Living in a technological generation

Jaime Carrillo

The telephone, the telegraph and the cotton gin are all incredible feats of human ingenuity that changed the world in their time. They also didn’t receive half the flack smartphones and social media are getting today.

When I was casually surfing through Facebook, I found a photo taken from a coffee shop. The shop proudly displayed the most passive-aggressive sign along the lines of “Put away your phones. Be human. Interact.”

I wonder if people were this full of divisiveness for technology when the written word was invented and if the first cavemen were just as snarky and brimming with contempt as the ones mentioned in the Facebook post. 

“Oog, stop painting buffalo on cave walls and talk to me,” one caveman would probably say to another. “Let’s talk about agriculture, which won’t be invented for another millennia.” 

Just because communicating is easier with the advent of cellphones and the Internet, it does not make the experience cheaper or less meaningful. 

Synonymous with smart phones comes texting. Many see it as a means of conveyance.

“I actually prefer calling friends and family,” said psychology major Jocelyn Wimmer. “Texting is great though when I just want to ask a quick question or something.”

Texting gets a bad rap because critics think it’s slowly turning the English language into an Orwellian Newspeak nightmare. 

While we can all agree that poor grammar and the breaking down of the English language is “double-plus ungood,” the technology is not to blame. 

Yes, the more uninspired human being may toss a few “r u theres” or “l8ter playas” around in a most cavalier fashion, but people that inane are going to slaughter the English language whether or not you hand them a $700 device. 

Twitter is yet another wonderful means of communication that is judged by its worst traits. 

There are still naysayers who will scoff anytime they see someone scroll through a feed or ask for a follow. Chances are, they’ll bring up vapid Armenian reality stars and people tweeting about their lunches.

And yes, while Kim Kardashian has over 18 million followers, the beauty of Twitter is that people don’t have to follow her. I follow almost 500 different comedians, news sources, writers and other miscellaneous friends. Never once have I seen a tweet about any meal. 

Twitter is an awesome source for laughs from creative people who can easily share ramblings and musings instantly, but it is also a place to check breaking news and keep up with important world events. 

Now, it is such a popular means of communication that one in five world leaders have an official Twitter account – including the Pope. 

New media and technology is what you make it. To judge it by its worst traits is unfair. If you haven’t jumped into Twitter or texting, don’t knock it until you try it. You may find yourself never going back.