Sometimes when I am home on a break, I’ll get a text from one of my family members asking me to come downstairs or asking me what I want for dinner etc. My house is not that big, so if someone yells downstairs, I can most often hear it upstairs in my room. Despite the fact that we live so close together and within earshot, we often rely on our phones to communicate with one another instead of talking face to face. There are lots of studies and discussions going on about the obsessive culture of youth, especially in regards to technology. For example, this New York Times article that discusses a study that found many teenagers were unable to go 24 hours without looking at their phones. There is no doubt in my mind that the youth of today have been exposed to and have used technology all of their lives. However, there is far less discussion of how technology has affected the adult populations.
In my own experience, my parents (both at least 60 years old) are two of the most smart-phone obsessed people I know. My mom and dad are always checking their phones and they too need to have it with them where ever they go. Studies have shown that older populations are purchasing smart phones at higher and higher levels and studies of all smart phone users use them obsessively (see this article in Time). The obsession with technology is, thus, not a generation specific phenomenon. People of all ages find themselves constantly using and checking their various forms of communication and technology. When discussing the issues that come along with teen fixation on technology, it is important to consider and understand the ways in which trends in technological behavior affect and present themselves in people of all ages and generations.