By Sophia Aigner
All too often, I fall victim to the habit of being too busy. I’m too busy for relaxing; too busy for reading; too busy for friends; too busy for everything. You can imagine when I catch a break, all I want is to unwind completely. However, Instead of relaxing with a book or skimming through an article, I, like most teenagers, gravitate to my iPhone.
Until recently, I had never found a fault in this routine. My parents, of course, disagreed with it thoroughly, arguing that “phones make kids oblivious to world issues,” but I always considered this an aspersion. Although I would rather watch a youtube video than read the New York Times, I was certainly not “oblivious.” I knew about the college scandals, the Mueller Report, and Jussie Smollett. Maybe I wasn’t the most informed, but I was surely informed enough, right?
Well, admittedly, last week I discovered that I had been dismayed by my mentality…
Weirdly, this all started at the annual sophomore World War I Debate. I was a judge moderating the “Can World War I Happen Again?” Debate room. Given the topic, it was quite clear that the discussion would surround modern day issues of diplomacy, militarism, and imperialism. Even though I was confident that I could keep up with the discussion, in reality, I found myself just as confused as some of the sophomores. Throughout the discourse, I was amazed and quite embarrassed by how much I didn’t know. Even as a judge, I couldn’t decipher the crisis in Venezuela, or the turmoil in Brazil.
That day, as I returned home, I couldn’t rid that feeling of embarrassment—you could see it all over my cheeks. Feeling defeated, I tried to forget about the day’s events. Almost by instinct, I reached for my phone.
Then, I stopped.
Staring down at the metal object, I began to think: This is the problem, this is the reason why I don’t know as much as I should. Maybe it’s time I go read an article.
For some reason, in this day and age, the habit of “being too busy” is affecting us all. As teenagers, we make it a responsibility to do our homework and allow ourselves downtime, but we often neglect to save moments in our schedules to catch up on current events. Although reading an article or watching the news may seem like a waste, staying conscious in this post-truth world is more important now than ever. Believe it or not, but we are the next generation—the next generation of leaders, teachers, lawmakers, scientists, and most importantly, we are the next generation of change. How can we rise to the occasion if we continue to enthrall ourselves in a world of meaningless of likes, dislikes and emoticons? How can we fulfill our civic duties if we’re always “too busy?”
There are too many issues waiting to be addressed and too many debates waiting to be settled. If we all read a little more and scrolled a little less, maybe these problems would have answers.
The next time you find yourself aimlessly fumbling through Instagram, or catching a break from homework, I implore you to remember this: a generation thriving off of ignorance is a generation destined for decay.
You’re never too busy to stay informed.