The cell phone age has given people some shelter from not committing to their promises be it friendships, work, or any other type of human collaboration. It's way too easy to shoot off a text at the last minute with some sorry excuse why you're not going to make it. What's happened to the virtue of commitment and punctuality? Now we have 20 somethings holing up in their houses scared to go socialize because they're so used to speaking via text or social media. I don't have any sympathy for these people.
There was a time I would not have agreed with you on that, because I had a lot of young friends that were smart and good people. But lately I've been seeing some young people that are down right abusive and definitely not smart, and, like you said, flaky. In simple terms, it's like they just don't care.
Interesting. A few weeks ago I wrote a hub about how technology is deviously ruining us. The mediators turned it down because there were too many other articles about the same topic online! They were clear about the fact that it was well written, not spammy, etc...there was just too much competition.
If this is the case, and I believe it is, apparently there aren't enough "ranters" yet to do something about this problem.
The kids' excuse is always the same..."But, mom,..all the other kids have one....", and parents fall for it because they don't want their kids to be "left out".
Just think how great it would be if every single parent took devices away from their kids or didn't buy them in the first place. My GOD...they'd have to actually start talking to one another...and so would their parents!
And baby boomers not shy in catching on...
Several experiences over the last few days. People arriving downstairs at reception on a Saturday night asking if I'm in. Why? "Didn't I get the message he texted at 4 pm saying he would be there at 6?" Well, um. No. And I don't date.
Others just assuming it's okay to fit me in when it suits. Like "I'll text you when I"m in the area."
I agree with your rant, Jessie. As a grandmother of seven, I tend to think it's the fault of the parents. We had/have the control to say no to Nintendos and whatever it is now--IPads? If there's now a generation of adults with no socialization skills it's the fault of the parents who handed them electronic toys and told them to "go play" so they could work on their own computers instead of taking their children to parks, enrolling them in T-Ball and baseball, softball and soccer, or encouraging them to attend social functions at school.
When I taught at the local university I encouraged my students to avoid text communications, particularly for important conversations. It's too easy to misunderstand people in texts and emails because there's no body language or tone of voice.
I loved that scene in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" where she shows up at prom and finds her boyfriend with another woman and says, "You broke up with my voicemail?" Now it would be a text message--yes, I know people who were told they were no longer dating through text messages and it's pathetic.
You call it a rant. I think it's solid logic.
I agree with rant. However, I can't put it all on the parents, DS. It's the fault of creating a technology without fully knowing the extent of its power over human beings. It's like a Twilight Zone. Millennials are walking around like zombies looking at their iPhones, bumping into each other, and almost getting hit by cars.
This generation of parents were raised with the technology and now pass its dependency on to their children. They know nothing else. They are forced to buy these expensive devices because schools now require them. You can't get through college without them. The beast of technology is the greatest invention of man, for man, but also the worse for humanity. I hate apps. Co-sign rant over.
We're definitely feeling the growing pains of this technology. We've never had it before in our history and we're just sort of gorging out on it haphazardly. If a new food or product comes out on the market and causes cancer, we can't prove it until a million people have suffered from it. It's a gradual disintegration. Although, I do have hope that we can regain our balance and make it work for us rather than against us.
Maybe it's a good thing I don't have a cell phone with me. Some people are so abusive, cursing at the very sight of different people. I grew up with computers that were 256 MB of memory and 32 MB of VRAM when I was a kid. I grew up with dial-up. I grew up playing old games. Luigi's Mansion was one. Clive Barker's Undying was another. I grew up with Windows. It was 2008 that I changed to a Mac. At first, I didn't like the idea of the Mac. But, after consideration, it was blatantly obvious that the mac was better than Windows. Anyways, the Millennials don't appreciate the outside world. It's as if they are cut off from the outside world. In the age of rapidly intelligent computers, I don't see any escape. I just hope we don't end up like a certain individual we know.
With great power comes great responsibility. Whenever I leave the house, I generally leave my phone. I just find it so rude to mess around with phones while you're out in the world participating in life. Beyond that, it's become a barrier between people under the guise of keeping people connected.
First of all, before 20 years ago, no one wanted nor needed to be connected 24-7. If you don't think people have a problem with this, ask them to avoid it for a week and that will you give all the evidence you need after they fail horribly at keeping away from their screen.
Second, people tend to carry the attitude that if anything is established through a phone or computer, it's not as "real" as doing it in person, therefore, it's okay to malinger in the world so long as everyone holds that belief about it.
I'm in the geriatric generation, but I hear complaints about this from my youngest daughter (who is in grad school): last-minute no-shows, failure to follow through on social commitments, not showing up on time (by a wide margin), and a refusal to make definite social commitments. There also seems to be a lack of awareness of reciprocity in social relations. (Reciprocity is where, if someone brings you cookies or invites you over for dinner or helps you out in an emergency, this means you are supposed to return the favor in some way.)
Even in my younger days (we are talking about the 1970s) these behaviors were sometimes a problem; it just wasn't as prevalent back then. MOST (though not all) people in my generation had been taught at least a few of the basics of good manners: You do NOT back out of a dinner party--or especially a wedding reception--after you have RSVPed that you will come. The only people who didn't know that were people who came from families that were very socially inexperienced.
I actually seldom encountered these behaviors in my youth--though I can remember being guilty of them a couple of times--and I'm still deeply ashamed of this 40 years later.
The cases my daughter complains about seem to be caused by being surrounded by people who are very immature and have almost zero experience in functioning socially. They have seldom or never asked someone to meet them for lunch. They have never hosted a dinner party or any other kind of gathering. They probably even have very little confidence that they can do adult things such as finding an address or making casual conversation. Young people also live on much more of an emotional roller-coaster and can have disabling mood swings. (I remember this well.) They are more likely to feel that they simply can't meet some social obligation because they are having an emotional melt-down.
