Materialism in Teens

Derek Demlow, Staff Writer

Being a student in high school, I think it’s safe to say that the majority of the high school students have a cell phone on their person all throughout the school day. Most students are given one to keep in contact with family, or be able to call the police or other emergency contacts in any similar case. However, these purposes have been almost completely overshadowed by the entertainment capabilities of smartphones, such as access to social media or music at their convenience. Some parents even use the absence of these smartphones as a punishment. Though there are many examples of students reliance on technology, I believe that teenagers in this generation are not becoming overly materialistic.

The stereotypical teenager in this day in age is one who is enraptured by their phone, and in turn become less interactive in simple daily life activities, like having a conversation. In reality, the use of smartphones and other gadgets have no connection to conversing with other people. There are more than enough students who would be willing to sit down and chat with adults about daily life, or more thoughtful topics. Certain adults only see teens as technology-reliant because the major advancement of this technology had developed right when teens our age were beginning to grow up, so they’ve been exposed to it their entire lives.

Many people will provide examples, such as how teens would rather be on their phone while eating dinner with their family, or taking  whatever spare time they have to update whatever social media they have to offer. Although in many cases these statements are true, it has nothing to do with this upcoming generation. It’s human nature to try and be the best of the best. That’s why technology is continually being improved, to try and be the best that it is. As a result, humans are exposed to this advancing technology, children, teens, and adults alike. The natural progression of technology does not affect one age group of people, there are plenty of people in their forties and fifties who use social media such as Facebook and Twitter. My mom is on her phone almost all the time at home, but nobody thinks anything of it because she’s an adult.

Technology is necessary for an improving society. Not only for teens, but nearly everyone in our society has some sort of smart gadget that they use daily. Arguing that teens are becoming too materialistic/ technology-obsessed is not going to stop what future advancements can, and will, be developed. All we can do is accept that this technology is becoming more relevant in our lives, and that this change is not for the worst.