My mother and my grandmother are constantly asking me why am I on my phone all the time. Sometimes, it isn’t really a question – more of an entry point to start a World War Three-esque attack on my generation and the generations after me. I’ve been told how rude it is – how unnecessary it is – to be online all the time.
And before I used to sit there and let them have their rant while I watch a cat in a shark costume ride a vacuum cleaner and tag my friends in informative mind-maps about historic Australian figures.
But now, since enrolling in Communications, I have come to realise why:
It is all we have ever known.
In Kindergarten, I remember having ‘computer time’ where we would use programs like Kid-Pix and play educational games.
All through primary school, we had an hour or two a week as apart of our class work to go into the computer lab and use Microsoft Word, the Internet and play games.
It is completely embedded in our minds – we have worked hand in keyboard with computers and the Internet since we were born.
I can understand the current media anxieties that some individuals and groups have about our use of the Internet, as well as our phones and computers. But often you’ll find that it isn’t the people who are using those things extensively that have the anxiety – it’s those who haven’t been exposed to it as much as us, or people who simply don’t understand how social media and technology works the amount we do.
And fair enough – humanity has a tendency to freak out about the unknown; especially when it comes to technology. The Y2K bug is a classic example of this. The global society began to become significantly concerned over how computers would react by changing from “99” to “00”. People immediately became critical of computerised technology and how it will only negatively impact our society and the negatives out-way the positives. However, when the clocks ticked over for the 1st January, 2000, very little problems actually occurred.
Media and technology have definitely dramatically changed the way we interact with other people and how we complete activities and tasks – but this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It has made human life easier, more convenient and a lot more entertaining. Older generations lived fine without it, but they never had the opportunities and the choices that we do now.
When we are on our phones, laptops and watching television, we aren’t being rude… we just grew up online.