Mind / Relationships

The Disconnect in our Generation

In half a minute, with just a few movements of our fingers, a message can be sent through text or chat quicker than it is to pour yourself a glass of water… all thanks to technology.

Just words

Only about a decade ago, it was nearly impossible to let someone you were supposed to meet at 3pm in McDonald’s know that you were going to be a bit late because of an accident, a sudden change of plans, or if you weren’t going to be able to make it at all anymore. Now, as easy as it is to make an arrangement, it’s just as easy to get out of it by giving an excuse beforehand or even last minute, whether sincere or not, with less amount of effort, time, and even guilt.

A few decades ago, the only way to get someone to go out with you was to call up their house, clear your throat, and bottle up the courage to ask them… or you could just simply walk up to them and blurt it out. If the answer was a yes, then you’d anxiously and eagerly wait around for the said date and cherish those 4 to 5 hours you have with them.

Now, you can quickly type out the sentence, “Hey! Do you wanna…?” with the help of autocorrect, hiding behind a screen, and often times even concealing the word, “date” by blurring the lines with a longer but less intimidating word like “hang out”. Next thing you know, you’re ‘hanging out’ and having a good time. Thankfully there are still some people who remember to send out a thank you message afterwards. And as often as you can still keep in contact, as often as you can still hang out– the question is– will you?

Will you confuse what you can cherish if nearly everything nowadays comes so often and easy?

Personal relationships, whether friendships or romantic relationships, should be valued and respected no matter what decade you’re living in.

Generation: Easy, Easier, Easiest

Today, it’s become so easy to contact people; however, it’s becoming just as easy to take them for granted. We live in a generation that aches more when we accidentally drop our phones than when we intentionally drop people from our lives.

It’s easy to have a video call conversation on your laptop while you’re flipping through tabs, refreshing timelines, reading an article, playing a game, loading a video, replying to three other people on chat, and skimming through albums of last weekend’s happenings. It’s a skill to be able to multi-task effortlessly, but it’s becoming a disease to effortlessly lose clear sight of the person on the other end of the call that you’re juggling together with all your other tasks. It’s easy to contact people so it’s pretty easy to ask someone to go out with you on any given day, two weeks from now; it’s also easy to agree to somebody else’s invite on the exact same day, and make other plans. Piling up plans and people on the same day, until it’s suddenly really easy for you to cancel.

We’ve been making so many connections, but why has it become so easy for us to disconnect?

The times

Why take for granted and throw away what our parents worked hard for and wished for back in the day, when it’s already right in front of us now? In retrospect, what anyone will ever really want is time, because time means chances. A chance to pop a question. A chance to say what you’ve been rehearsing in front of the mirror. A chance to finally carry out what you’ve pictured in your mind a thousand times before falling asleep. A chance to have a better conversation. Another chance to see that person that makes your heart beat a little faster.

iPod, iTouch, iPhone, iPad… But some things remain even for our parents, their parents’ parents, our kids, and let’s admit it, even us. In fact, iFeel, iWant, iWish, to spend more time with the person iLike and the people iLove. The latest fads of gadgets may change but the human heart will never cease to beat for the same reasons.

In half a minute, with just a few movements of our fingers, quicker than it is to finish a glass of water, a message can be sent through text or chat, thanks to technology. Time doesn’t just mean chances; time means opportunities.

Cyber walls and other worlds

Take this opportunity given by technology to mean what you say, to live up to your promises, and to cherish the effort people put in towards building relationships and real connections. We shouldn’t overlook what will timelessly matter for just another one of our tasks in a day because good relationships and real connections don’t come so often and easy anymore.

Don’t get lost in all the quick typing, tab switching, and clicking behind the cyber walls and bubbles we’ve subconsciously built to protect ourselves in a misdirected attempt at making life easier. These walls are being built on bricks made of missed calls and chat emojis, ‘like buttons’ and double taps, notification sounds and desensitized vibrations.

We spend countless hours scrolling on our lit up screens instead of strolling in the city streets that have lit up for us. We hunt for wifi hotspots more than we observe changes in our environments. We have refreshed our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds infinitely more times than we’ve actually fed our souls and our need for concrete experiences. We’re keeping ourselves from discovering and embracing what’s real out there in the other world that isn’t bound by a flat screen box running on 79% battery life. Don’t let technology make it so easy for you to take for granted what will always be of so much more value– and that’s the promises you make and the people who put their faith in you.

About the Contributor

Adrienne Tan is a self-proclaimed milk connoisseur who writes for The Lasallian, Team ABC, and her own blog. She’s a struggling Philosophy major who finds solace in cold weather and admits to be able to quote verbatim movies like, The Parent Trap and 13 Going on 30. She is currently working on a personal project to decorate the walls of her room with post cards and photographs of old movie stars.

This contributor is a customer of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®.

See all of Adrienne Tan's posts →

Photo by Enzo Cruz. For more of his work, visit his Instagram.

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