The Head Down Generation

Adam Bennett
KTSW news

Everywhere you look there is somebody using some form of technology via their smart phone, laptop, and even in their cars they drive. The impact of technology is apparent and it commands how we communicate, handle business and understand the world. A new generation of people has emerged since the technology boom and everyone has become part of the movement otherwise known as the head down generation which is a term used to describe people who constantly have their face buried in technology and letting the world just pass them by. Yuliya Melnikova, Doctoral Teaching Assistant at Texas State University, had a lot to say about technology and how she uses it  in her personal life and in the classroom.

 “Technology has increased our communication, but at the same time decreased our communication because instead of me calling someone I am gonna text them, so my social interaction, even though I can be talking to five people at the same time or taking photos and sharing the photos, I am getting a different kind of communication, so we’re losing talking.”

A big topic is technology in the classroom and how students and teachers will adapt to the rapid change in teaching and learning methods. It is not uncommon to see a six year old on their mom’s iPad playing a game or students having their textbooks uploaded to their tablet or laptop. Melnikova teaches math at Texas State University so the need for technology is obvious, but faces some resistance.

“In mathematics, oddly enough, we adapt technology so readily into our lives, but in mathematics it has been very slow. Graphing calculators is the biggest use of technology. Most math classrooms, they require you to have a graphing calculator, but even now you kind of have this debate on technology, ‘Well, do we want our students using calculators? Don’t we want them to figure it out by themselves?’ In mathematics it is kind of hard to accept it. My biggest thing is using the Elmo. It projects what I am writing onto the screen and I actually look at my students. I like to use technology as a tool for teaching, but I don’t use it as much as perhaps I should.”

The typical mobile subscriber now sends and receives more texts than phone calls according to Nielson. That is not surprising because texting is instantaneous. Technology has made our life simpler, but at the same time making us lazy.

“Yeah, I am definitely texting. I am not big on phone conversations to begin with so texting to me is the best way to get a hold of friends.”

In comparison, psychology major Jackie Terry, likes to use technology in the classroom. She feels it helps her better understand the material and where to correct her mistakes.

 “Probably my math class because we have a little clicker and we all pick what answer we like with the clicker and the statistics show which answer was best picked from the whole class.”

With technology comes many trends and fads, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more. Where Melnikova only uses Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family, Terry explores all trends.

“Well I am on Tumblr, Facebook, and instagram, but I have been on Facebook for a long time and instagram I didn’t get till I got my iPhone. I would say back to the peer pressure is to why I got most of them.”

In the end, technology is a force driven by society. It demands a high amount of resources and money to continue the never ending growth. So how long can you live without using technology?

 “I see it only getting more and more intense. I feel more of it is more towards making money rather than actually helping the society so that kind of turns me off with technology going up and up so I guess we’ll see what happens.”

Listen to the story here,



4 thoughts on “The Head Down Generation

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