By Amira Francis, Staff Writer
Type “Texting turns 20” into your state-of-the-art iPhone, the search engine on your laptop at home or your easily transportable iPad, and what will you find? You will be reminded that something we pretty much all take for granted wasn’t always alive and functioning for your convenience.
As a 90s kid, I’ve grown up with a lot of things my parents never had. In fact, I didn’t even realize that my parents lived without these things until I was much, much older. A world without snap chatting? Please.
In all seriousness, though, it can be nice to stop and take a moment to appreciate all of the commodities that fill today’s social life. And it can be humbling to think about all of the ways that life would be different without technology. What would our social lives be like?!
Certainly, without technology, information would travel a lot more slowly. You wouldn’t know the news that your cousin is having a baby without the excited phone call, you wouldn’t hear that your uncle is getting divorced again without the self-righteous Facebook status. Although, hey—maybe that would be a GOOD thing. I mean, half of us receive our social information through Facebook stalking. How healthy can that be?
If we didn’t have technology, it might actually strengthen relationships. Nowadays, the fact that you sent a letter to your dad or reached out to your long-lost best friend through carrier pigeon means everything to them. It would certainly clear out your friend list if the only people who talk to you were the ones who really wanted your company. And yes, everyone loves saying that they have tons of friends, and maybe technology even convinces them that they do have tons of friends, but sometimes it’s good to know the fake friendships from the real ones. A lack of technology would filter out the bad relationships and strengthen the good ones.
If there were no technology, it might also make you (and society) more productive. Wait, what? More productive? Well, no, not in some ways. For example, with that research project you need to do, does the teacher think you’re going to go to the lengths to retrieve all of your information from the good ol’ library and its wonderful collection? Hell no. But think about all of the time you spend wasting on the Internet. What if that just wasn’t there?! What if you spent that time learning something you’ve always wanted to learn, or visiting somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit? Yes, it’s cliche. And yes, it’s worth thinking about.
Mind you, there are plenty of things that technology makes you thankful for. It’s difficult to feel isolated when surrounded by thousands of Facebook friends. You are always connected to the news, always connected to society, always connected to the world. Technology, of course, has simplified things in a lot of ways. And we should always be thankful for that. I would just say: be careful about over-using these miraculous technological inventions. Don’t break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend through texting, don’t make all of your friends through the Internet and don’t become a recluse because you’re addicted to Tumblr. Life is full of many important, invigorating experiences. Appreciate technology, but get out there and enjoy what’s around you, too.
Oh, and happy birthday, texting.