up the phone, or making the effort to get up and speak to one another face-to-face? Don't get me wrong, texting clearly does have its advantages: convenience, ability to reach people who are too busy to chitchat, picture messaging, safety and more.
The problem is, though, that our generation abuses the privileges handed to us. Instead of using resources like texting for its main benefits, Gen-Yers have become experts at taking sh*t to the next level. Holding arguments over text messaging, sexting, sending risqué pictures and spitting out comments that you might never say to someone's face are some of the feature's major downfalls.
Why do we do it? For some reason, sitting behind a screen fills us with power. Maybe it's the fact that we can't see the reaction of the person we're talking to, or just that we have more confidence when we can't be seen. Either way, abusing text messaging puts you at risk for some serious exploitation. In high school days, you were either one of, or knew of, the young girls with way too much trust in the immature boys of the younger parts of Generation-Y.
Sending out naughty pictures was almost as much of a thrill as toking up in your parents' basement. But before these lusty young chicas knew it, that picture of their budding boobies was circulating around the football locker room – every father's worst nightmare. We need to get a hold of the young Pam Andies of our generation and make some big changes to what's considered an acceptable societal norm.
Another extension of text messaging, Textspeak, has become an overused evolution, or rather, decline of our proper English language. If you're not familiar with it, Textspeak is basically abbreviated words used to make texting quicker and easier. Of course, our generation is in the ongoing pursuit of how we can make our lives easier by putting in little to no effort. “Idk, my BFF Jill” is probably one of the most popular commercial taglines since its debut in 2007.
While Textspeak makes texting just a little bit easier, it has unfortunately made its way into our everyday language and, for those who are unaware, it sounds f*cking stupid. Is it so hard to use proper language that we have to subject the human race to looking that much less intelligent? WTF! We need to get a hold on what we consider beneficial to the advancement society. This sh*t ain't nbd.
Social media, collectively, is another rising phenomenon that is taking over our world, as we know it. Social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter make it easier to keep up with current events, celebrity gossip, sports news and even the name of your best friend's ex-boyfriend's newborn.
The rise of these online news sources is changing the age of print media, and soon enough, our world will be completely digitally run. I would like to believe that the intent of introducing social media was to spread important news to anyone and everyone who wants to know about it, but that doesn't seem to be the case.
While social media platforms are helping us by transferring important world news at the speed of lighting, they are handicapping our society with useless information, and too much information, about other people's lives. Are we really that uninvolved in our own lives that we worry about what everyone else has going on in theirs? Personal lives are exactly that – personal. People are using social media to express their extremist opinions and opinions that, frankly, no one gives a sh*t about. Bashing boyfriends, bosses and ex-best friends for the public to see will come around to bite you in the ass.
Speaking of bosses, not only are we too concerned with social media, but we're also checking in on the latest word about who's humping whom during work hours – time when we should be totally enveloped in chasing that paper. Sadly, 40 percent of people ages 13 to 24 use Facebook more than ten times a day, and 76 percent spend more than one hour on the site every day, according to Mr. Youth’s Report on the Class of 2015.
The bottom line is, social media is unhealthy for the mind. It's like a growing disease attacking the brain of anyone who's vulnerable and curious. We need to stop focusing on how epic Nicki Minaj's booty bounce was on the Billboard Awards, and start worrying about more important things in our own lives. Just as we abuse text messaging, our generation loves to go a little too hard in the paint with social media.
Take a step back, and look at the bigger picture of life. Stop worrying about how many likes your last Instagram upload is getting and do something productive with your time.
Maybe that's the major issue — the fact that these technology privileges are so easily attainable and handed to us on a silver platter. Generation-Y fails to recognize the true benefit of these advancements because they have no value in them.
What will it take to alter the young minds of a naïve Generation-Y, and get the future leaders of our society on the right track? Everyone seems to be in need of a major reality check, but it's not coming anytime soon. Even the businesses that keep our world running and economy moving (well… stagnant?) are appealing to the likes of Generation-Y with public relations tactics and advertising strategies.
Channeling the lives and trends in the Gen-Y demographic further molds our culture into what it is. Technology will continue advancing, but will our generation stay in tune? We can't wait to grip the newest version of the iPhone, but are we using it to further our success or social media profiles?
Everyone on this planet has a little something called social responsibility. It means that everyone has an obligation to act to benefit society at large. Are you doing your part to keep our generation on the rising path to prosperity?
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