Generation Z: Technology – One Giant Leap For Mankind?
Written by Ashley Carr, Student at Petroc, Tiverton
There can be no question that the advancement of technology has had a positive impact on the world, but at what cost? I feel quite privileged to write about this topic, as someone who is part of a generation renowned for their love of everything tech.
There can be no question that the advancement of technology has improved the lives of people in every country around the world. As a student, the ability to find information about any subject and from any time period is something I value immensely (fun fact – there is a shrine to Google in every Higher Education establishment in the UK). The very fact that anyone, anywhere in the world can go on to the Grow website and read mine and my colleague’s articles is a source of endless fascination for my Nan! Technology has created value to society in every field one can think of, from astronomy to zoology and pretty much everything in between. In short, technology has made the impossible, possible.
But at what cost, Grow readers? At some point during the discovery of the population of Papua New Guinea and reruns of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, we seem to have lost ourselves. Now I’m certainly no technophobe, I love my iPhone as much as the next member of Generation Z. But difficult questions have to be asked about what the quality of life is for a generation that sees the world through a 5 and a half inch screen.
In January this year, the Government appointed a “Minister for Loneliness”, following on from The Commission on Loneliness that the late MP Jo Cox set up. When we think of the “typical” lonely individual, we might think of an elderly person who has lost their significant other. However, a study performed by the National Citizen Service showed that 62% of teenagers feel lonely at least some of the time, and a study performed by the Office for National Statistics found that almost 10% of people aged 16-24 were always or often lonely. Isn’t this supposed to be the most connected generation ever? Don’t we have thousands of friends on our social media accounts?
This article isn’t meant to make the reader feel guilty or encourage them to renounce all technology and live like a Neanderthal. Far from it. It is merely to remind the reader, and especially the Z’ers amongst you, of facts that you probably already know to be true… That you live in the most beautiful county in the UK, and it’s just waiting to be explored. That live music is precisely 10,000 times better than Spotify. And finally, that a chat with your mate in the pub, trumps a tweet or a DM any day of the week. Take advantage of the miracle of technology, but don’t let it take advantage of you.