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Home of the Delta Kings

Stagg Online

Home of the Delta Kings

Stagg Online

DIVISIVE DEVICES: Technology separates family

As I peer through the entrance to my brothers’ room, I see that the lights are off. Both of my brothers are propped up in a corner of the room with the light from their electronics flooding their faces white, and their expressions are the same. They are concentrated. I knock and walk in, trying to greet my siblings. Despite my obvious entrance in the room, they never once look up from their iPhone and DSi.

I back out of their room and head to the living room, hoping to spend some time with my sister. She is, as my brothers were, totally unaware of her surroundings, and concentrated on the TV, watching “Adventure Time.”

Disappointed, I now head off to find the youngest of my siblings, maybe to play some Legos or maybe build a train set with him. But alas, he is in his room, scrolling through shark videos on the YouTube iPad app.

The fact that my entire family, including my parents, are always so sucked up into their electronic devices irritates me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am on my laptop more than I should be, and most of the time connected to some form of technology.

But when it comes to the point where it disrupts a family’s time together, when it takes away the meaning of saying something, when it makes life all about getting more followers or friends, that’s when I get upset.

On the rare occasions that my family does go out to eat or sits together at the dinner table, it feels like we’re not even together. We are all focused on what’s beneath our fingertips, so we don’t even acknowledge each other’s presence. And when we get home from a long day at school or work, we seclude ourselves in our rooms with our phones, iPods, gaming systems, laptops, or televisions.

We lose our sense of how to interact.

In our technologically-advanced world, it has become so easy to never talk to someone in person. We can brush someone off in real life, but then log onto the wonderful World Wide Web, and become a different person. We aren’t shy when we only have to type. And while the means of communication may help give a voice to introverted people, it takes away their opportunity to learn and talk and listen.

Not only that, but we can be “friends” with someone, without actually having enthralling conversations with them. And it’s the tweets and short texts that seem to be the cause. Because of the 140 character restriction, we have almost lost all means of development, or building upon what we have said. And it is this lack of analysis that is detrimental to our friendships, society and language.

We have so many words in our now advanced language, but we aren’t saying anything meaningful.

While it is sometimes fine to be short and to the point, other times it isn’t. These little blurbs of text don’t take much time to read or to write. Although it’s easy to just throw a status update or a tweet out there, there comes a time when it is not okay. We tend to make our sentences short. We tend to not build upon what we are saying.

We’re saying things simply for the sake of saying something. There is no justification, no need, but we tell ourselves that what we want to say is what we need to say.

And all the while, those who say nothin get increasingly more popular. It seems that our Internet popularity is based on who can post the most inane updates or most pointless pictures. It’s as if life is one big competition with everyone is fighting for followers and friends. Because of this, there’s an increasing distinction between who is “popular” and who isn’t.

We get so caught up in focusing on the number of likes and retweets we have that everything else seems meaningless. If you don’t get more than a certain amount of likes on a post, then you’re not considered a part of the trending, and that just isn’t right.

While the Internet and all of the technology around us may have its perks, like research or talking to a friend long distance, it brings us down in another sense. The opportunity the Internet brings is endless, but sometimes, like the seeming obsession my family and I have with our gadgets, it’s easy to get lost in the devices we have and forget.

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DIVISIVE DEVICES: Technology separates family