Are We Suffering From A Generational Lack of Awareness?

By Kat Holleran

78% of teenagers in the US have a smart phone, according to this article (http://www.technobuffalo.com/2013/03/13/pew-research-study-teens-smartphone-phone/) posted on Techno Buffalo. Of this 78%, 47% have smart phones. Many of us at HB are among the 47% with smart phones, whether it be iPhone or Android. We walk around with our faces buried in screens, scrolling through Twitter or playing Flappy Bird; we are almost always engaged in online happenings. However, how often are we using this incredible access to gain worthwhile information? More of us have seen the famous Ellen Degeneres tweet than heard the latest news about the sunken Korean ferry or Ukraine. Because of social media, news is starting to take on a trending pattern with youth: at first, it’s everywhere. Word of a new and big event spreads across the social universe and everybody jumps on, tweeting and texting and spreading the knowledge. Within the next few days, though, the news is already drowned out by something new. The conflict or issue could still be waging on, but many of us wouldn’t even know.

This isn’t me advocating for the ban of technology. What I strive for is to promote the use of technology to the fullest of its ability – to connect the youth on a global scale. We have a surplus of knowledge at our fingertips, literally. Following @SyriaConflict on twitter or downloading the CNN app to get updates on the latest news are both easy ways to integrate the collection of current events in your life. Instead of neglecting global issues we should be thriving off of the potential we have, not only to learn about what’s happening but also to help make changes and make a difference with things we care about as a generation. By learning about current conflicts, we are preparing ourselves for the future. Technology and social media won’t be a burden if we use it to bridge the gaps that geological and cultural divides create.