By: Kori Marshall
I wish I had a word for my generation, the Millennials, caught and entranced by every single new fad. A time where even my fifty-year old relatives are okay with the prospect of meeting a potential spouse online, where my own mother is enamored enough by my Tinder boyfriend to overlook the fact that we didn’t meet in a bar and that our only correspondence was technological for four months. People who have had Instagram since the sixth grade are “starting over” to develop an aesthetic. They’re using similar filters and crops to give their photo grids a similar feel. Even sharing photos; the selfies with long, inspirational quotes that no one really reads, or irrelevant song lyrics, are being reformed to match a feel or aura. We live in the age of constant connection and oversharing. Tumblr, the only social media app I consistently stay connected to, is also a mass of “aesthetics.” There are pale blogs, black and white blogs, artistic nude blogs, and band-devoted blogs. Just about any cohesive “feel,” there is a blog for, usually a “side blog,” because the owner operates a real blog too, pictures and posts of things that actually matter to them. Why are we so concerned with the way things look online to strangers we will never meet or worse, people we know whose opinions are irrelevant?
Additionally, I want to know why we are so connected to our phones that we’re missing out on everyday experiences. I rely on music as heavily as one can while still being able to function without it, but so much is missed on a walk to class with headphones plugged in and musical notes blaring. As an artist, a poet, a writer, nearly anything that requires an imagination, one has to be able to connect!
With the real world!
And Nature too!
While they exist, there are only so many quality poems that are going to come out of experiences on Facebook and every story (Think Men, Women & Children by Chad Kultgen, or Easy and Black Mirror, the Netflix Original Series) carries a woeful, foreboding tone. If we sit back and allow our phones and the wires practically sprouting from our fingertips in 2017 to control every interaction we have, they will.
My advice to you, writers, readers, human beings, is to unplug. Shut your phone off for an hour and eat lunch with the sunshine in your face, take in your surroundings, notice the couples who share a bowl of chips and salsa without speaking a word to one another and vow to never be that couple. Make a rule to not use your phone during dinner, charge your buzzing phone on the other side of the room at night (blue light is bad for sleep anyway!). Experience the things worth experiencing before you miss all the good stuff.