We are the Generation with Our Heads Down

This post brings me so much joy because it celebrates the first poem that I have written in a very long time. I have been suffering from writers’ block for nearly a month and a half now, and finally I was able to break this barrier and write something that I am actually proud of. At the same time, it gives me the opportunity to talk about something that is not as joyous, but nevertheless is something important to talk about!

I have to thank this lovely young couple, the tech couple, for this inspiration, as well as providing me with content for not just the poem but also my post today. More on these two later.

It is no secret that technology has become a major part of our lives in this time and age. From the time that the first personal computer and cellphone came out, people have been striving for better and faster gadgets, all of which can make our lives easier. The rise of this new technology bring about social media of all kinds and abilities.

We have become the generation with our heads down.

In the good old days of snail mail and face to face conversation, we were able to build up relationships through actually speaking to one another, forging friendships through finding things in common and physically being around others. Now, friendships and relationships have almost become disposable. We have hundreds of Facebook friends, but can we really claim that we are friends with all of them? We can use Tinder to find people that seem to have similar interests as us, but can we claim that it helps us start a meaningful relationship?

Returning back to the aforementioned tech couple, I encountered these two on the Skytrain a while back. They sat next to each other silently, holding hands. Their free hands were occupied with their phone, and the only sound coming from either of them came from their phones. They were like that from Columbia to Production Way, where I eventually got off.

It took me by surprise that this couple never looked up to look at each other. It made me kind of sad too, because it was not just these two that were doing it, but everyone. Including me.

Our generation will forever be remembered as the generation of selfies, endless Facebook friends, Twitter hashtags, Instagram filters, Snapchat stories and swiping right on Tinder. We have all become so boring and conceited to the point where we cannot talk properly or carry conversations without our phones sitting within a one inch radius away from us. And while social media and technology has helped many people to get powerful messages across and show resiliency and solidarity, it has also set us back as a society. We spend hours scrolling through endless posts, catching bits and pieces of other peoples’ lives. We become consumed in other peoples’ stories. We become anxious and compare ourselves against them. We judge and lose ourselves, and are forced to pretend to become someone we are not.

Now, we are living in a world where we take about 50 selfies before we post the perfect one, the camera eats first, and we take in the beauty of nature behind a screen. And I am guilty of all of these things.

I remember when I first realized that I was addicted to Facebook years ago. I was unsatisfied with myself and was constantly comparing myself to the other girls that I had seen on Facebook. I was not skinny enough or wearing the right clothes, my hair was not dyed and I did not have cool gadgets to show off. I could have been perfectly happy and celebrated who I was, but instead I chose to be hung up over things that I did not have. The emptiness was later filled by acceptance and weaning myself off of social media for a bit.

Of course, this is not to say that I can live without social media. I have to admit that I am an avid user of many kinds, but I suppose that the bottom line is that we need to be careful of what social media can do to us. We need to be content with ourselves and live our lives out happily.

This leads me to the poem that I finally wrote, which is entitled “We Are the Generation With Our Heads Down”, just like this post. I have that couple to thank for the inspiration and subject matter. And, taking nods from Shane Koyczan, I arranged and added some music in the background.

You can hear the poem here:

I thank technology each and every day for bringing us to where we are today as a society. However, I really hope that we can all try our best to live, to really live, and be comfortable in our own skin.We may be the generation with our heads down, but that does not have to define us. After all, we are the generation that will need to take charge of the world sooner or later, and we need to show the world that there is more to us than statuses and tweets.

We are a great generation with so much to offer and so much to do. Hope everyone is enjoying the lovely weather! I am off school and have been since late April, so my summer has already started! But whether or not you are a getting ready for finals, just starting summer semester or are basking in the sunshine, remember to really live and not through a screen!

Your fellow Twitterer, Instagrammer and blogger,

x R

(PS – It would be cool if you guys can share the link to my poem! Thanks again for reading!)