As millennials we are faced with ample opportunity with communicating, however we have lost the art of communicating in person. Instead, we can communicate without speaking and our opinions are voiced by our social media platforms. Our image is translated through pictures and profiles yet we stand silent when in a crowd, looking at our phones. We ignore phone calls and instead reply with a text, again avoiding interpersonal conversation. The ability to connect with distant friends and family is something that has not been a possibility however, are we losing our own ability to communicate?
Individualistic people understand the wonders of social media and technological advancements however; they know that our ability to present ourselves starts with our own minds and not with social media and cellphones. As Ralph Waldo-Emerson wrote, “the civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet” (Emerson, Self-Reliance, p. 36). Millennials no longer network on an interpersonal level instead we use social media and technology to create connections. This generation knows how to address their image and opinion through blogs, posts, and text yet lacks the ability to present their ideas through their own voice. The lack of interpersonal conversation is hurting our independence.
Society now relies on technology rather than using their own skills to present themselves in thoughtful discussion. Social media platforms provide an easy access for a broad range of people to see what you are doing and how you feel. Instead, we should be acting for ourselves, for our own happiness and our own goals. Instead our posts and conversations are for comments and replies rather personal satisfaction and growth. Individualism allows for people to be satisfied with themselves, by conveying our thoughts through media platforms we are losing that satisfaction and in returning looking for approval.
Individual thought allows for the most benefit in society. The integration of technology and individual thought is troublesome however. Instead of thinking critically and engaging in provocative discussion we are using technology and media to convey our thoughts. This allows for an extended level of security for us but also a level of disengagement between people. Individualism is a concept that allows for people to work, think, act, and pursue happiness for themselves and by being who we are and doing what we love we are benefiting our community. Our thoughts being posted on social media makes it less about ourselves and our personal beliefs and more about what others will think. If we are living our life for our own happiness others’ thoughts should not matter.
Millennials are faced with new challenges because of the integration of technology and communication. Despite these challenges we must not lose our ability to engage with others interpersonally. There are many benefits from technology but we must also live our lives in the present and not through our computers and smart phones. Our individualism is being damaged by the constant need for gratification. By being ourselves and defending our thoughts in person, we will not lose sight of our individual aspirations. Technology is an asset but it has also allowed us to lose sight of our lives in the present.