Distractions. Today’s vs Yesterday’s.

By Mackenzy Hand

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For years there have been those who have been aggravated or even angered by younger generations for their apparent incessant need to be attached to technology in some way, shape, or form. Be it their phones, tablets, computers, you name it. But is this aggravation really as founded as they think?

It is a common misconception that millennials are so connected to their phones because they need a distraction from their day to day lives. I believe that this statement is flawed. It is human nature to want and to need distraction from time to time. Humans have always been this way; it has just now become more noticeable.

Distraction comes in many forms, as it always has. Our form of distraction is a cell phone, while our grandparent’s was a newspaper. When we are riding the trains and the busses home from work or to and from class, we aren’t talking to each other, we are browsing social media or perusing the daily news. When earlier generations were riding home on busses or sitting on park benches, they weren’t talking to each other either, they were reading the newspaper, their favorite magazine, or perhaps catching up on a favorite book of theirs. People find distraction in any place they can find it. The only difference between today’s generation and that of yesterday’s, is the technology that has become available over the course time.

Technology and social media aren’t to blame for younger generations’ obliviousness. The problem is that older generations do not understand said technology, and choose to dismiss it with comments like, “Millennials! Always so distracted because they are on their phones!” This is simply a generational error and is purely circumstantial.

It isn’t that we are distracted, it’s what distracts us. Years from now there will be technology that our children and our grandchildren use that we won’t understand. That’s just the way this carrousel turns and I don’t think it will ever stop. What can change is a hard look at the trends, and a fundamental understanding of the human being and its desire for a short reprieve from reality.

 

Sources:
Slate
Odyssey

Photos:
Slate
Reddit
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UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism