Caught in the middle

CHRONOLOGICALLY SPEAKING, I belong to Generation Y, the so-called millennials. We were users of Walkmans, beepers and Windows 95 and suddenly thrust into the amazing world of Skype, iPads and 3D films. So I suppose, like the Australian singer Lenka said, “I’m just a little bit caught in the middle.”

 

I who grew up with Cedie, Princess Sarah and Batibot. In fact, so significant is the impact of the adorable Pong Pagong on my life that I learned to eat ?kangkong? (swamp cabbage) so I could be his friend.

I was one of those who had the privilege of hunting for fireflies, dragonflies and beetles during vacations in the province. I usually placed them in a large glass jar to show off to my friends, and then set them free to maintain the balance of nature, as my mom said.

I rummaged through libraries and got calluses from copying notes for research assignments even with the advent of the Internet. Most of my school reports were creatively written on manila paper, for it was only during college that I became friends with PowerPoint.

I was able to listen to very good music which were immensely different from the ra-ra-ra-ra-ra songs of the present. I loved the simple, realistic Eraserheads as much as I appreciated the Beatles. Talk about lyrics being more important than rhyme.

I played ?siyato? and ?agawang base? with my equally soiled playmates under the scorching heat of the sun. Laughter coupled with fights, scars and smelly shirts?the memories will forever be etched in my mind.

Yes, I am one person who, more often than not, would like to go back to the past?whenever I can afford to slow down a bit.

Maybe I was really caught in the middle. E-books are becoming popular, but I still favor reading a paperback on lazy Sunday afternoons. PSPs are everywhere, but I think children would do their fingers a favor by playing more proactive sports. I would love my nephews to read with Kapitan Basa rather than memorize all the Pokemons in the world. Family get-togethers are a better idea than peering over someone else?s online profile for hours. And with all honesty, I believe that students will learn more about their lessons if they could do away with the copy-paste practice.

I do not want my generation to be known as spoiled, but the immense power of technology often makes us vulnerable. Most people want to seize all its advantages and refuse to assume responsibility for their actions. This is the reason we have students who graduate with insufficient knowledge; why most children prefer playing Dota to eating dinner with their families; why the Cyberworld is full of hackers, maniacs and scammers; why pop songs are punctuated with the f***s and sh**s; and why half of the world?s problems are unsolved, if not aggravated, by technology. We only have ourselves to blame for not accepting, or refusing to accept, the responsibility that come with using this two-faced commodity.

I call upon my fellow millennials to take advantage of the angelic rather than the monsterrific face of technology. There are zillions of simple ways to do it. Like teaching your sibling to read and understand the assignment he Googled. Like installing useful, educational applications on your cellular phone rather than loading it with scandals. Like getting yourself a good book to read. Like planting a tree as your penance for your massive carbon footprint. Like volunteering for a good cause such as teaching younger kids, or better yet, starting your own cause. Or, perhaps, weaving your thoughts in a write-up like this, sending it via e-mail, praying that it would get published and hopefully ring a bell to all generations and set them off to action.

(Jeniffer Rio B. Capanang, 21, is a PR and marketing assistant at Southville International School and Colleges.)