Millennials are often criticized for being lazy, coddled, victimized and much more. Generations before millennials condemn them for their lack of ability to have face-to-face communication. They claim that technology has created a new form of communicating that forces our eyes to be glued to a screen. They talk at length about the differences in “their day” and how technology is slowly destroying the new generations. While some of these claims may be true, technology isn’t ruining upcoming generations, it’s just changing them.
I’ll admit that I probably don’t have as much face-to-face contact with people that my parents did when they were my age. My usual means of communication involve texting or Facebook messaging someone when I need to talk to them. Our generation has become accustomed to this expedient and convenient way of interacting, handling everything from the safety of anonymity. This amount of camouflaged communication could be adding to the social issues that are rising in this developing generation. For instance, it is more common in this generation for people to experience anxiety when attending social events, and maybe the culprit is the lack of face-to-face correspondence.
Nevertheless, numerous communication options have improved this generation’s way of living in many ways. We have the ability to talk to people whenever we want, no matter where they are. We can instantly catch up with family and friends who live across the country, we can FaceTime our parents when we miss them or even save time and conduct job interviews online using Skype. Since these new forms of communicating are so effortless, we are talking more often. This enhanced communication may reduce face-to-face contact, but it increases communication overall which strengthens relationships.
Like many new-age advancements, technological communication has its pros and cons. For example, growing communication can be helpful and harmful to most modern relationships. In this age, most couples use technology to talk to each other everyday via text. In decades before, couples who didn’t live together were only able to talk on a landline phone or when they got together in person. Present-day couples could potentially be stronger due to the increased amount of communication, but it could also disrupt the stepping-stone process that helps relationships gradually develop. If relationships grow too quickly, it may push people away when a couple feels that they need space from the constant contact that rapidly comes with dating in this age.
It’s easy to see why there are disagreements about technology between generations. Millennials have grown up surrounded by a completely different mindset than their parents. Despite popular opinion, there is no “better” or “worse” generational lifestyle — they’re just different. Pre-millennial generations often view technology as an destructive force that has changed traditional ways of living, but millennials couldn’t picture life without valuable technology at their fingertips. While modern technology may be new, differences in generations aren’t. Each generation will continue to be entirely different from the last, and there will always be criticism from those who think they were part of “the best generation.” Technology isn’t going anywhere, in fact, it’s just going to become more prevalent in our lives in the future. Whether it be how we contact our family members or how we order a pizza, we have to adapt to present-day technologies without retaining expectations and presumptions of the past.