What Have We Done | Teen Ink

What Have We Done

February 1, 2018
By Jas.Will BRONZE, Newark, Delaware
Jas.Will BRONZE, Newark, Delaware
4 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
" I've got goals with or without you"

Although there are some obvious benefits to having access to social media ,the world of the internet also known as cyberspace has desensitized us and I believe that it has severely damaged the society we live in today. That’s right, I said it; your Iphones, laptops, tablets and whatever else you use on a daily basis have kept you from reaching your full potential in life and it’s time that we all take a step back and have more than just a peek through a curtain at what is labeled as the bigger picture.

Most of the people we encounter on a daily basis have the potential to be kind, sweet and compassionate, but are instead seen as being self centered, rude and obnoxious trolls as the internet people would call it due to being exposed, consumed and swallowed whole by the bright screens that keep us up at night, refusing to let us sleep. Over time the use of the internet and popular social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and Snapchat have obviously grown exceptionally; even our grandparents and in some cases great grandparents who are still around today are infatuated with the idea of being able to send a quick loving message to their loved ones without actually having to really do anything. Recently, I tried to have a civil conversation with my mother regarding my options for dinner and had to wait for her reply as she sifted through her keyboard, looking for the chicken emoji. When she finally found the chicken, I told her to stop and she replied with a gif ; Yes, it’s that bad.

This is what it’s all come down to; a world based around a screen and a keyboard accompanied by emojis,likes and shares . Why is it that instead of getting fresh air and going out to explore the world, we the people bound by social media accounts stay sheltered and away from any type of actual interaction with the outside world? I know some girls who would get out of bed in the morning, get all dolled up as if they have somewhere to be just to take 20 of the same picture which to them would be insulting because in one, her hand was up and in the other her body was sort of shifted a little more to the right. All of this effort just to get back in bed for the rest of the day. We have been brainwashed and convinced that it’s okay to take unseemly photos to post on our Snapchat stories, Instagram pages, Twitter accounts and more,but for what exactly? A virtual thumbs up? This is not the correct type of social environment that we should be concerned about.

Don’t get me wrong, i’m not saying that people who are involved with social media  don’t have lives and are too focused on what filter makes them look more appealing to go out and socialize with real people ; nor am I saying that all things involving the internet are bad and it is usually just another way to gain information, so we aren’t as oblivious to events happening around us. There’s nothing wrong with having an account online and posting what you want, but it seems as though the majority of teens who immerse themselves in these activities as they sit in their rooms strengthening nothing but their thumbs, are a little more concerned with the online world than they are with the real one. I won’t lie, I am in fact a victim of this as well as many others and was easily misguided and held hostage by the idea after realizing that letting someone know that they look nice in person was out of season ; Scrolling and double tapping became an activity almost as common as blinking and sending heart eyes under a peer’s most recent photo was the new trend and don’t even get me started on cyber bullying. I will never understand why anyone would say or do things online that they would never even attempt to say or do in person. Why are some people so tempted to hide behind a screen and belittle, make fun of and discourage others? Eventually, respect, integrity, sincerity and compassion for others faded in the minds of most and everyone traded in their ability to speak with the ability to type. I would be the golden child and say that I wish everyone could just put down their phones, go outside and enjoy what the outdoors have to offer, but I am currently scrolling through my feed, unbothered and content with life in the comfort of my own room also known as my sanctuary.

About 4 times a week, I hear parents and teachers give the “Back in my day” speech, complaining and voicing their frustration about internet and cell phone use and how back when there were no phones, they were motivated in school and had to work hard for their achievements including grades. Going home to do homework was never out of the question. Being in study groups wasn’t frowned upon and seen as a loser thing to do and going outside to play or hang out with friends was an everyday thing. In our current situation, in a time like this where using the internet is quite relevant, it is not difficult to see an obvious decrease in this routine which our parents and their parents used to succeed in life. The motivation to educate and better ourselves has diminished. Studying? What’s that? Doing work? Never heard of it. Bottom line is that we have so many opportunities given to us and sometimes we choose to take those opportunities for granted and don’t realize it until it’s too late all because we don’t want to take the time to put down our phones and would rather sit back and have things given to us without actually earning it. 

We can’t forget that social media is easily accessible and children are being exposed to such behavior on the internet every day. Minors are learning to make and use different platforms for the wrong reasons as they attempt to understand what’s “cool” to do online in today’s society. The last thing that I would want is to see is the next generation suffer intellectually or in any other way because of what they observed through this generation. There is a way to prevent this from happening; it’s not too late to make a change in how we conduct ourselves and it all starts with us.

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