The Harbinger Online

The Tablets Have Turned

By

Hey, adults, our generation isn’t just a bunch of tech-obsessed cyber-teens, so quit acting like we are.

We’re sick of hearing that we’re the generation who lost hard work and communication, because we’re not. Culture didn’t forget us; we just have our own culture you don’t see, because it’s in our hands. The world of technology is dominated by young people, and you’re welcome to join us.

Critics of technology like to say teenagers aren’t like they used to be. We don’t get exercise, we don’t read, we don’t know how to write. Were kids in the 70s, 80s, 90s and so on stampeding museums and dying to read Tom Sawyer? Actually, studies done by the Pew Research Center show young Americans today read more than any other living generation. Think of all the teen movies that have released in recent years; they’re almost all based off of books: Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Twilight. We love reading – and vampires.

You guys were teens once; the generations before us all had something “ruining” them, too. Adults of the ‘80s probably complained when their kids spent days playing on their new Ataris. Adults of the ‘40s were horrified when comic books started to rise in popularity.

But our parents and grandparents turned out fine, and we will too.

Technology has been pushed onto us our whole lives. Kiddy versions of laptops and iPods were introduced to us at an early age. Even our fluffy Webkinz animals had virtual lives. We can’t help that we’re slightly addicted.

In fact, adults are just as bad about technology as we are. They love it, crave it, just as much as teens do. We learn our technology habits from them — both good and bad. We hear our parents’ warnings about the dangers of technology, like texting and driving, but then turn around and see them disobeying their own advice. And they’re the ones making the technology: the CEO of Apple is 55, not 15. That’s fine with us, though. Technology has changed our worlds for the better.

When teens look at their phones, we’re learning about the world and our community. This is how we get our information. Our grandparents read printed newspapers, our parents watch the morning news and we go the website and get alerts on our phones. Who’s getting world news the fastest? Education has never been easier, with instant access to information and document sharing. And don’t worry – we still “go outside and play,” just like you want us to. Phones are our handheld window to fitness, thanks to easy exercise tracking and health apps galore.

We don’t use technology just to use technology; we use it to connect with each other. Social media is just that: social. We post pictures of ourselves looking good at parties, we send funny Snapchats at the Royals games, we Tweet at the office for snow days– all because we want real people to see that.

We’re a generation of change and community. Instead of spending hours talking on the phone like our predecessors, we talk face to face on webcams. We use sites like Tumblr to share ideas and talk about them. In fact, we can be more involved with our world than kids of the 20th century thanks to technology. We use the Internet and social media to learn about politics and art and music, and half the time we don’t even realize it.

We use our smartphones and laptops to do more than older generations ever could. Yes, we understand technology can be a problem. But instead of telling us to put down our phones, teach us how to use technology the right way. You were teens once, too. You’re just jealous because we can have our cake and Tweet it too.

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