Edited by Cynthia Brian 

It is everywhere, with its never-ending presence and its own city, Silicon Valley, to call home.  Yes, I’m talking about technology, one of the most popular methods for people to stay connected and keep informed with the latest information, including news and personal updates. 
The new term for these people is “Generation C” in which the “C” stands for “connected.”  There is no specific age group as being part of Generation C is defined more by a specific trait – tech-addicted.  As a necessity, technology is used as a way to connect, but it has also become an obsession with many young adults dependent on it every minute. 
However, that is not the case with rising senior Annie Weber. 
Being imaginative, Weber took a break from technology as a present for her father’s birthday. Recounting the event, Weber says, “Going without technology was hard and nerve wracking because I was bored and tempted to listen to my IPod.” To divert her thoughts, she played Scrabble, watched a movie, and ate dinner for the remainder of the night, a total of five hours.
“This idea is an especially good birthday present for those parents who don’t like using technology,” Weber enthusiastically adds. “My parents praised me for being so thoughtful.”
Campolindo student Claire Gratz is the exact opposite.  Though she does not willingly leave her technology, she will busy herself with other activities when she has to turn off the TV or computer.  “I will play volleyball, but that lasts for only one hour,” jokes Gratz. 
By unplugging once in awhile we can avail ourselves of opportunities to explore new places and experiences.  Without a phone in tow, Senior Connor Campi kayaked on the Elkhorn Slough, an estuary in Monterey County.  Campi learned something new. “It was amazing to find out from the tour guide that these harbor seals can delay their pregnancy.” 
With our current lifestyles, it may seem difficult to suddenly detach from our gadgets.  Nonetheless, when we take small breaks and slowly challenge ourselves to pause more frequently, we may find joy in spending our time more creatively.  Just like Campi, when we brave life without technology for a even a short time period, we may just discover surprising facts about this world that surrounds us.
Linda Lan Phung, a Miramonte High School junior who volunteers throughout the East Bay, is an officer with Club Be the Star You Are!®, and strives for 17-second miracles, inspired by author Jason Wright. 


As the editor and teen coach for Teen Scene for the newspaper, Cynthia Brian has had the opportunity to work with talented teens with attitude and opinions. She shares selected published works. To read numerous articles shepherded by Cynthia, visitwww.BTSYA.com. Cynthia Brian also produces Express Yourself!™ on Voice America Kids Network heard Tuesdays NOON PTat http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2014/express-yourself or for photos, descriptions, links, and more visit http://www.ExpressYourselfTeenRadio.com