Video Games and Smart Phones: The In-depth Analysis of A Millennial And His Technology

“The world don’t need you, don’t let them deceive you.” — Kendrick Lamar

A picture of me in Morocco.

We are taught to try and learn the answers. We are given tools and technology to find the “right” ways to do things. Whether it be solving a mathematical problem or finding that perfect stress reliever, people expect you to have the answers.

But what if you don’t have them? What do you do then?

To understand this article, you should try and understand me. I am a 20-year-old college student who has switched his major more times than I can count. I am loving brother and son who also prides himself on
being a decent writer/journalist. I am a realist as well as a cynic, but I strive to do right even if I do wrong.

I am what you call a “millennial.”

By simple definition, a millennial is someone who was born between
Generation X and Generation Z. Time Magazine believes that a millennial is someone born between 1980 and 2000, which means I barely make the mark for I was born in 1997.

Nevertheless, the term “millennial” has carried somewhat of a negative connotation to it over the past couple of years. They are rude and unforgiving, they expect the world to abide by their rules, and they hope everything comes to them for free. But do those who are tagged as millennials agree with this? Of course not.

In past years, it has seemed that any argument between old and young is scripted as an argument between Baby Boomer and Millennial. A common argument against millennials is that deep down they are scared. All of their anger and independence is a stem
off of a tree of self doubt.

I am a millennial and I am scared.

So as stated before, I am your typical college student studying away from home. In fact, I packed up my bags and moved as far away from home as I economically could. There was no ground reason as to why I wanted to move away, but to make it short and sweet, I wanted something new.

I grew up in the same town my whole life and wanted adventure. Much like other kids my age, I looked for adventure at college. Where else could you as an average middle-class kid in America?

My first two years moved on inconsistently smoothly. I know that is quite contradicting but eventhough I found myself not knowing who I was, I found myself learning what I did not want to be, a firm concept people need to understand before finding who they want to be.

An old adage suggests that you can never find anything good if you don’t know anything evil. You must know bad before you know good. You need to know what good isn’t, in order to understand what good is. This is where college came in handy.

Moving through the hustle and bustle of each university day, I finally elected to take my journey to the next step; studying abroad.

Now, studying abroad is something that you either can or can not do. I had a friend who could only eat chicken fingers and fries, so by them staying behind, it made quite a bit of sense.

As for me, I didn’t know what to expect. I heard mixed stories of peoples’ experiences in certain countries. Some stories were amazing while others were frightening. I hadn’t had the slightest of clues of
what I was doing.

Nevertheless, I applied, got excepted, packed my bags, and moved off to
a foreign land where I could barely speak the native tongue.

All I could think about as departed on my journey was a quote by the Daily Show’s Trevor Noah. “Traveling is the antidote for
ignorance.” With the world going to hell
since a certain election, I thought that this would be the best time to make myself acquainted with a completely new lifestyle and culture.

To broaden my horizons.

Video Games & Anxiety

Anxiety is the feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.

As I packed up my bags, I contemplated bringing my one source of never
ending joy, my Xbox One. Ever since I was three, I was glued to Microsoft’s bulky gaming machine. Right before Kindergarten, my father bought me the original Xbox along with Halo: Combat Evolved and Crash Bandicoot. I’d spend a third of my childhood with my hands glued
to the “Duke” — the original Xbox controller. 17 something years later, this idea rings true. I still spend my leisure time consumed by a couch, playing in a virtual reality of relaxation and fantasy.

That’s why it was so difficult to leave it behind. If at any moment I had anxiety, I would run to my Xbox and shut myself away from the outside world. This tradition became so apparent that when I had
received a harsh grade while abroad, my father suggested that I’d go and play a video game. The phone call paused in silence as we both figured out that that was impossible.

I don’t feel anxious when playing video games. When you play video games, the adrenaline and rush you feel is second to none. Whether it is a first person shooter or a sports game, you are the hero, and as the hero, you have one goal: to win the game.

In video games, the goal is clear and straight forward. Kill the bad guy, beat the opposing team, so on and so on. This obviously isn’t the case in real life. In real life, nothing is straight forward. Many people, myself included, don’t know which direction to turn. We don’t have a map or hud that points us in the right direction like Master Chief.

We sit idle contemplating our next move. In video games, this is not the case. In a virtual world, we have the power to mess up and not be severely punished. In the real world, if you screw up, your goal could be over before it ever started. This is where the connotation of gamers being lazy comes from. If these individuals are able to find success and happiness through a virtual world, why should they escape
and fail in the real world?

Are they truly happy where they are?

So by leaving behind video games, I had to challenge myself to find a new outlet to relieve stress.

Without technology…I’m scared.