Now this particular daughter of mine who is doing the complaining is VERY socially conscious. I call her my "Hallmark Card" girl. (She did not get this from me, BTW.) She also had to assume a lot of responsibility at an early age because I was a single mom and we were poor. That meant that she had a job the day she turned 16 and had to talk to her insurance agent herself, talk to her car mechanic herself, pay her wn cell phone bill, and generally "take care of business" on her own. Most kids--especially more advantaged kids--are so protected from life's little chores and troubles that they lack the confidence that they can handle them. I think this may be one reason that they so often "drop the ball" when faced with minor challenges--such as getting somewhere on time.
I've been watching this social phenomenon for years. I actually had a friend who lived 3 houses away but never came to visit. I only ever saw them on social media. How on earth is social media a proper surrogate for traditional interaction? It's ridiculous that I even have to use "traditional" to describe normal social behavior.
Thanks for sharing.
What? A neighbor 3 houses away who you only saw through social media? WOW!! How bad is that?
At my son's high school last week, they finally laid down the law about cell phone usage in the classrooms and made a school-wide policy (instead of letting each teacher make her own guidelines). Of course, the students hate it and are griping, but it was long overdue. When I volunteered at my other son's middle school, the cell phone usage was out of control. Whenever the kids had a chance, they'd choose their cell phone over interacting with one another. They'd rush through exams and projects so they could get back to using their phones. Even at so-called "socials," they would shut out everything around them and stay on their phones. The older teachers who saw the danger in this were considered old-fashioned and "just didn't get it." I think parents are clueless about how much time their kids use their cell phones at school. Then, of course, they use them for hours and hours after school. It's a real problem with long-ranging consequences.
Good, I'm glad. Adults struggle enough with these distractions. We can't possibly expect children to handle them responsibly.
It also became a basis for social posturing in their little childish hierarchies. Only the "cool kids" have iPhones or the newest androids. That's what our society has become. We measure our individual value on the basis of material acquisition. Barf...
Yes, exactly. One major difference being that when I realized I had notifications, I made an effort to respond meaningfully to everyone who was kind enough to give me feedback. Does that mean that we should all force ourselves to respond to every single bit of correspondence? Of course not. I just think there's an element of courtesy and respect that's slipping away among those who don't make an effort to venture into their local domains in addition to online participation.
I'm a ranter too and you guys have already said it all. I do have a mobile phone (not an iPhone) and the only thing it can do is just that, phone. I only take it with me when I'm on a road trip and nowadays I do take it with me when I have to feed my sheep. They're grazing not nextdoor and two weeks ago I got stuck in the mud with my little van in the middle of nowhere and couldn't reach home to say come get me. It took over a hour and a lot of hay and stones under my tires before I got loose again. At such a moment it's handy to have a phone with you.
Oh thank goodness someone is finally using the internet to complain about millennials. There’s just such a real shortage of that, you know?
My millennials love their tech, their social media and all that it brings. However, they balance that by both pursuing paths in the real world. My son is finishing up a Higher National Dip. in conservation and woodland management, which definitely means that he is in touch with the outside world. My daughter is a musician.
Technology is a huge part of their world, but it is in balance with everything else. I don't believe for one minute that they are in the minority. It's just that people notice them on their phones etc. during their leisure time. We don't see them at work or in college. Most of us don't know what they are doing every minute of the day. So I don't think that negative generalisation about their online/offline habits is justified.
If the child is younger, then it is up to the parent to restrict tech time and to make sure that alternative activities are on offer. As a home-schooler, I found it pretty easy to find a balance that worked. Some days they spent hours on their computers, other times we were outside all day.
Neither of my two younger kids (or myself) are Facebook addicts (I don't like it at all), yet my partner (in his 60s) practically lives on Facebook. To him, it's a brilliant platform where he can be in contact with all the people he knew during his worldwide travels when a young man. To each his own.
I don't know, Ragged. I was foreman on a construction crew when cell phones first became popular (yes, I know - I'm dating myself!) and it didn't take long at all to realize that some of the crew was spending as much as an hour a day yakking on the phone instead of working.
If I text my son while he's at work he'll likely answer at noon, during his lunch break. IM him and I'll probably never get an answer. But do either to his wife, sitting a few desks away in the same office, and I'll get an answer back in seconds most of the time.
I don't think you can generalize to all millennials, but I DO think there is a large percentage that do spend far too much time on that phone. It is not only an entertainment device in use for hours each day but a connection to the rest of the world that is not allowed to ever be broken, not even for a few hours except in dire emergencies.
Okay, but I thought the thread was a rant about millennials who shut themselves away with their devices in order to avoid real-world interaction? Workers chatting on their cellphones don't come into that category. That's a disciplinary thing, not an introverted activity.
I'm simply highlighting the fact that not all millennials do this. They somehow manage to incorporate their online and offline life quite well.
Me, on the other hand, am quite happy never to have to talk to anyone
Hey. You have me, ragged. We're best friends on this forum.
"Me, on the other hand, am quite happy never to have to talk to anyone"
Me too. As we talk back and forth on the forums!
I don't mean to overgeneralize this issue with millennials but I certainly felt that way during my OP because I had just suffered another flaky professional situation with someone under 30. Every time something like that happens, it's never my friends or colleagues over 35. My 35 + friends text little and make good on their promises almost 100% of the time. Dunno how else to explain that.
I'm a baby boomer. I love millennials. They understand. I always thought my genration had lost it.
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Unfortunately, I only picked it up at 6 pm because that's about when I finished up for the day. I picked up my phone and saw the text. I was in the middle of writing that it wasn't convenient for me when I received a text that he had arrived.
Then he asked me if I hadn't received his text.
I was gobsmacked.
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