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Generation Overload

Posted: 07/10/2012 4:16 pm

We are the generation of change. Our modes of technology have changed; our modes of communication have changed. Our current president based nearly his entire campaign off of the vision of change. The way I see it, everyone seems to be embracing these concepts, adapting, learning. Technology envelops our generation like never before. Everything is fast, instant and free... what more could we ask for? Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google, and Pandora make accessing our friends, celebrities, information, movies, and music an afterthought. The days of counting down the release of your favorite singers new album are long gone. The days of movies in the form of videos are gone. MySpace? That's been gone for like, 100 years. The point is, the times are changing and with it changes the way we communicate as a society and infrastructural whole.

From my observations, I find that sentiment is hardly expressed in person and that updating a status is more frequently utilized to convey important information. Picking up a phone to make a call is a waste of time and e-mail etiquette? Forget about it. You see, the way we communicate and view the world changes the way we view ourselves. Many view this day and age in regards to communication as the age of narcissism. I would have to agree. To constantly think of what your next tweet or status will be, to stop what you're doing to take a photo so you can 'check-in,' takes a lot of 'me' focus. Our self-awareness makes us not only insecure but self-centered as well. To think that anyone cares enough to know what you're doing at all hours of the day; when you walk your dog, when you make yourself lunch, when you decide to read a good book with a great cup of tea? That's a whole separate set of issues.

I mentioned that social media can make one self-aware. Sitting on Facebook looking through a persons photos who is perceived as "better" than you can make you embarrassingly aware of things you don't particularly brag about. "Look at his new car, he must be making more than me. Look at her legs! Why can't I have legs that look like that? I'll go to the gym tomorrow." I dare someone to say they have never flipped through another's photos and felt bad about themselves at one time or another.

But what is all of this for? Faster and more efficient information exchange? Personally, sometimes I'd rather put off some messages I instantly receive. I thought I was the lone soldier in feeling resentful towards mass communication until I sat in a class filled with persons sharing these same feelings. Who would have guessed? 40 students, all nostalgic towards Walkmans and Disney movies on cassettes? So again I ask, what is all of it for? Are we losing ourselves in gaining innovation? Are we becoming so intertwined that it's causing communication to unravel? Alas, we may never know -- that is, until the next breakthrough.

By Caroline Hughes, Florida State University

 

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