The capacity to communicate is one of the key attributes that makes us human. Each time we live a healthy community life, we participate in face-to-face discussions, care and respect for others, and we pay attention to important etiquette values which then allow us to live together without too much discord. I am not aware of any large mass of people living in a society at any point in history who have survived the times in complete isolation from their immediate families, their beliefs and their social activities. Just as importantly-the desire over time to learn from one’s own mistakes. The smartphone has been handicapping the millennial generation in this regard.
The smartphone handicapped the Millennials. You heard it right. May you know … Why are you asking this Professor? Let me illustrate why by offering you an example in everyday life which has changed the way I communicate with people of the opposite sex.
I struggled to converse face-to-face with girls when I was a child. I was so nervous and practically afraid to chat one-on-one with a girl … I had at that time a horrible fear of rejection. And though such feelings aren’t completely alien to young people, I realize today that my levels of shyness (and hence my reluctance to speak to a person of the opposite sex) back then were probably higher than other people in my generation who were shy.
As most children during their teenage years, I was unprepared to communicate with a female in interpersonal contact. I always recall the beautiful girl named Peggy, for whom I always had the hots. She was beautiful, beautiful, and to my advantage … She really seemed to love me. It had nothing to do with her interpersonal capacity that we never ended up going out on a date.
It all had to do with the mine. I haven’t started a constructive conversation with her to have the chance to ask her out on a date. My complete failure … And I recognized it. But my inability to break the ice and carry on an honest conversation with a girl made me pause and think about why my love efforts were not successful. I thought about this issue for a while and then BINGO! Eventually, out of my struggles I discovered what girls are like. “We want to chat,” in the majority of cases. I find it out … Okay, if girls like chatting, then I have to be a good listener. The rest is history, my boys.
Look, I didn’t need a smartphone to make me feel better, or to learn how to talk to a person. My optimism actually helped me to appreciate my later teenage and young adult years by halting and worrying about the obvious. I had struggled with talking to girls for most of my teenage years (up to the age of 16). Some may think of the former as a “evil” experience in life. Okay, today I see these past fightings differently. I thank God for how things ended up working in that regard in my life, and for being able to deal with the issue and find a potential solution like a guy.
There were no smartphones at me when I was 16 years old. My parents had mobile phones back then, which was uncommon for Brazilians back in the 90’s, but they weren’t intelligent. I haven’t had the chance to go online to make me feel better about my inability to talk to a child. I had to face the question because I had no equipment and build two very necessary life skills-logical thinking and listening.
Today, children are handicapped by technology. Too many millennials face a girl’s problem, and to find a solution instead of confronting the issue head on … Sometimes they go to your smartphones and email! Can’t have a talk tonight with a girl? Go to a smartphone, watch the video and feel better with children. Can’t find a prom date … Go to the smartphone, talk on Tumbler with ladies, and then move on … Will you have friends? Go to the smartphone, and log in and chat with Facebook! The issue is that text messaging isn’t going to teach a boy how to talk to a girl like a man. Eviting (or being unable) to speak to a real girl can not be replaced by watching a video about children. Not having a date for prom can’t be replaced by chatting with strangers on Tumbler…
What if I told you that if a person faces a challenge in life and wants to avoid the issue and step sideways, they will ultimately walk around in a circle and become bossed around for life? Using Engineering or without it. All this technology that is supposed to make our lives safer has a profoundly negative effect on the lives of today’s millions of adolescents and young adults. In fact, by discouraging them to face real-life problems for the sake of technology, it is handicaping them.
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