Technology addiction is socially mandated

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By Jacqueline Lytle

Millennials and technology seem to go hand-in-hand. The constant commentary made by non-millennials is a recurring reminder that apparently millennials, or those of us born between 1981 and 1997 according to Pew Research Center, can’t live without a phone in our hands or a computer in our faces. And while that may be true because of the world we grew up in, I actually don’t like technology all that much and adored my childhood before the invention of Facebook and the necessity of the internet.

While many of my generation cling to their laptops and pout when their phones aren’t acting right – the latter I’m occasionally guilty of – we don’t necessarily feed off these devices because we want to. I mean, how can we complete a college assignment without a computer? How can I maintain constant communication with my colleagues and stay alert for important emails without a cell phone? Last time I checked, I couldn’t write up a report and submit it to turnitin.com. I also can’t answer a review question on TopHat without access to a mobile phone or tablet. And I surely can’t be readily available – a necessity as an editor-in-chief of a newspaper – without keeping my iPhone on me at all times.

Of course, we also use technology for personal reasons. Texting and social media help us stay in contact and up-to-date with our friends, numerous applications give us music to listen to and games to play, television keeps us alert to daily news and trending shows, and the internet affords us the ability to online shop, order food and search the meaning of words.

Yet, while we surely utilize technology for fun, without it, we’d get left behind. Think about it. Is it even possible to complete a college course without some form of technology? Can you think of a job that doesn’t require the use of technology in some way or another? I can’t, and that says something about our society, not about millennials. Whether owned or borrowed, liked or disliked, technology has become a necessity.

Non-millennials can continue to claim we millennials can’t survive without our eyes glued to a phone or our fingers fused to a keyboard, but that just isn’t true. I’m a millennial, and if I could ditch my phone and computer for even two weeks without losing my job or damaging my grades, I would. I’m sure I’m not alone.

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