A Technology Take Over


STARKVILLE, Miss.(WCBI) – From maps to apps, technology continues to grow with just a swipe.

“Growing up as a child I use to play with my dolls and do puzzles and read my books,”said Starkville resident Shelia Powell.

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If you were born between 1981 and 1996, your life probably revolves around technology.

A 2018 Pew Research Center report says almost 97% of Millennials use the internet and 92% use it on a smart phone.

“If you think about the generations, the Baby Boomers really were influenced by television. My generation was really influenced by the computer, the computer revolution. Then the Millennials came along and they were really influenced by mobile technology and the internet,”said MSU NSPARC Associate Director Dr. Jonathan Barlow.

Shelia Powell says she remembers having to travel before Garmin, TomTom or Siri’s help.

“Payphones, we had to pull over to use the payphone. We didn’t have the cell phones then. We didn’t have the Google Listing on the phone that you could pull up to tell you what location you’re at, or how far you need to go to be at your next destination. We didn’t have those things,”said Powell.

Barlow says technology is definitely something that’s useful.

“Most of them don’t have to write checks or go to banks to deposit checks. All of their transactions with government, education, and every other provider is online. It’s much more of a convenient world,”said Barlow.

However, not necessarily just for the younger generations.

“My mother is getting close to being 80, and she’s very dependent on her cell phone. Her cell phone, that’s what she uses to contact all of us, how she gets medical care, how she looks up the weather. I think we’ve all grown very dependent and even in our negative moments it’s still better,”said Barlow.

However convenient, Powell says she just hopes it doesn’t leave a negative impact on generations to come.

“They’re not going to know a lot because this computer and this modern day technology is doing do most of their work for them. So, a lot of them are going to be left behind if they don’t get it on their own,”said Powell.

Only about 85% of Generation X – those people in their mid to late 40s, own a smart phone.