THE BLOG
01/10/2013 09:15 am ET Updated Mar 12, 2013

Side Effects of Growing Up in a Technological World

I feverishly tug at the stuck zipper on my favorite pair of jeans. They were a staple in my closet, and a broken piece of metal definitely wasn't going to stop me from donning these pants. "Maybe if I pull a little harder..." I mutter to myself. With one final yank, I manage to rip the zipper pull completely off one side of the track. I sigh, and immediately turn to Google to find a solution to my wardrobe malfunction. After attacking the zipper with a combination of pliers, a screwdriver, and scissors, my pants are still un-wearable. A week later, I desperately hand my defeated jeans to my grandma, who returns them to me like new within an hour.

My denim debacle made me feel utterly pitiful. Why couldn't I fix a simple zipper? I did well in difficult subjects like chemistry and calculus, but a broken zipper left me stumped. I had minimal sewing knowledge, minus the abundance of basic craft projects I received for my childhood birthdays. Eventually, I realized that my lack of expertise likely stemmed from my upbringing.

Growing up in the digital age has made operating technology second nature. I can remove a computer virus in no time. I can take a picture and almost instantaneously share it with all of my friends using social media. I know how to get the best bargains when shopping online. My iPhone, along with its useful apps, is my favorite accessory. While I am no expert, it's safe to say I've become adept at manipulating technology to my advantage.

However, all of the digital skills I've acquired have clearly taken priority over learning how to complete basic repairs, like a broken zipper. Especially in teens, I've noticed that the resilient do-it-yourself mentality that prevailed decades ago has been replaced with a "let someone else do it" mindset due to technological advances that have made life easier. When my grandma was a teen, she was taught everything necessary to keep a household running smoothly. While the domestic skills that she learned are undoubtedly extremely useful, it seems that today's youth have their sights set on loftier pursuits. This reality is evident in the classroom -- my school offers multiple computer science courses but not one that teaches home economics.

While it could be said that current teenagers are not prepared to transition into adulthood, I disagree. Although we may not be experts at household practices, in the working world, the necessary skill set changes over time. Technological know-how is now a requirement in the job market as creating spreadsheets and social media marketing have become essential tasks. Today's teens have ample experience in this field, through school assignments as well as recreational Twitter updates. As long as we take the time to acquire the skills we haven't yet learned, I think we'll be just fine.