TECHNOLOGY CONTROLS THE LIVES OF MILLENNIALS AND IT'S A LITTLE SCARY

POSTED SEPT. 8TH, 2017 | BY MICHAELA P. SHELTON

The worst thing about millennials is our addiction to the digital age and social media. Some people may argue with me, but I feel like my claim is accurate, millennials lives are too controlled by technology.

Had an argument with your significant other? Had a rough day at work? Feeling sick? What’s the first thing a lot of us do? We instantly go to social media or our phones in general to let everyone know. We could not post and just take time to ourselves to deal with whatever happened but no! We have to keep our followers/ friends updated. Some people even post things like “Time to take a break from social media for a while” like really? You start your “break” by posting a status. Our generation is a mess and I feel like it will only get worse from here.

To some people nothing feels better than having a terrible day and then seeing that their selfie got 74 likes. Did their pic only get 8 likes? Now they're in an even worse mood than before. A lot of us let social media likes and conversations regulate our lives and esteem and it shouldn’t. This control that technology and social media has on millennials is a major contributing factor to why so many people have committed suicide due to cyberbullying.

Megan Meier was a 13 year old girl from Missouri. She got into an argument with one of her friends and the friend’s mom decided to create a fake Myspace profile and pretend to be a boy who liked her. After sweet talking and swooning with Megan for months, Lori Drew (the friend’s mother) started cyberbullying Megan. Megan became extremely depressed and ended up hanging herself on October 26, 2016 after receiving the message “Everybody in O'Fallon knows who you are. You are a bad person and everybody hates you. Have a shitty rest of your life. The world would be a better place without you."

Situations like this occur on a regular basis and they shouldn’t! No one in general should have this much control over anyone, but especially no one via the internet. This is why as much as I love technology and social media I feel like it can be extremely detrimental to millennials. Two months from now Megan would have turned 25, but due to someone’s abuse of social media and her unhealthy addiction to it she is dead.

Even when we are “alone” I’m pretty sure our cellphones, tablets or laptops are somewhere close by. Instead of focusing on whatever task is at hand, we just can’t pass up the opportunity to tweet, post or snap. Long, long ago back in our parent’s times they would go somewhere and would actually be alone. There were no cellphones, no texting, no social media, none of that. Prior to the rise of the digital age people were able to get a piece of mind without any distractions besides maybe a pager. In 2017, it is nothing like this.

Insecure season 2 illustrates how much technology and social media is controlling our lives. Season 1 ended with Issa and Lawrence’s break up and season 2 chronicles the aftermath. Although Issa and Lawrence haven’t seen each other and don’t communicate they are well aware of what is going on in each other’s lives due to their friends but mostly social media. One of Issa’s friends tells her that Lawrence is seeing someone new and how does she respond? She instantly pulls out her phone and starts investigating via Instagram.  Within seconds Issa finds the new chick, Tasha’s, Instagram and she now can stalk her ex boyfriend’s new chick. It’s that simple! There is also a scene where Issa puts her phone face down and tries not to look at Tasha’s profile. However, she gives in and does it. I think this scene is a perfect illustration of how much we are controlled by technology. Even when we don’t want to engage in it, we can’t control it. I don’t know about you, but I have definitely been here before.

Even when we aren’t all over social media we can be enjoying our day and all it takes is a text message to change our entire mood. You can be doing an activity you enjoy and someone can text you something and you will suddenly become distracted and focused on this text conversation. Even when you tell yourself you are going to focus, you feel the vibration from your pocket and can’t help but obsess over who it is and what they’re saying. This is illustrated in the OWN show Greenleaf. Zora is with her cousin Zoey in the car and she says she will stop texting her boyfriend. We hear her phone vibrate and seeing how much withdrawal Zora has, Zoey tells Zora to go ahead and look at her phone. Like a crack head, Zora excitingly grabs her phone and starts back texting. This may be an example from television, but this is how some people really are. When you really break down how committed we are to technology it’s a little scary.

I know that there are those millennials that do not feed into all this technology at our disposal, but without doing research I can conclude that the number of us who do outweighs the number of us who don’t. I was researching ways to live a more relaxing lifestyle on Pinterest and one of the suggestions I found was to have a phone detox once a week. A lot of people who partake in this do it on Wednesdays, because it is in the middle of the week and I think this is a great idea. Having alone time and not being so engulfed into the digital world is a healthy practice. Even if you do it for a couple hours a day, take some time to meditate, withdraw from the world and truly be “alone.” Although this is a smell step, I think a phone detox is the first step for millenials to not be so dependent on technology.

Michaela P. Shelton is Managing Editor of CSUITEMUSIC.com

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