Cell Phones & Standing Reserved

Standing Reserved is the idea that an object is in rest only to be used when someone or something calls upon it. For example, a light is standing reserved. It remains dormant and off when no one needs it, but it is ready to work as soon as someone flicks on the switch. Humans can be standing reserved. Ever receive a late night call from
your boss to work, resulting in you complying? Much like the light switch, your boss flicked you on while you were off.

While abroad, I took it upon myself to see more than the current city I live in. I explored other countries near my region.

I easily booked a ticket, grabbed an Air BnB with some friends, and got in a
taxi, ready to take on a new region of the world.

As I reached the airport and stepped out of the taxi, a quick realization came to my mind: I left my phone in the cab. I quickly ran after the cab but with no luck, it kept driving away. Luckily enough, my buddy was able to get a hold of the cab company with his own phone and was able to get the cab driver to drop by phone off back at my house. This meant two things: My phone was safely secured back at my place and I would spend my journey away from my current living area without a phone.

Due to our flight being so close to our arrival at the airport, I was unable to return home and grab it; therefore, I spent the weekend without it.

At first, the typical thoughts rang through my head. How do I tell my parents I am ok? How do I tell my editors I won’t be able to write articles? How do I take pictures of all the great sites I’ll see?

All of these worries sit in the back of your head while you have a phone in your possession. While with your phone, you are able to access a vast world of social media and interconnectedness. Without your phone, you are seemingly invisible and nonexistence.

That’s what I thought…

I went through the remaining weekend free of any responsibility. I walked around parks and monuments and took in the beautiful sites without a care in the world. I had no emails to worry about, no school, and no articles I needed to write. For a while, I felt free.

The loss of my phone wouldn’t hit me again until my friends and I sat down to get some food. We found a restaurant with wifi which entailed I’d lose connection with the people sitting right in front of me.

And so I did…

Just like that, all conversation was gone. My friends would look at the latest tweets and news, post pictures on Facebook and Instagram, and text their friends and family about what they saw that day.

It is hard for me to be so harsh to my friends because I am fully aware that I would do the exact same thing if I was in their shoes. But nevertheless, I felt out of the loop. I quickly surveyed the rest of the restaurant and soon realized that I was the
odd one out. Everyone had the phones glued to their face. It felt like I was in an episode of Black Mirror and the world has been consumed by their mobiles.

For a long time now, we hear the argument that the world has become too crazed with social media. I agree with that. I knew that before I lost my phone and I realized it once I had returned to it, but here I am, back on my phone.

Having a phone and being connected is not something to be ashamed of. We are able to talk to millions of people worldwide without a care. With our phones, we can call our families and friends and tell them we love them even though it will be months before we see them again.

But it all comes with a cost. Our dependency on phones results in us missing out on the true beauty of the world. It makes us miss the tiny details that so many artists and individuals pick at to make themselves stand out.

With technology… I’m scared.

How does this all relate?

Millennials love their technology. They are the few born into a world where electronics control it. As they grow, so does the technological world around them.

For a few decades now, people have been trying to explain that technology can bring both fear and enjoyment at the same time. Much like my Xbox and my cell phone, I was able to relax and stress at the same time.

Millennials take so much pride in being independent, but how can they
be independent if they are so dependent on technology?

We have become so enclosed in our own bubble that we forget what is out
there. We keep our heads down and our noses to the screen.

By taking a leap of faith and exploring the world, I have become more conscious of the it. In no way am I saying I am a saint or better than other people; instead, I am saying that I have seen more than I
would now than in any video game, Instagram post, or book.

By ignoring my fears, I was able to contemplate serious questions that may never be answered.

I’m still abroad and have no idea how to answer these questions. I still boggle the idea of being without video games and ever since I returned to my phone, it hasn’t left my side.

Conclusion

Technology and Millennials go together like peanut butter and jelly. Technology and fear go together like two peas in a pod. By simple logic, we can conclude that millennials and fear go together like
ketchup and hot dogs.

As I said before, I am a realist and a cynic. I believe that one day we may find the answers, but I don’t believe that it will happen in this lifetime. I’ve set out to find some answers and have come up with
none.

This article was meant to help me find some sort of result but in the end, it has left me with the same amount of self-doubt that I had had before.

With that being said, maybe this is what it is all about. Maybe you aren’t supposed to find the answers. Maybe fear is just a trait that every human must face in some form.

There is no escape from fear. There is no technology (video games or cell phones) that can erase our fears. We are bound to struggle… and that is ok.

At the end of the day, if this article can teach you one thing, it is that you should expand your horizon. Put down the phone and the controller. Find a new culture to explore and open your mind to new
and exciting things.

Your whole life can not be shoved into a simple piece of technology. Our brains are vast with space to be filled. Do not let it be filled with tweets and likes; instead, let it be filled with something new and
original.

Let it be filled with the tiny details.

Let it be filled with fear.

And, finally, as the old quote says, “the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”