Today I will be interviewing my mom Reagan, born in 1967, and her upbringing in today’s technological world. Not only will I be talking of her experiences, but I will be drawing similarities and differences between her life from childhood into college compared to my own.
- How would you describe your childhood without technology?
- R: “Well, my childhood was quite different to your own. I mean, growing up, there wasn’t much of technology other than landlines. I didn’t know any different, technology was remote and in the background most of the time. For me, it was awesome. Getting to live in the moment rather than feel attached to a product was amazing, I felt free and independent. Especially when going off to do things with friends, my parents had to trust me to follow the rule of coming home. I was able to find some independence from them in those scenarios.”
- What do you think of the accessibility to different media in society today?
- I find is so crazy how we basically have the world at the push of a button. All of the different streaming services that we can access and all of the different forms of media that are also available are insane. It is nice to be able to jump from YouTube to Netflix. Even though I have only known a world of technology growing up, the amount of access we have to other states, other countries, other people is mindboggling.
- “There is a lot of it, like you said, super accessible, and yet with how much there is it feels like there is still nothing to watch. The accessibility we have to technology in today’s society oftentimes feels of lower quality to cable television. Plenty of streaming services, like Netflix and Hulu, have so many shows, which impacts the amount of time given to that singular show. What I have watched shows the quality. Not only is quality something media impacts, but with the accessibility it often seems like people are sticking their heads in the sand and procrastinating, I mean I am that way sometimes.”
- What has been your reaction to the fast pace evolution of technology throughout the past couple of decades?
- It is neverending. It is so wild that Apple is able to release a new iPhone every year. That devices are able to become more compact and mobile. I remember playing video games with my brother on our Xbox, not even Xbox 360, and now we can walk around with a Nintendo Switch and play against other while mobile. Sometimes, it is scary how quickly technology evolves. The unknown of technology and how far it can go does scare me when I think about it too much.
- “Initially when mobile phones were introduced, I was surprised. It was exciting to have such a convenient piece of technology, to make phone calls while on the go. Now, having the world in my pocket scares me. Having access to media like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter can bring a lot of hurt to people’s mental health. Being able to see the news at the snap of our fingers is unsettling. Having gone most of my life without technology to how far it has gotten in today’s world has messed with me.”
- Do you think today’s technological world is helping or hurting our society?
- I think technology, like many other things, has a contribution to both sides of the argument. We are able to connect with one another internationally like no one has been able to do before. We hear our news quicker than ever before. Technology can help us feel connected to others outside of our circle. With my phone, I am able to have this interview with my mother, who is over 100 miles away from me as we speak.
- Yet there are drawbacks to having such accessible information. Misinformation and hate can be spread far easier in today’s world. Social media apps like Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube can set up an ideal life that leaves others wanting more rather than enjoying what they have. The destruction of one’s self-image is often the result of high societal standards via technology and social media. It is hard to truly be authentic online, it is quite vulnerable.
- “In my mind, I miss how my childhood was. Like I said, the freedom and independence was amazing throughout elementary, middle, and high school. Your dad and I tried to keep you away from technology for the longest time. Yet, we succumbed to it because so was every other parent. The world I see, seems to only be hurt by technology. It has been hard to watch others become dependent on the internet, dependent on a small metal device.”
Having grown up in two very different generations, my mom and I have quite different opinions on a variety of things related to technology. We both do agree on how the convenience is nice. Having the ability to travel with our phones to different parts of the world and still be in contact with one another is revolutionary. Seeing each other face to face while thousands of miles apart is, once again, mindboggling. We also both know technology will never go away and that it is intriguing to see where we go next as a society.
Machine Evolution by H Alberto Gongora from NounProject.com