Dear Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y,
On behalf of teens everywhere, I would like to set the record straight about Generation Z and our use of technology.
We are not a generation of screen-obsessed, lazy children who don’t know the meaning of work.
We are a generation of world-changing, connected young adults who work hard to stand up for the wrongs we see.
Remember those computers and cellphones that you created? We use them. Yes, we may use them to play games, text our friends, and waste our time, but we also use them to do school work, research and save the world. That does not make us screen-obsessed, and it does not make us lazy.
Remember the planet that you destroyed? We also use technology to help fix that. Websites collect donations after each wildfire and hurricane. Our social media increases awareness. Activists, such as Greta Thunberg, gain followers through spreading awareness, motivating people to make efforts to stop climate change and showing lawmakers that action needs to be taken against climate change.
Remember gun control? We don’t, and there are teens affected every day because of the lack of control and inadequate background checks or mental health awareness. Once again, teens, like Emma Gonzales of Parkland High School, are spreading information about how to take action, online. Every time another school in the US experiences a school shooting we are able to show our condolences and support across the country using technology.
And mental health? Social media platforms, such as Instagram, have support groups organized by teens, for teens to share problems and solutions quickly and effectively. We are able to communicate and express ideas quickly and with so many more people, giving us an advantage that humans have never had before.
I’m not saying that we only use the Internet for good. We waste our time looking at meaningless pictures of people we don’t know, decreasing our overall happiness. We play games and get upset when we lose. We start drama that starts online but spreads to our real lives. And that’s not your fault, it’s ours.
However, we teens are tired of being seen as useless and unable to live outside of technology. Everyone experiences the allure of looking at celebrity trends on social media, addictive games and online family drama. Yet for some reason, the stereotype is that only teens experience these things.
We appreciate and admire the generations above us and we recognize that not everyone sees teenagers as screenagers. But the record needs to be set straight about Gen Z; our “screen obsession” is going to save the world someday.