Death by technology: our generation’s struggle toward reluctant adulthood

Death by technology: our generation’s struggle toward reluctant adulthood

QUINN DAVIS

Staff Writer

technology cartoon

KATE BIZER ILLUSTRATION

If ignorance is bliss, its cousin denial is a stubborn and sometimes frantic attempt to stay there. We’ve all heard parents and grandparents start novel-length speeches with, “When I was your age…” For them, the ignorance is gone, and so is the denial. They know the significance of April 15 and savor that one week off instead of spending their summers with no more teachers and no more books. But before all that, they too stepped into denial. The limbo of the adult world, denial let them dip their toes into careers and parenthood all while pretending that it was still okay to stay out late with their friends drinking cheap beer in seedy bars. Fortunately for me, my denial hasn’t been crushed yet by the real world. Since graduating college, I’ve slowed my dissolve into “real life” by changing career paths and spending most of my time in college again. But there’s one nemesis the lives of my adult relatives couldn’t prepare me for: the imminent death of my youth by the hands of technology. Many of us have started to deal with the idea of friending our mothers on Facebook. And we’ve been busy censoring the content we share lest that photo of you dressed as a Breathalyzer for Halloween challenges the wholesome image you sell to potential employers. I’m fine and well with all of this, even though it enforces my denial, meaning I’m pushed even further from bliss. The most oppressive part comes when I have to edit my goofy self down to an acceptable and dull representation of what it means to be a young professional. Take my e-mail address, for example. After college, my school-given address made of initials and numbers had to be replaced. Instead of choosing a sensible quinn.davis@something.com like so many of my peers, I went with quinn.d.uplets, a bastardized version of my nickname, Quintuplets. For a while, the goofy moniker worked fine; people guffawed or rolled their eyes once they realized the dorkiness behind the address. But soon after, I found myself repeating the address over the phone to interviewees and interviewers. It’s U-P-L-E-G-S? Quinnduplegs? Uplegs? What? Have you ever thought of having an easier address? One that’s, you know, normal? Well sure, I’ve thought of it. But I’ve also thought of what it would represent: that I may no longer “stick it to the man” by refusing to succumb to adulthood. That the qualities I’ve always thought of as endearing and unique are now just annoying and inconvenient. Maybe they always were, but it didn’t matter before. The pieces of myself that live on the Internet are obviously just representations of my fruitless struggle to get back to ignorant bliss. But until the real world wins, I’m perfectly happy using them to decorate my quaint little place in limbo.

1 comment to Death by technology: our generation’s struggle toward reluctant adulthood

  • Aubrey Parker

    i really liked this and could totally relate to it. i refused to get a “big girl” gmail address w my real name until just three months ago when i got sick of having to explain my other ones that were much more fun and clever.

    my fav part of this article that made me “lol”: “That the qualities I’ve always thought of as endearing and unique are now just ANNOYING and INCONVENIENT.” so true. so funny.

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