Holding on with Optimism: The Future of Technology and Its Impact.

Abby Wormsbaker, Staff Writer

For the last seven years, I have lost touch with the real world more than I have grown and learned from it. From the minute I wake up to the second I go to sleep, my mind races with my thumbs as I scroll through feeds. Why do I feed this addiction? Why don’t I treat it as though it was a life or death situation and try to fix it immediately? I tend to treat it as fairly, maybe if I just delete the apps for a few days, a few weeks, a few months… maybe then I will be fine. But I end up struggling with the hesitation of actually taking that next step either way.

As I gaze emotionlessly into my phone screen, I begin to feel my eyes sink into a place somewhere else. I can feel it sucking the life out of me. I have always questioned this feeling, whether or not it’s worth it. It’s a simple answer: No. But apparently it is not that easy to just walk away from it when I have spent so many years with it. Don’t get me wrong; it’s very inspiring to see people living out their happiest days, but I have come to the realization that seeing these people has the power of making me feel like I am wasting my time, my days, and my life. I’m not at a beautiful beach in California or sitting with friends in a dim coffee shop at two in the morning in New York. I’m here in an average town and there isn’t much I can do about that for a while.

When it comes down to it, it’s not just the social media apps; it’s the dependency on phones in general: to remind me when I need to do my homework, when to eat, when to text my cousins “happy birthday”, where to go to get a certain ingredient for a recipe. I even find myself dependent on my phone to remember my long list of favorite films and to remember MY responsibilities. But the truth is my phone could completely malfunction and erase all of my storage: every trace of every memory, every note I have saved containing quotes that I found inspiring, and every “to-do list.” I admit that I need to stop being so dependent on my phone, because it truly can be gone in an instant. After that, who is there to blame?

I realize way too often how much more beautiful life is without my phone in my hands. With so much being digital these days (newspapers, magazines, books, music, and even communicating with people),I truly cherish the real things: vinyls/CDs, hard-copy books, actual magazines and being with people face-to-face. It’s so much more meaningful to have those connections rather than something that could be deleted when you wake up the next morning.

On a real note, I am trying everyday to break away from this major trend of technology. To breathe. To not be distracted during movies, while reading, doing my school work and even late nights spent with the people I love most in this world. The older I get the more I realize how much of a trap we got into at such a young age. I feel deeply for the generation born at the peak of all of this; it’s all that they will ever know. This is all that they will depend on. They won’t experience the boredom of a late summer’s day when all there was to do was play outside with the neighborhood kids and imagine a world bigger than their own. Whenever they want entertainment, they will turn to a computer game or to an app of some sort rather than explore the imagination their mind has to offer. I feel deeply for them, and I am grateful to have grown up with the imagination that I did. It opened so many doors for me.

Life really does happen all around you no matter how many hours you spend on a phone. Take a day or two to relax. Step back from your normal routine of updating statuses. Go “off the grid” for a while. I truly believe that eventually this “trend” will fade away like all new and exciting things. Life is too short to live behind a tiny screen. Go see things with your own eyes, your own heart and soul. Who knows… maybe you’ll discover a whole new meaning to life.