In our age, technology has allowed us to connect with our friends and peers in an instant making the world a smaller place. My sister and I grew up with technology taking hold of our lives since we were in elementary school. While it is easier to connect with others across the world, this modern age of technologly has allowed to us to distance ourselves with those closest to us, our families.
In first grade, my friends and I all got a Nintendo DS, and we were addicted. We would play games with each other non-stop, and we loved every second of it. When I moved to San Ramon, the new up and coming device was the iPod Touch. With this new piece of technology, I was able to text my friends, and we grew closer through technology and hanging out in person. From my perspective at the time, I thought I had a healthy balance of personal connections with my friends and communicating with them via technology.
While I became closer to my friends, it was coming at a cost. I slowly started becoming less attached from my family, spending more time with my friends online, and they were taking notice. Through middle school, my parents began to monitor how much time I could spend on my phone. This was displeasing because academically and athletically I was succeeding and this appeared as a form of punishment. However, I began to regain the close bond I had with my parents before. Family events had regained the connectiveness that they had before. In high school, I saw this “punishment” as a blessing in disguise because in middle school I was able to become more connected with my family.
History does repeat itself; my sister started sixth grade this year and is going through the same situation I did. She’s always on her iPad facetiming her friends or making Musically videos. Before I left for college, I tried to hang out with her more despite our age difference. Being seven years apart makes it harder for us to relate to each other, so instead, I offer her advice instead of her upcoming years. I used every excuse I could to try to be with her such as picking up from school, even though I would have to wait half an hour in the long line of cars, getting lunch with her on the weekends and helping her with sports. To my astonishment, neither of us went on our phones at all when we’re together. Those long wait times
Technology has allowed us to make connections with each other instantly but has cost us relationships with those closest to us. My sister and I both went through similar situations during middle school, and hopefully, she realizes sooner the importance of family than I did. With careful moderation, technology can allow us to connect us to new people and will enable us to keep the close relationships that we need within our family.