Did social media use prepare us for the pandemic?

Annabel Lomeli, Staff Writer

“Back in my day we actually had to speak face to face,” that’s a phrase us teens are tired of hearing. We are told constantly how our screen time is rotting our brain and that this new technology is ruining our communication skills. Our parents have been stuck on this notion that our involvement with technology is ruining our future, but after the unfortunate occurrence of Covid-19, I have a feeling adults have been ironically proven wrong.  

Technology has been a new and constantly advancing resource in our society. Our generation has become incredibly savvy when using tech as a communication tool. It is almost unbelievable (even when we’re constantly reminded) that our parents and teachers did not grow up with the same technology. This pandemic has shown us how generations so close have had completely different adjustments to this new “online life.”  

Lincoln-Way student Natalie DuBois opened up about her personal experience with quarantine life by showing gratitude for her access to technology.  “Being a people person, it was hard not seeing everybody” she stated, “Luckily, my phone made it incredibly easy to keep in touch and stay updated with my friends’ lives.” I think she speaks for all of Gen Z when she says, “I could have never survived without access to those close to me.”  

Trying to get a perspective from both sides, I decided to ask Lincoln-Way Central’s very own Mrs. Pehle about her experience with technological advancements. “It’s changed so fast in my lifetime!  It’s allowed me to stay better informed and better connected with people I probably would have lost touch with.”She is a part of the Xennial generation (on the bubble of Gen X and millennial). Even though our generations are very close, our experiences with growing up have been incredibly different, all because of technology and social media. When asked how her teenage self would have handled quarantine, she stated, “It would have been really hard.  I would have spent a LOT of time arguing with my parents for my own land line phone number so I could talk to my friends uninterrupted.”  

 Mrs. Pehle also offered a great point, saying, “Growing up with technology makes people think they’re missing out when they don’t have it.  I sometimes see using technology as missing out on real life.” This point is an excellent message for all of us.  

Although technology has its downfalls, it has proven to be a great resource for all ages, especially during this troubling pandemic. I think our experience with this new way of life has proven to be teachable for both adults and teens. Adults have seen how our phones can provide more to us than just memes and celebrity gossip. While on the other side, teens have realized the importance of true face-to-face human connection. Both these values are ones that should never be taken for granted again.