COLUMN: Five things millennials could learn if they took a step back from technology

Dear millennials,

Technology can be an awesome way to keep in touch with your friends, emojis, and role models, but being constantly connected to the web is not as “on fleek” as it seems!

I mean, did you see that “viral” article where somebody edited the phones out of pictures of people using their phones? Those people looked ridiculous just staring at their empty hands!

Anyhow, I’m writing this because my trusty cell phone broke this morning, and I’ve already found some awesome benefits to living wirelessly-lessly. Here are five that I’ve compiled for you web traffic-driving youngsters:

1. I actually “communicate” with other people rather than simply “talking” to them. This may sound like a meaningless distinction to your underdeveloped medulla oblongatas or to anyone with experience speaking English, but trust me, a wizened 29-year old: The communication you do via scary new technology I don’t understand and intermittently use is inherently worse than the kind your elders and I did when we were your age.

Why send a short text message using the mind-boggling power and reach of the Internet when you can just ring up a party line, take hours penning a handwritten letter, or shriek from the bathroom window of your darkened apartment, hoping for anyone – anyone at all – to answer? Do you millennials even understand what eye contact is?

2. I notice the “little things.” Less than an hour after my phone broke, I started smelling smells and seeing sights again, rather than having my nose buried into a useless little screen that keeps me up-to-date on the latest world news and developments with my close friends and family. When did a rose bush or a sunset ever tell you about the Drake/Meek Mill beef, millennials? I had to ask the Sun Newspapers interns to help me with that popular music reference, and that’s my point: I cornered them and made them feel uncomfortable in person – in person – rather than by sending a tiny picture of an eggplant or whatever.

3. I have a ton of free time now that I’m not constantly checking social media websites or playing teeny tiny video games, and it’s just a coincidence that I use that extra time to chastise others for taking advantage of new technology. This afternoon, I whittled a tree branch into a smaller tree branch – that’s something I never would have done with my cell phone constantly beeping and booping in my pocket.

4. I’ll probably save money. Now that I don’t have a cell phone bill to pay, that $100 each month can go towards more socially-conscious pursuits like craft beer and daily fantasy sports. Small businesses are the cornerstone of this economy, but you selfish millennials with your “I want a fulfilling job” and “my student debt is crippling me”-itis would never understand that.

5. I’m reading more “literature,” instead of dumb tweets and Kardashian Facebook statuses. Dan Brown is a fine author who can spin quite a yarn, and I can’t wait to finish The Dark Tower series, too!

Anyhow, there’s probably more benefits, millennials, but the overriding stereotype about all of you is your short attention spans and so, like all generalizations, I’ll take it at face value and move on with my life, unphased by changes in society or the ways people exist in it.


Joseph “af” Bowen

Contact Joe Bowen at [email protected]