By Zach Rehfus

A new school year has begun (my senior year of college!), and I have already noticed a few trends among my fellow students. Walking out of my class today, I felt like I was in a movie, students lining the walls down the hallway waiting for their classes to begin, and not one of them was looking up or talking to anybody. Everyone had their eyes glued to their phone. I always try to meet new people and talk to those around me, but that becomes more difficult when everyone is wearing headphones or engrossed in their phones. I can’t help but wonder if this is an issue, or if it’s a normal part of my generation.

Early 90’s kids, like me, are the in-between generation. I can still remember using a floppy disk on Windows 90, or listening to the awful dial-up sound upon starting the Internet. I’ve been finding out that kids born just half a decade after me don’t remember any of this. But when it comes to the older generation, I’ve found myself teaching them about using technology. Since my generation and those younger than me are very up-to-date on the latest technology, we know how useful it can be in our daily lives. However, is it also taking away the desire to learn basic skills?

For example, currently I’m taking a very basic history class in order to fulfill my last general education requirement (in other words, these are mainly first-year students in the class). The professor spent most of the first day going over how to properly email her; correct punctuation, complete sentences, capitalization, and not writing as if it were a text message. She also had to explain how to use roman numerals. These are just a few examples that made me aware that sometimes technology hinders people from learning skills they really need. Not only in school, but in a business environment, it is very important to know how to compose an email, create an outline, and write a report.

Elders, bosses, professors, and parents, please take my generation by the hand that isn’t holding their cell phone, and make sure these skills don’t become phased out by technology.