As a little girl, Sundays meant the world to me. Sunday mornings meant that it was time to go outside with my dad and learn how to fly a kite. We would spend hours laughing and bonding over how terrible our kite flying abilities were and often talked about what was going on in our lives  (as a little girl the most stress I had was hoping the kite would not get stuck on the neighbor’s roof). It was a simple activity- yet it made our bond so much stronger.

On weekdays, I would always look forward to playing outside after such a long day at school. The kids in our development would all meet outside around five to play a few games of four square or flash-light tag. We played for hours. Once it got dark we would all go inside for dinner and then beg to go back outside to play again.

We waited eagerly for the next time we would be able to see one another. The only way to know if your friend would be able to come outside was to either knock on their door or to wait and see if he/she was already outside. No texting, whatsapping, facebooking, no nothing.

Today, kids (and people in general) do not have the once precious gift of “free time”. In fact, I argue, there is no such thing as free time anymore. Kids playing outside which was once a way to create bonds with other people through interaction and socializing- is now a mere memory of the past.

Swing sets have been replaced with iSwingSets, flashlight tag has become an app, and firefly catching has turned into a reference to a music festival. The way in which we used to make friends and interact with other people is now gone.

The development of such advanced technology has prohibited forms of socialization due to the fact that techology itself has created a generation of socially awkward individuals. With so many options for communication and so many wants and needs- this generation has the most difficult time in which to grow up.

Instead of playing outside to enjoy the weather and be with other people, kids now go outside in the hopes that it will be good lighting for a snap or an instagram . The mentality has transformed from being that of “others” to that of “i”.

I am saying all of this not to hate on the younger generation and my generation. Yet, I am saying this because I feel we have become a generation of ignorance. We have become way too self-absored and are forgetting to zoom out and focus on meaning.

I find meaning in getting to know and understand other people. I find meaning in think and writing about life and about expierences. Yes, I am an active user of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. But do I let my life be controlled by their existence?…no.

I challenge each and every person to take one day or even one hour to just turn your phone off or even leave it at home. Just one day without the need to constantly check every app you have in the hopes that someone is “liking” something you have posted. Honestly, you will be so amazed how much you actually hear and learn from others when you are less pre-occuped with yourself.