By Managing Editor Molly Barrieau
You hear that? I do. That nostalgic, groan-inducing screech, followed by the beeping and humming as your internet came to life. The vast green pasture under the bright blue sky of your desktop lights up, and you click on Internet Explorer to check on your Neopets.
It’s hard to imagine that this was only ten years ago. That our generation (hi, Millennials) are on a constant, steep incline of the newest technology at our fingertips—and it still bewilders our parents.
Last week, I went to my dad’s house. He told us that our eldest half-sibling Jolene gave him a tablet for his birthday. My dad needed help connecting to the almighty Internet. After an hour, he could now text me, message my sister in China, check CBC News and Snapchat us. It may take a few weeks before he can type with more than one finger with his reading glasses on, but he is stepping into the 21st century and I couldn’t be more proud.
You see, my father had a landline up until this point. You couldn’t reach him outside his house, and I think he liked it that way. It’s kind of unbelievable that his generation may never learn the technology to the extent we have.
We learn to code in high school, create websites in college and learn shortcuts to make everything that much faster, that much more convenient.
And so, I look to Generation Z—those born between 1995 and 2012. The possibly most tech savvy bunch. They are born surrounded by technology, holding iPads in their eager and adaptive hands.
Since 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recommended prohibiting children under two from screen exposure. But this October, the AAP released a report that suggests a small amount of screen time could be beneficial long as a caregiver is “present and involved”.
They also suggested that there be no restriction to video chatting, as this has become a new means of communication, and healthy as per the docs. An article from Scientific American suggests that parents should stop using screen time to soothe an upset child, and instead choose quality programming and watch it with them.
Imagine restricting the screen time for university students. There are days where I possibly spend an upwards of eight hours with my laptop in front of me. It’s a sad and necessary part of a learner’s life now to have your life saved to your cloud. (I watched a movie the other night based during the Cold War, and the soldiers almost threw away a man’s dissertation—his only copy—I almost cried at the thought of that not being saved elsewhere).
We now live in a disparate time, with the older generation trying to stay afloat while their grandchildren are learning to unlock an iPhone with their fingerprints. As someone on the cusp of Z with a slice of Y, I balance the need for technology with the appreciation for bygone days—books, phone calls, and mail.
I will always prefer physical copies to digital, paper to e-books. This newspaper is for all of you, those who still love the ink and crunch of the pages, and those who have too many tabs open.
Molly is a creative writing major with a modern languages minor, has a love for editing, publishing and linguistics. She is in her fifth and final year at VIU. She hopes to land a job in Montreal and open a poutine truck with her partner when she retires.