“Technology Addict”

First published by About Our Town Community News in Piscataway, NJ in June 2015.

Hello everyone, my name is Rachel Theodora Appleton and I’m a technology addict. Today I did well, and only checked my social media apps two times an hour. Each day I’m getting better…

Being born in the early 90s, I can reflect upon a small time of my life that wasn’t consumed by technology. Up until only about 7th grade, I had freedom. But the kids I see today have no insight into what life was like before the “Apple Era” or the “App Age.” Now it wasn’t like my parents childhood where they played with the kids on their block until the suppertime bell would ring and that was your night. It was more of a mix for people my age. We had TV and computer games, but no handhelds unless you count the Gameboy.

I can imagine what we seem like now to older generations. Zombies, plain zombies I would assume. I know a few people of the older generations that have accepted technology and started to incorporate it into their daily lives, and I also know a large number of people that won’t give it a shot. I understand both sides.

There was one day at school this past semester that stood out to me. I was on the bus headed back to the parking lot, the same day I left my phone at home. Earlier in the day when I realized I didn’t have my phone, I felt a little apprehensive, and then after thirty seconds of that feeling…I felt free. I could describe the feeling as a weight off of my backpack-heavy-shoulders. I wasn’t “connected.” It was that moment that I realized just how addicted I am to the Internet. It was a scary realization that I haven’t accepted yet.

As that day went by, I noticed that most people my age had the same addiction that I do. Since I didn’t have my phone to look at, I got to look at all the people around me. Well there wasn’t much to look at because they were all on their phones: head down, headphones in, in their own world. I began to feel that I was missing out on SO much. If I stay apart of zombie nation, there will be a loss of human interaction in my life; so many chances to meet new people will be eliminated. There are more people on the earth than there has ever been, and somehow I feel lonelier.

I’ve claimed I would go back to my flip phone (the one with no data plan) multiple times. Just texts, calls, and grainy pictures. I haven’t made the switch yet. I don’t know if I will.

Do you battle your technology addiction or do you accept it?

RAppleton14@yahoo.com

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