As the human race evolves and changes over time, so does technology…. how does it affect your day-to-day?
This post comes from our friend and Studio City store manager, Niree.
Human Interaction. Two simple words that, when united in a sentence, can be interpreted in so many ways. As the human race evolves and changes over time, so does technology. What we can access and share now is completely different to what we were able to 20 years ago. When I was a 14-year-old student, (and that was exactly 20 years ago), it was all about “the pager.” We didn’t have cell phones, we didn’t communicate much via email, and we didn’t utilize the computer for social media. As a teenager of that decade, the computer was reserved as a device for writing papers and nothing else. We used to think “the pager” was the coolest thing and would send codes to friends using numbers. For example, “143” was the code used to say “I love you,” “777” was code for “I hate you,” and using symbols to make hearts and smiley faces were the best.
Cell phones didn’t exist in school. At recess, we would play dodgeball or basketball and, if not in the mood, would just hang out at the cafeteria talking about “which kid got in trouble that day,” or “who was dating who,” and “who was fighting with their best friend,” etc. As teenagers, we talked amongst ourselves and looked at one another while doing so. What did that teach me? Human Interaction. It taught me to look in one’s eyes when spoken to, it taught me how to read people by their mannerisms and not just by the words they used, it taught me that a smile that does not reach the eyes is a smile not to be trusted and, most importantly, over time, it genuinely helped me find like-minded friends.
As I look at our new crop of teenagers, I find them to be much more mature than I was in regard to appearance. With the power of social media playing a huge role in this new generation, I find myself asking what many parents probably ask themselves, “when do I give my kid a cell phone?” I am not a parent but, if I were, I would probably ask myself that exact same thing, especially if I had a daughter. There is truth to the phrase “girls mature faster than boys.” Nowadays, I think ‘kids’ already look like teenagers, and many ‘teenagers’ already look like adults. It’s safe to say that social media plays a vital role in this new generation of women. What I personally looked like when I was 14 years old would probably resemble what a 9-year-old looks like today: I am dead serious. Why? I had no idea how to put on make-up, and even if I tried, my parents would forbid it. I went to school and everyone looked like me, and because of that, I never felt the pressure of what teenage girls nowadays probably go through. How would I compete with a Kardashian look-alike at the age of 17? I couldn’t. I can’t now, much less when I was twenty years younger. There was no Instagram, no Snapchat. There was no TMZ, no E News, no cell phones permitted in school with apps chronicling the countless ways to look better by using the “right filter.” These are all things that came with the advancement of technology. To all the parents raising children today, my question to you is, “How do you go about setting boundaries, and is it hard for you to set them when your kids complain and compare?”
That being said, the positives of technology outweigh the negatives by far. With the power of technology and social media apps, we can connect with family and friends all over the world by simply pressing a button. We can physically ‘see’ our loved ones by FaceTiming them, we can use the internet to research anything and everything (which can be amazing and detrimental), and we can connect with almost anybody we want to, instantly. The Power of Technology lies in its Power of Connectivity. It gives the Human Race tools to connect and learn so many different things. With that said, I also think it is making a dent in our ability to interact with the human race. I see it every day at work. When I am on that selling floor, I see teenagers enamored by a picture they’re sharing with friends. I see them take pictures and make expressions with no real message to their audience, and I see them not look at me while I am talking to them. To some of them, I am invisible. That might be okay in high school, but when you are out in the real world without the comfort of home and are out there as a young adult trying to make something of yourself, that will only get you so far. So I ask myself, “What is the boundary and how does one set it?” because it varies from child to child and circumstance. It’s difficult.
I ask myself, 20 years from now, how am I going to view a cell phone? Will we physically interact and talk to one another or will there be a gadget for that? It’s scary to me because we are not honing in and developing our intuition and ability to connect without the power of technology. Where does that leave us as a human race? Will we even feel, or will we feel invisible the majority of the time? I hope not. Balance is the key, but how do we teach that balance to the upcoming generation if the balance isn’t set at home? Time will tell. Until than, what can we do now?
We can talk to one another, we can look people in the eye when asked a question, without glancing at our cell phones, we can enjoy the view without looking at it via a lens….we can basically enjoy the moment without wanting to have 500 hundred people ‘like it.’ Enjoy the moment for you.