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Editorial: The Millennial Crutch

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Kourtney Kaufman, Managing Editor

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Millennials are one of the most creative and intuitive generations. We have found ways to excel in an ever-competitive and content saturated world. We can learn to do anything from building a rocket to doing our own plumbing on YouTube. We can connect with colleagues across the world on LinkedIn and we are informed about important (and not so important) topics faster than ever on Twitter.

But as creative and intuitive as this generation can be, we have lost something very important – uninterrupted human interaction.

A 6-inch screen in our pocket controls our lives. We obsessively seek to capture moments while refusing to live in the moment.

Instead of focusing on a fun night out with friends, we take constant pictures to post on SnapChat and pose for the perfect Instagram photo. Instead of going on long romantic walks or connecting with our partners, we Facebook stalk them and desperately hope for a text back. Instead of having the decency to break off a relationship, we simply ghost them and hope to never see them in person again.

We do not interact with our colleagues in college classrooms but instead stare blankly at a screen before the professor begins class.

Ironically, this obsessive scrolling and posting is a result of our “fear of missing out” (FOMO) even though we constantly miss what is happening around us.

These are things we observe every day and we know it is a problem. Videos like the 2013 satire titled “I Forgot My Phone” go viral and yet we cannot seem to stop. Our phone addiction is an epidemic. In fact, according to a study by B2X, people feel frustrated, lost, stressed and even sad without their smartphones.

So, what can you do? Put the phone down.

If you have a funny quip, tell a friend instead of posting another tweet. Ask people about their lives instead of scrolling Instagram or Facebook – I promise you will still find out when people get engaged and have babies.

Plan times to hang out with people and do not pick up your phone during the conversation, even if they do. If you see a cute guy or girl, go up to them instead of trying to find them on Tinder or stalking them on social media. Plan a date for your spouse or significant other and go out instead of “Netflix and chill.” Make a phone call to someone you have not talked to in a while instead of sending a text.

These seem like simple things but when you try to implement them it does not take long to see how dependent we are on our smart phones. But, however hard it is, it is incredibly worth it to engage in deep uninterrupted and unmediated relationships with people.

This generation can learn so much, surely we can learn to be truly relational.

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Editorial: The Millennial Crutch