ADHD girl rambles on about hating the intense connection between our generation and tech.
Written by Kayla Pocos
We’re evolving to live side-by-side with our phones. The Guardian reported in 2018 that kids are coming to school without the muscle used for pencil dexterity. They’re so used to poking the pad that now we have a generation of kids that can’t hold pencils and phantom scroll during nap time — which, if you haven’t seen the videos of kids scrolling in their sleep, get ready to understand the mind of Kaczynski. Another fun evolutionary symptom: crooked pinkies. Check your hands, because “smart-phone pinky” is a very real thing.
I love scrolling. Seeing pops of colors and loud sounds. I’m a 21-year-old iPad baby that particularly loves fashion and skate-boarding videos. I spend hours watching the coolest videos that leave me feeling incomplete and daydreaming about a different reality. Scrolling is our generation’s opiate. We scroll and numb our minds, which is called dissociation. I started this essay last week. Where has the time gone? Instagram doomscrolling, Youtube numbing; I don’t remember or care about anything I’ve seen on my phone this past week. Even when I’m with friends, we both end up scrolling on our phones in a comfortable silence. I was at a party the other week and while we were all sitting around talking, you can’t help noticing the 3 or 4 people just sitting on their phones. Engaging with others in real life is becoming harder and harder. So, what do we do?
The comfort of alone time and our hand-picked personalized feeds are just mirages. I put off everything and anything for just five more minutes. Five more minutes of what? I’m not benefiting myself in any way whatsoever. I’m actually sabotaging myself big-time. I don’t like who I am when I’m glued to my phone, I don’t like being around others that are glued to their phone. The only change you can make is yourself, so where do I begin?
Over the summer I tried my hand at using The Light Phone, a four-inch “dumb phone” which is a small touch-screen capable of call, minimal text, directions and alarms. The main essentials. If the phone wasn’t so goddamn small, it could actually be useful. The smartphone rules the market, obviously, every person reading these will either have an iPhone or an Android. Life nowadays is made for this. Using a phone that can’t scan QR codes, access the internet or get apps is just not feasible as a student or working person today. We have to be a phone call away at all times for anyone or anything. Three days of no response is seen as worrisome, rude or ghosting. We seem to be evolving to live side-by-side with technology and I, for one, absolutely hate it. Technology has its amazing qualities, but why does it feel as though it’s a needed part of my life to have a phone or laptop at access? That can’t be normal. Life is easy because of technology, why make it hard?
My generation was raised alongside technology. We didn’t invent it, we were the lab rats. I have a younger sister, I wouldn’t call her an IPad kid, but she has seen everything available on Netflix and YouTube Kids. It makes me sad seeing her glued to screens. It’s upsetting because I know what she can and will be exposed to. I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with tech. My best memories as a kid were making iMovie shorts with my brother, or running home every Friday from school for the new “Fridays with PewDiePie” episode. Then social media came around, and as the internet was growing darker, I was going through puberty — perfect timing. I grew up experiencing what seemed like normal internet play: naked pictures, porn GIFs surprising you every so often on iFunny, Vine or Twitter, and grown men exposing themselves in chat rooms. That’s just the internet! Unrestricted like the Wild West, our parents had no idea what we had access to. There’s dark content out there. Boys in my class found it hilarious to try finding the most graphic and gruesome posts on LiveLeak while it was still running. For those who have the privilege of not knowing what LiveLeak is, it’s a website (taken down in 2021) where people could post murder, rape (of all kinds) and pretty much every graphic thing the human brain could muster. Dark rabbit holes on the internet grab young people’s attention so easily. It’s so easy to hit yes, I’m 18 and see something that would make a grown man sleep in bed with his mama that night.
Don’t even get me started on the way men treat women nowadays because of the internet. Actually, I will get started — if you’re dating or trying to date nowadays, it’s messed up. Dating apps, porn and phobias towards commitment are ruining dating. According to The Guardian, relationships formed on online dating platforms tend to become sexual much faster than other relationships. Expert Dr. Marie Bergström continues, “On online dating platforms, you see people meeting a lot of sexual partners. It is easier to have a short-term relationship, not just because it’s easier to engage with partners — but because it’s easier to disengage, too. These are people who you do not know from elsewhere, that you do not need to see again.”
"The comfort of alone time and our hand-picked personalized feeds are just mirages."
I say my shit, but I’m no saint. I’m guilty of ghosting and I’m guilty of an online flirt-and-fling. Trying to seriously date in today’s economy? Pfft. He’s got three girls on his roster, and I’ve got a date after this. It’s hard to be a loving sweetheart when I’m a varsity player in the game. My plan in this regard: ban men ‘til I’m 25. I’m waiting until those prefrontals are fully formed. All jokes aside, tech is here to stay. As it evolves, I fear we devolve. Maybe I’ll “Walden” this shit and just go live by myself in the woods for a while. I could get a van and deck it out, shower in Planet Fitnesses all over the country. Nah, I’m happy, and life is good. If all I can do is leave my phone in my bag as much as humanly possible, then that’s what I’ll do, ‘cause the only change in the world you can make is you.