It is not uncommon to see adolescents casually strolling about with their faces buried into their phone or hunched over a laptop, swiping and typing away furiously. If anything, it has become the new norm – trading the ultraviolet rays of the sun for the glow of an LED screen.
So it may come as no surprise that in a recent survey conducted in Britain, youths between the ages of 18 and 25 are more concerned with having an internet connection than seeing the sun. Yes, the days of youth choosing to spend their time outside getting into trouble and generally causing a ruckus is slowly but surely coming to an end.
Of those surveyed, 69 percent said that having an internet connection was more vital than daylight, which was third at 64 percent, while freedom of speech (81 percent) topped the list. Hot water (57 percent),a welfare system (37 percent), and a good night’s sleep (11 percent) rounded off the list.
According the Huffington Post, of those who choose an internet connection, they claimed to use the internet 78 times a day on average. Though this survey was done in Britain, it isn’t hard to imagine that the U.S. may produce similar results. To be fair however, Britain isn’t known for getting a lot of sun in the first place.
While many may consider this the deathknell to the “good ol’ days” where people spent their time outside getting physical exercise, that is not necessarily the case. Yes, studies have shown that kids aren’t getting enough time outside, but one has to take into consideration the evolving nature of technology in our lives.
People no longer go outside for the enjoyment of being outside, but to instead try to capture the best snapshot they can. Is it wrong for people to travel popular nature destinations so they can try to one-up their followers on Instagram or Snapchat with their best filter-heavy picture of nature? Do we really fault bikini-laden girls for posting dozens of pictures with their friends trying to tan? No, no we don’t. Not in the least.
So while some adolescents may not see the sun as a necessity in their lives, don’t discount their need to feed their social media addiction and narcissistic need to out-do their peers online while outside.