by Mackenzie Gardener
“We can talk to someone who lives across the world in a matter of seconds, which is amazing,” says Sara Atkin, whom is a resident of West Haven, has a bachelors in psychology, and volunteered at social services. “We can see different societies, we can see videos and connect with people that we would have never been able to connect with and see places that we would have never been able to see, so I think there’s a lot of good things that come with all this technology and social media, but it brings negative aspects too.” Atkin explains the good and bad about technology and its effects on human relations. Teenage relationships now, are based a lot on technology. Many teenagers will mainly socialize through only technology. They can “DM” on Instagram, or send a snap on Snapchat, or text the living daylights out of them, etc.
The brain may get used to this kind of socializing, which can ruin teens’ real life social skills, which teenagers need to have as they go about daily life. Atkin talked about how it may affect the brain and the teenagers themselves. “I think socially interacting in person is a huge skill that people need to have,” says Atkin. “I think our society more and more is going to use texts and social media, and you can see, like even at restaurants, people don’t go to restaurants or buy things at the store, they order it online and have it delivered at the door so they don’t have to see anyone. I think you can see in our society right now how that’s having an effect on people. I think there’s more anxiety and depression.” For a fact, since society has kept coming out with more technology, more and more people have been diagnosed with anxiety or depression. They don’t go out and do things anymore. The human race becomes more and more dependent on cell phones. As more and more people become dependent on cellular devices, the more our world is changing.
As teenagers have been more dependent on social media and any other means of communication through cellular devices, they have kind of created this concept of a “social rating scale” of some sort. The more followers or likes people have is supposed to mean they might be better than someone else or something. This is a modern concept a lot of teenagers might have. The plain old, simple truth is though, that is just through the radio waves going around connecting everyone through devices. “I think it’s kind of ridiculous because I think you can have a lot of followers, but if you don’t have personal relationships with more than half of those people, you’re getting a false sense of security and a false sense of confidence of having friends,” says Atkin. Teenagers start to get an unrealistic imaginative world of friendship the more and more they only associate with others through their phones. “ I think, this is kind of silly, but something that just popped in my head is that One Republic song, Connection, saying there’s so many people around, I have all these friends, why do I not feel connected to anyone?”, says Atkin. Some of the big celebrities, musicians and speakers are seeing this problem run through our society. The ability to feel closely connected to a person, is one of the greatest feelings ever. The problem is though, that everyone is too busy looking down at their phones, that they don’t get to have that chance to connect with other people. To talk with one another, to laugh, to smile, to delegate, etc. Those happy shining moments we are losing more and more often.
When the modern world of 2019 is compared to the 1990’s, many can see their has been an immense amount of change through how relationships are made and how people communicate with one another. Atkin shared a lot of how it was when she grew up. Atkin grew up without every using a cell phone or social media. Compared to now, her generation would communicate differently. “We did send notes, I was a very good note taker and folder-upper. But you still had to pass it to somebody or write a letter. I think all of those things have a little more personal personality to them.”, says Atkin. “We had so much fun without it, and I see all these kids who go to parties and dances and they’re on their phones and I’m like uhhhh if only you knew how much fun you could be having if you put that away, because we did all sorts of crazy stuff. You get bored, you come up with a solution of how to have fun with each other.” Atkin talked about how individuals can be able to start this new trend, so-to-speak. Atkin also described how millenials don’t get enough time to be bored, and how that’s when you get the best ideas, it’s all about that clearance of the mind. Teenagers have the ability and power to be able to start talking in real life, and gaining those real relationships again. This is how teenagers can start this real concept of reality, it all starts with the millenials.