Rhetorical Analysis of The Tethered Generation

Published: 2021-07-01
1174 words
5 pages
10 min to read
Harvey Mudd College
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Did you know that the average person spends around four years of their life looking down at their cellphone? This is ironic picturing what one can achieve in the same duration of four years. Taking, for instance, a bachelors degree takes four years to complete; yet the same time is spent gazing at an electronic gadget. It is, even more, scaring that these touch screens are gradually but consistently making us lose contact with each other, nature, duties, and even sense of responsibilities. Gone are the days when company meant a lot to people, the modern day person only needs a fully charged phone and a steady internet supply, and they are ready to go. In fact, with these two factors in place, the average human phases off and enters in their zone that is free from human contact. This explains the reason why you can be talking to a person and be forced to repeat something over and over and over because their attention is on the mobile phones. This is worse for children and students who have everything to learn but choose to spend their precious time on the phone. In the past, punishments were in the form of duties, being grounded, and when need be the use of the cane. However, the most severe punishment nowadays is depriving a child off his/her phone. This simple act will get into their nerves and will have them do whatever you wish so that they can get this miraculous device back. This paper is going to analyze the argument brought forth concerning the tethered generation.

From the title of the article, the author uses imagery to symbolize the seriousness of the situation. When someone or something is tethered, it means that it is tied with a rope so that its movement is restricted. Tethering is mostly used for animals to prevent them from straying and for easy monitoring by the owner. The author compares the current generation as to being tethered to their mobile phones. These gadgets have played a significant role in inhibiting their movement and development in life that the author perceives it as being tethered.

The author presents her argument in a very systematic and realistic manner that it is almost impossible to grasp the point she wants to put across. Using Kate Achille as a real life example, she demonstrates how mobile phones have significantly increased unnecessary perpetual connection and how this is a challenge to the workplace. While we were young, it was important that the parents were there at our beck and call. We needed parental guidance, and it was imperative that the parent kept a constant check on and our affairs. Where you were, what you were doing, and why you were doing it was ultimately important to them and with good reason. However, as we grow old, it is important that this connection was savored. Part of growing up and being an adult is being able to handle your business and make adult decisions that do not necessarily require parental intervention. However, from the example that the author uses of Kate, she builds a strong argument why and how this has been made impossible because of mobile phones.

According to the author mobile phones were designed to facilitate communication over long distances. However, the current generation has turned them into GPS, diaries, journals, personal companions, Bibles, entertainment, and so many other things that they have only become the focus of every youth. The author uses Kates mom to illustrate and enhance this point. She says that she knows where her daughter is and her every move because they are in constant communication. The million dollar question is; whereas this communication can be termed important, where does on getting all this time to update their whereabouts? Are there important things that you are missing out at the expense of these constant yet unnecessary communications?

The author uses flashback to show how the internet has changed life in very many ways. Social media is a double-edged sword with pros and cons of its own. One thing is sure, though; it has played a significant role in separating people. Developers of apps and social media that enhance computer-mediated communication will lie to our faces how they connect people whereas what they do is disconnect them. They are the worst form of anti-social communication, and in the process of using them, necessary communication skills are lost. That is why you will find one is very popular and conversant with computer-mediated communications, but when it comes to real life contacts, it is the exact opposite.

Over dependency on the internet is doing more harm than good. Computer-mediated communication was meant to help and suffice where face-to-face communication cannot occur and not avoid interacting with people as they do. The number of friendships and connections broken at the very screens of computers is tremendous and just because they are lost in a very subtle yet professional way does not make it any less an area of concern. The mentality that computer-mediated communications have imposed on people is that they would rather type and post what they feel rather than approach someone personally and tell them the same. The latter has added advantages and is more efficient of course since other factors such as gestures, facial expressions, telepathy and even comfort with the aid of hugs and kisses are incorporated, but its like we are too blind to see that.

The author brings another interesting argument about the effect of peer pressure on the rational decisions made by the tethered generation. Technology has allowed too much connection to peers especially through social media, and according to the author, this is an area of concern. The current generation knows nothing about solitude and personal decision making. A wise man once said being alone is dangerous, because once you experience the peace and serenity that comes with personal space; you might never want to associate with people again. Better still you will be very selective when it comes to the company you keep. However, the current generation has this misconception that solitude is suggestive of loneliness. Whereas there is some truth behind this school of thought, not all people who keep to themselves are lonely. Some just happen to love their company a little too much that they would rather spend time alone that with people who will drain their energy or try to mold them into their idea of perfect. We live in a world where individuality is no longer valued. People seem to be so obsessed with the notion of fitting in that they no longer care to find out who they are or what they like. Their passions, desires, tastes and even behaviors have been so dictated by the community that it was difficult to know who you are anymore, thanks to the internet and the gospel of the tethered generation ("The Tethered Generation").

Works Cited

"The Tethered Generation". SHRM, 2017, https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/pages/0507cover.aspx.


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