Editorial: Living Through A Screen

by Mark Kiley

Class of 2016

Many parents perpetually complain that teenagers spend excessive amounts of time on their phones, and while many young people believe that these accusations are the result of a generational divide, the parents may be right. Younger people today seem to have an insatiable need to share even the most minuscule parts of their daily lives. Many people do not truly take in the most exciting moments of their lives, instead they spend those moments peering into a screen trying to create Snapchat stories that will be gone in a matter of hours, or Snapchats that will disappear in a few short seconds.

It is easy to assume that the concerns of parents originate from their lack of understanding of technology, but this may be just that, an assumption.  Technology has evolved considerably in recent years and so have our ways of communicating and behaving. Social media has connected the world and provided almost unlimited entertainment to anyone who wishes to use it. Some argue that social media and mobile phone applications are similar to how television has captivated people for decades. However, social media differs from traditional media sources such as television and movies because instead of watching movie stars and celebrities on screen, the stars of social media are often our friends, classmates, and family members.

Social media gives each user their own platform to express themselves and this leads many people to meticulously sculp their online personas. It is impossible to attend a concert or other event without seeing what seems like thousands of phones being raised in the air as fans try to capture a grainy video to share the experience with others. Instead of living in the moment and enjoying their experiences, many people feel the need to share what they are doing on their Snapchat or Instagram accounts. There is obviously some acceptable level of social media use but the question must be raised: how much is too much?

Many young people seem to place incredible value on likes and comments and less value on life experiences. It is time that we start taking in the world around us instead of just trying to capture it on our phones to impress others. This generation has created a cycle of over-sharing that has caused people to feel that they need to share everything to “prove” that they have an exciting or interesting life. Instagram and snapchat are fun applications to share photos with friends and family, but maybe it is time that we put our phones down and enjoy life as it happens.

Mark Kiley is a student in Advanced Placement English Language and Composition.