Top of the mornin’ Gwinnett Citizen readers!
I’ve observed a very distinct divide between millennials (those aged 18 to 35-year-olds) and the teenagers of today and their interaction with nature.
Millennials are the last “generation” per se, that values the outdoors. Whereas those born post-2000 seem to have no appreciation for the outdoors.
Millennials are the last group that experienced playing outside until the street lights were lit. We are the last group of kids who were told by our parents to stay outdoors and play with our friends.
Kids now have to basically be forced to go outside and play. Sadly, this is where technology hasn’t brought people together. Instead, technology has caused the beauty of the world around us to fall by the wayside as today’s teenagers aren’t experiencing all this Earth has to offer.
The only time I can recall seeing teenagers and Millennials in the same place was at Suwanee Town Center Park and everyone was playing Pokémon Go. Those outings resonated with me as I was really happy to see the kids of today out and about.
If I had to relate nature to an emotion, I’d pick serene. Serene because of the landscape, but also because of the health benefits. It is scientifically proven that being surrounded by nature relieves stress, promotes creativity, improves mental health, and boosts your immune system.
During the summer my family would go jet-skiing and camping. Those memories still resonate with me even now. The sound of the water hitting the docks or the little fishes swimming in the water...all of that is nature, and the children and teens of today are missing out on it because of the hold technology plays in their lives.
To put it into perspective, a group of friends and I (ages 17-28) went on a nature hike through Panther Creek Trail and while on the trail, we discussed numerous topics as we hiked to the waterfall. That form of verbal communication is by far more valuable than through a digital interface. For most of us, myself included, that was also the first time we sat alongside a waterfall, let alone experienced swimming right below the brisk water as it flowed down the emerald moss-covered rocks. It was an experience I will never forget.
Kids of today I urge you to put down your phones, tablets, video-game controllers and go outside and explore. It will be there when you get back.
Till next time!
Alex Le is a millennial and is a feature writer the Gwinnett Citizen. She enjoys nature, spending time with family and friends, writing stories and poems, and adventure. Her aspiration is to be an Investigative Journalist one day working on the Crime Beat.
Alex can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Till next time!