Is technology to blame?
Millennials. According to a document by the Council of Economic Advisors for the White House Millennials are the generation of Americans born between 1980 and the mid-2000’s. As a person who is considered a part of the millennial generation, I have come to notice that we are looped into the stereotype of being so dependent on technology that we have become afraid of face to face human communication. But really, are Millennial’s really to blame for this?
Technology is something that people in my generation are very dependent on. It’s easy to see when in what seems like every public setting people are attached to their cell phones to a point where a room packed full of people is close to silent. This is a travesty to me that people have seemed to have lost the desire to communicate with other humans. But with all of the flack Millenials have gotten from older generations about becoming “lazy and selfish” as said by Joel Stein of Time Magazine in his article “The Me Me Me generation,” the question of why this perception exists still hangs in the air.
Not that long ago, no more than ten years ago as a matter of fact, most of the simple tasks us humans encounter on a daily basis were done over the phone or in person. Examples of this would be ordering a pizza, calling the movie theater to see when and what movies were playing, or going to check your balance and make transactions at the bank or credit union.
Now, not only can you build a pizza online using virtual toppings to place your order, the movie theaters have phone apps, and of course, banks provide phone apps too, that even allow you to pay your bills without ever having any human contact at all.
So who’s to blame here? Well, really no one as far as I can tell. Businesses want to increase productivity and convenience for their customers and employees. If you can order a pizza online, it saves the time of whoever answers the phone to take your order, get your address, card number, etc. But is convenience going too far?
Really it’s not very hard to go to a bank and pay your bills confidentially by talking to another person. I personally still deal with my banking responsibilities in this sort of way simply because the internet, while banks and similar corporations take the highest precautions, is still vulnerable to hackers.
The point I am trying to prove is that no generation or group of people is directly responsible for this lack of human communication. It’s an individual choice. I doubt I’m alone in hoping that my generation is not conceived as “lazy” for too much longer, so I propose a challenge to my fellow Millennials.
Next time you are in a public place, be it an elevator, restaurant, bar, or whatever, turn off your phone. The world is not going to blow up if you turn your phone of for an hour. Also, talk to a stranger. Just strike up a conversation with the person closest to you, you may be rejected, but don’t stop. Human communication is one of the things being lost among the flood of technology. You’d be surprised how much of an impression a complete stranger can have on your life and you on theirs.