By Mary Watson Vergnolle | Reporter
This past year has been hard on so many people, especially those who engage in online learning. Although technology has provided connection, people are still continuously feeling isolated. The realization that online communication is not enough and the tendency for teens to continuously put a phone between themselves and their experiences is one reason people are missing out on life’s moments rather than living in them.
Due to video apps like TikTok and Snapchat, sensory overload is common with members of Gen Z already, turning us into a generation of multitaskers that can hardly ever just live in the moment. The constant intrusion of videos throughout the day and people feeling the need to record their lives can also lead to massive insecurities through comparison and other similar mental health issues among teens. As a technology-driven generation, we have the power to compare ourselves to the most successful people in society at our fingertips daily. It can lead to a life of dissatisfaction and a constant craving for what we don’t have.
I’m not saying that events like the National Championship game and meeting Chip and Joanna Gaines at Magnolia shouldn’t be documented, but often we miss out enjoying something because we aren’t ever able to give our phones a rest. It’s isolating enough to be taking an online class alone, so why bury your face in your phone when you’re with others face to face? Take a couple photos to look back on years from now but watch the concert with your eyes rather than through your screen. You aren’t going to look back on the low-quality Snapchat videos again anyways, and no one clicking through can hear the music playing above those screaming around you.
Although I see many benefits to technology as a helpful tool in discovering music, capturing memories and communicating with people across the world, it has begun to consume us. If we feel the need to take a recording of every moment rather than just live in it, are we connecting more to our phones or our surroundings? It is time for our generation to unplug and absorb the nearby scenery instead of tabulating views.
Mary Watson is a sophomore journalism major from Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.