In the modern age, it is next to impossible to find someone under the age of 20 who has not heard the words “text,” “Tweet,” “Facebook,” Internet or DVD. However, finding someone in the same age category who has heard the words VHS, landline or even cassette is a lot harder.
America’s modern college-age youth have grown up in a time of huge technological advances driven by companies such as Apple and nurtured by its iconic figures like Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook. But what sets the now-grown children of the 90s apart from their successors isn’t what they can do with these high-tech gadgets, but what they can remember to do without them.
Nicknamed the “Transition Generation,” the children who grew up in the 90s and late 80s have the best of both worlds. Urban Dictionary said that “the generation of people who grew up during the information boom of the 1990s” are the Net generation.
According to the Urban Dictionary entry, “the term Transition Generation (emphasizes) the fact that they were growing up while communication and information were both being revolutionized.” They are the generation that have lived in days before this revolution but are fully assimilated to these (technologies).”
With technology so prevalent in everyday life, it seems like a dream to remember times that did not consist of checking iPhones for messages and emails. Many have even used their new gadgets as a doorway for the company King’s app “Candy Crush Saga.”
King told ABC on June 4 that approximately 1.5 million people play “Candy Crush Saga.” Forbes claimed in September that “Grand Theft Auto V” made more than $800 million in the first 24 hours of its release and more than one billion in the first three days. There are apps for fitness, entertainment and daily excursions with friends. There are millions of games to fuel a plethora of consoles. Let us not forget laptops, iPads and iPods.
With so much technology available at our immediate disposal with the promise of immediate gratification, it’s no surprise that to some, it can be detrimental, causing mental illness such as video game addiction and physical problems like carpal tunnel and cell phone elbow.
To children who do not know what it was like to have the patience to reverse a VHS or cassette tape or make a phone call on the landline in the kitchen, there is nothing missing, whereas with the Transition Generation, there can sometimes feel like a hole, where childhood necessities are obsolete.
The information boom has indeed revolutionized America, but members of the new generation will have to step back from their gadgets every now and then if they want to continue to make advancements; it’s hard to invent something new and progressive if one is too busy laughing on Tumblr. In the end, technology and its offspring are all about moderation.
In the words of Imagine Dragons, “welcome to the new age.”
Opinion columnist Rachel Lee is an English sophomore and may be reached at [email protected]