The Piedmont Highlander

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The Piedmont Highlander

The Piedmont Highlander

Green Club members set up a planter near the 30s building
Green Club Feature
November 30, 2023

Double standards define technological culture

She sits in the meeting, attentively listening to the adult speaker discuss the upcoming Boy Scout events. She pulls out her phone to check her calendar and suddenly all eyes turn to her.

Junior Hayden Payne attends Boy Scout meetings which allow students to interact with adults in a professional environment. Payne said students can be scorned for having their cell phones out while the adults may not be.

“People look at you differently when you have your phone out because they think that you are on Facebook or on Instagram,” Payne said.

Payne said that in actuality, students at the meetings are often checking their calendars, not using their devices to text and connect to social media.

Psychologist Christina Villarreal said she believes there is a definite double standard between teenagers and adults when it comes to technology.

“Teens fall prey to harsher rules,” Villarreal said.

Villarreal said while adults often have stricter rules for teens, they bend the rules for themselves.

“Adults feel that there should be more exceptions for themselves,” Villarreal said.

Senior Will Brown believes adults use their cellphones as much as students do. Brown said there are rules placed on students that are not the same for adults.

“A lot of people don’t trust [students] to do what they are supposed to be doing most of the time, and that’s true with technology as well,” Brown said.

Mahvash Hassan has two daughters who attend Piedmont schools. Hasan said double standards are apparent in everyone.

“Teenagers [are shocked] about the adults in their lives having an Instagram account, [and] adults wonder why their teen must have yet another social media tool to stay connected to a friend they just spent five hours with,” Hassan said.

Psychologist Mark Dombeck said adults might get a free pass when using their cell phones because it can be perceived as work related.

“Increasingly, employers have been encroaching on ‘away-from-work’ time and are expecting employees to be available 24/7,” Dombeck said.

Dombeck said because adults must work in order to provide income for their families, their technology use is more accepted.

“Teens are more likely be be purely socializing or playing games, which may be seen as more frivolous,” Dombeck said.

Payne attributes the technological double standard to the growing popularity of social media among students.

“When you look at teenagers, they are always looking at their phones,” Payne said. “I think people see that around and assume that every teenager does it.”

Payne said she believes that technology’s double standard will change over time. She said that as the next generation continues to advance technologically, the benefits of technology will become clear.

“It seems frivolous now, but we are a little more technologically intelligent than previous generations and are able to cope with the growing role of technology,” Payne said.

Brown said as technology continues to grow and improve, people will learn to accept its role in society.

“The more and more we use technology, [the more] people’s attitudes toward it will be less aggressive and more understanding,” Brown said.

However, Brown believes there will always be a double standard between adults and teenagers.

“If my phone goes off in class, it will always be different than if a teacher’s does,” Brown said.

Payne said as technology progresses, so will technological etiquette.

“People looking at their phones all the time, that’s just bad manners,” Payne said. “But people are going to get better about it.”

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