By Lily Jaquith
Technology is a big part of any young adult’s life in today’s world. With laptops, smart phones and tablets, we have the world at our fingertips. In no time at all you can have an answer to any question and meeting new people is as simple as a tweet. As a young adult growing up surrounded by all these incredible advances, it’s hard to not let these technologies take over my entire life. It’s especially important to find a happy balance between creating connections online and paying attention to those already in your life.
Twitter is my favorite part of the online world. Although I joined over two years ago, it’s only been recently that I have finally understood the big power that Twitter holds. I’ve been fortunate enough make many new connections on Twitter and meet some incredible people. There are people I’ve met through Twitter that I find it difficult to imagine my life without. It’s because of Twitter that I have the opportunity to write for My Edmonds News. Along with creating new bonds and connections, Twitter is an amazing way to be informed. I wouldn’t know nearly as much about current events throughout the world if I didn’t have the opportunity to read about it in my feed. Twitter will continue to be one of my top tools for communicating and information.
Texting is the one activity where nearly every teenager is an expert. Most people my age wouldn’t know what to do with themselves if they didn’t have their phones near them at all times, and I don’t claim to be any different. I spend plenty of time talking to my friends via text message, especially those I’m not able to see very often. One of my very close friends lives in Connecticut. It would be very difficult for us to communicate if I couldn’t text her all the time.
For me, I find it’s an easy way to communicate with my parents when I’m out or at the opposite parent’s house. I don’t miss my parents quite as much when I know they’re just a text message away. It will make it possible for me to keep in contact with friends I don’t want to lose while I’m away at college. Texting messaging is an easy way to keep in contact with friends, even when you can’t be near them in person.
I could rave about twitter and texting for quite a while. With Facebook and email, we are given many opportunities to stay in contact and make connections with those not close to us in distance. Even with Words with Friends, an app to play Scrabble, I can have fun with friends that I can’t see as often as I’d like. However, I have found that is it essential to maintain a healthy balance between technology and paying attention to those around you.
The other day I found myself texting in the middle of dinner. I was embarrassed after my dad called me out on it. It was rude of me to spend more time talking to those I wasn’t with in person instead of enjoying the conversation with my family. After that occurrence I noticed myself doing similar things more often. Whether it was reading through my Twitter feed while a friend of mine told me about her weekend or texting about plans as my mom told me a story about her childhood. My lack of attention to the real world was hurting relationships with those close to me. While I haven’t suddenly stopped using my phone all the time, I am going to do my hardest to pay attention those I’m with in person instead of focusing on those I’m with virtually.
I love technology. I love being able to talk to my close friends, even though some of them live in Everett, Issaquah or even the east coast. I love the connections and opportunities it’s given me. However, I’ve realized that I need to start paying more attention to those I’m lucky enough to be able to see in person. It’s important for everyone, especially young adults that spend all their time on their phones, to create healthy balance between time spent with people and time spent with technology.
Lily Jaquith is a senior at Edmonds-Woodway High School. Next year she plans to go to Western Washington University to study teaching drama and perhaps minor in journalism. She loves working in children’s theater and has been a part of Madrona Children’s Theater for nine years. In her free time, Lily writes for her personal blog and enjoys social networking on Twitter (follow @LilyJaquith).