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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Gainesville, Florida, USA

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Gainesville, Florida, USA
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hhinten



Registered: April 2016
City/Town/Province: Archer
Posts: 1
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My generation has witnessed the dawning of a new age of technology. Several of these technological advancements have greatly benefitted our society. For example, social media sites have allowed us to increase awareness of societal issues such as diseases and racism, causing more people to take action than ever before. However, over the years, I have begun to observe the drawbacks of technological advances such as smart phones, portable tablets, and other devices. I started to realize that a lack of education in effective communication now exists because humans, specifically teenagers my age, have become so enveloped in the world of social media brought on by devices like smart phones.
People over approximately 25 years old have experienced this infatuation to a lesser degree, as they were not raised with technology at their disposal. Thus, these individuals have obtained a solid foundation in effective oral communication. Younger generations have been the first to illustrate this fault in society because they start using smart phones around the same time they learn how to converse with others. I go to restaurants and see entire tables devoid of conversation. Families are not expressing their thoughts or emotions to the people they love, sitting directly across from them, because they are glued to their so-called smart devices.
Eric Pickersgill's photographic series "Removed" is a great depiction of this lack of face-to-face communication. His photographs show the behavior of humans on their cell phones with the cell phone itself digitally removed. The result is an image lacking in emotion and awareness, and is, in fact, quite scary. I have observed the anxiety and withdrawal experienced by my peers because they forgot their phones at home for a day and am determined not to end up like them. I have had repeated discussions on the unsafe behavior of both male and female friends, who think the only risk from driving distracted by texting or talking on their phone is to themselves.
Due to my awareness of this societal flaw, I enjoy a feeling of freedom when I forget my smart phone at home or simply decide not to bring it with me. I believe this sets me apart from the majority of teenagers my age, and I now associate this feeling of freedom with my personal identity. I frequently take my dog to canoe around the waterways that my high school Environmental Club has helped clean up, peaceful sanctuaries away from the hustle and bustle of Gainesville. Once, I decided to leave my phone in the truck. On that placid day, I enjoyed fishing, paddling, and hiking with my canine companion, Thor. I photographed water lilies and white egrets in glass-smooth water reflecting the cloud streaked sky, interrupted only by the plop of my fishing lure and knowing I was in the midst of a healthy environment. I dropped anchor and took a nap in the absence of the ringing, dinging, and chiming sounds of a cell phone; the sounds of which were replaced by sounds of slurping water, grasses leaning in the breeze, and bird calls. I even felt that I had a special connection with Thor that I would not normally have experienced. Leaving my cell phone behind helped me recognize that I could delve even deeper into the sights, sounds, and scents of nature that I had already loved and taken care of so much.
I have realized that phones are not only changing the way humans interact with humans, but also how humans interact with their surrounding environment. I believe my way of life helps me to maintain a healthy connection with the natural world, keeping me safe, sensible and down to earth. The identity I have developed has granted me access to a more expansive and insightful world-view. I hope that others can learn to alter their perceptions as well by cutting that string that is pulling their chin down to their chest, get outside and clean up!
Date: April 19, 2016 Views: 1253 File size: 20.4kb, 78.4kb : 452 x 338
Hours Volunteered: 182
Volunteers: 14
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 18 & 14-18
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