One of main traits that makes us human is our ability to communicate. Whenever we live a healthy communal life, we engage in conversations face-to-face, care and respect others, and we pay attention to important principles of etiquette which then helps us to live in conjunction with each other without engaging in too much discord. I am not aware of any critical mass of individuals living in a society in any time in history that has survived the times living in total isolation from their immediate community, its values and communication practices. And as importantly – the ability to learn from his own mistakes over time. The smartphone has been handicapping the millennial generation in this regard.
The smartphone has been handicapping the millennials. You have heard it right. You might be asking … Why do you say that professor? Let me explain why by giving you a real life example that has changed the way I interact with human beings of the opposite sex.
When I was a kid, I struggled to converse with girls face-to-face. I was so shy and literally afraid to speak with a girl one-on-one … I had a terrible fear of rejection back then. Even though these feelings are not totally foreign to young boys, I know today that my levels of shyness (and therefore my inability to speak with a person of the opposite sex) back then were probably higher than most boys who were shy in my generation.
Like most kids in their teenage years, I was unprepared to engage in interpersonal communications with a female. I still remember this beautiful girl named Peggy which I truly had the hots for. She was beautiful, nice, and to my fortune … she seemed to like me. The fact that we never ended up going out on a date had nothing to do with her interpersonal ability. It had everything to do with mine. I failed to initiate a meaningful conversation with her to have the chance to ask her out on a date. My total loss … and I knew it. However, my inability to break the ice and carry on a honest conversation with a girl made me stop and think about why I wasn't being successful in my love endeavors. I spent some time thinking about this question and then BINGO! Eventually, I've learned what girls like out of my struggles. "They like to talk," for the most part. I figured … Well, if girls like to talk, then I need to be a good listener. The rest my friends, is history.
Look, I didn't need to have a smartphone to make me feel better or learn how to speak with a girl. My humanity helped me with enjoying my later teenage and young adult years simply by stopping and thinking about the obvious. For most of my teenage years (up to the age of 16), I struggled with speaking with girls. Some might consider the former as being a "bad" life experience. Well, I see these former struggles differently today. I thank God for how things ended up working out in my life in that regard and for having the ability to face the problem and find a possible solution like a man.
When I was 16 years old, there were no smartphones. My parents happened to have cell phones back then, which was unusual for Brazilians back in the 90's, but they were not smart. I didn't have the opportunity to go on-line to make me feel better for my inability to speak with a girl. Because I had no technology, I had to face the problem and develop a two very important life skills – Critical thinking and Listening.
Kids today are handicapped because of technology. Too many millennials face a problem with a girl and rather than facing the problem head on to find a solution … They often go to their smartphones and text! Can't talk with a girl tonight? Go to a smartphone, watch a video with girls and feel better. Can't find a date to go to prom … Go to the smartphone, chat with girls on Tumbler, and move on … Don't have any friends? Go to the smartphone and log into Facebook and chatting! The problem is that text messaging won't teach a kid how to speak with a girl like a man. Avoiding (or the inability) to speaking with a real girl can't be replaced by watching a video about girls. Not having a date for prom can't be replaced by chatting with strangers on Tumbler …
What if I told you that if a person faces a problem in life and decides to ignore the issue and move sideways, eventually they will walk in a circle and be bossed around for life? With or without technology. All this technology that is supposed to make our lives better is having a tremendously negative impact in the lives of millions of teenagers and young adults today. It is, in fact, handicapping them by discouraging them to face real life problems for the sake of technology.