The Oracle

Letter From The Editor: December Edition

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Editor-In-Chief: Angel Trinh

More stories from Angel Trinh

Cadenza!
March 21, 2018

Smartphones are crucial to our daily lives. Most people can’t go a day without tapping on a screen. Social media and texting have opened new doors for contacting people far and wide. Skype and Facetime allow us to see and speak to people who live across the globe.

Social media can be extremely valuable in gaining support through fundraisers, sharing posts to locate missing children, or even drive awareness movements such as #MeToo for sexual assault (see page 06). On the other hand, people can communicate without being face to face, so leaving a hurtful comment is too easy. This presents a harmful culture of cyberbullying and constant judgement from the world, which is creating a society of insecure individuals who are afraid of being who they are.

Our technology can be beneficial in escaping awkward and/or uncomfortable situations. We’re able to avoid physical interaction and occupy ourselves with the expansive abyss of the internet, which creates a culture of evasion where people don’t allow themselves to be bored anymore. When we arrive early to class, meetings, or other events, our phones keep us entertained and distracted. It’s rare to see people talking to another with genuine connections. We’d rather “get to know” people miles away than talk to the people standing two feet in front of us.

I recently came across an app called “Forest: Stay Focused” when a friend used it by setting the timer for a plant to grow. The app sent redirects which said “Stay focused!” and “Stop phubbing!” Phubbing? What was that? As a language enthusiast, I had to know what it meant. With google’s help, we found that phubbing is the practice of ignoring one’s companion or companions in order to pay attention to one’s phone or other mobile device. Wow, we are so addicted to the technology that we need a whole new word to define the problem.

I’ve recently experienced the effects of being dependent on technology when I had issues with a family member. I didn’t feel confident enough to talk to them about a problem that had gone on too long. I knew I didn’t have all the skills to make my point adequately so I just texted them about my concerns even though it wouldn’t be as effective. Long story short, it didn’t work and the problem continued. I eventually mustered enough confidence to approach my family member in person. I broke down just like I had predicted. This lack of communication skills seems to be due to this culture where we preoccupy ourselves with something else instead of approaching the problem appropriately. “You know, this problem really bothers me, but let’s check out what my friends are doing on snapchat.”

The generation after us will be much worse. Many parents stick a screen in the faces of their children whenever they’re upset. The kids aren’t taught how to manage their feelings. All they know is that they’re mad/sad but suddenly there are games or videos to distract them. This teaches them that that magical screen is the answer to their unhappiness. Soon, they’ll always be upset unless they have the device. Does that thought sicken anyone else? The parents themselves are promoting the escapism culture when they have the phone calm their child down instead of communicating with them to help solve the problem and make them feel better. When these kids become parents, they’re going to do the same thing and the cycle won’t stop until we’re all robots. We need to take charge and make sure that doesn’t happen.

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Letter From The Editor: December Edition