Viewpoint: We grew up in technology glory days

By Reubin Turner

“Street Sharks,” “Supersonic” and “Saved by the Bell” — they are still the primary sources that continue to replenish my fountain of youth.

No matter how old I get, Will’s shenanigans on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and the sheer pointlessness of games like Donkey Kong and the Super Mario Bros. continue to entertain and intrigue me.

My younger cousins, who were born and thrust into the technology age, often ask how we, Generation Y, were able to make it without iPhones, laptops and other types of equipment that serve to make us exponentially lazier.

In retrospect, I assume it’s due the fact that we just hadn’t been introduced to such innovations at the time, and as a result, didn’t miss them.

But I must confess, I for one am glad we weren’t. Don’t get me wrong — I have an iPhone, a laptop, and for all my fellow math nerds out there, a TI-89 Titanium. I am by no means bashing the use of technology.

Technology is a gift and privilege that has been bestowed upon us by God to be used for the good and advancement of humanity.

It’s through technology that many of us have been able to immediately learn about happenings around the world that will undoubtedly go down in history. Even in the field of medicine, technology has revolutionized the way doctors treat patients, offering cures for diseases and illnesses that used to be death sentences.

What is my glitch with the use of technology? For me, it’s not so much the use as it is the abuse of a tool that was intended to make life easier. More importantly, it unfortunately seems to be depriving many of the innocence and the creativity of their childhood.

Growing up, one of the joys of waking up was rushing to the television to watch Ms. Frizzle and the rest of the gang on “The Magic School Bus” while they explored the depths of the body, the animals and even other planets.

Afterwards, I’d rush off to school, without a cell phone, ready and eager to see if I could defend my title as the penmanship champion.

Afterwards, I’d go home, watch a few of my favorites like “Doug” and “Hey Arnold!” and then proceed to explore the neighborhood with my little brother, looking for the most dangerous trails possible down which we could race our bikes.

It’s not that we were trying to defy the norm and give technology the cold shoulder. At that time, a lot of what we now know and are accustomed to just did not exist.

We didn’t have the opportunity to spend two hours playing Angry Birds, perusing Facebook and “twatching” our love interest on Twitter.

I’m by no means implying that we spent every waking hour being productive. Many of us watched TV, listened to music and spent hours in line trying to get the latest video game release at Game Stop. But because we didn’t have so many distractions, we were able to be more creative on how to spend our time.

Even the shows we watched didn’t subliminally purvey messages of materialism or an attitude of entitlement. They were shows we could relate to.

Shows that talked about puppy love, bullying and the problems associated with topics as simple making new friends. It was through these channels, we were able to capture and retain at least a portion of our childhood.

And that I wouldn’t trade for the latest iOS 7 upgrade.

Reubin Turner is a junior economics major from Edmond, Okla. He is the assistant city editor for the Lariat