Procvičte si angličtinu: Our experiences make us who we are

4. 7. 2018 | | Cestování, Názory, Studentský život

Jana Dyčková vyučuje na Katedře anglického jazyka pod Fakultou mezinárodních vztahů.

Is this title true about the tech-savvy generation Y? Some young people appear to appreciate their little gadgets more than those fleeting moments which can never be recaptured.

For the generation of people born in 1950s and 60s, only a lucky few had a phone line installed in their flats 30 years ago. Thus, face-to-face communication was clearly the best way to socialise. With real-life interactions, which are unfortunately on the outs, you can catch any subtle tone in a voice and see your companion’s changing facial expressions. Yes, many of you may object that by using Skype you can see the person you´re talking to, but it is still only a screen. In this new gadget haze, many are becoming hipsters constantly connected to smart devices that are taking up more and more time in our lives.

I was closed behind the iron curtain for many years – for all my childhood, teenage years and young adulthood. So, it’s no wonder I was hungry to travel when the borders opened after November 1989. I can remember the breath-taking sights from almost all of the places I have visited so far. Deserts in New Mexico, the ancient city of Petra carved into the rock cliffs of Jordan, the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, Maya pyramids in Mexico, volcanos in Costa Rica, galleries in Paris, Madrid and Florence and, of course, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel where I couldn’t take my eyes off Michelangelo’s ‘The Last Judgement’. Even now I can still recall the feeling of joy I had whilst standing on the tea plantations in Sri Lanka, the worries I had whilst walking in the jungle along Venezuela’s Orinoco River, and just staring silently at the Great Geysir in Iceland.  Yes, I took snapshots, but only after I had fully appreciated the moment of being there and gave myself the chance to see it with my own eyes. Thanks to all these experiences, I have become more humble and appreciative, but also more open to different views and opinions.

About three years ago, I visited one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen – Saint Petersburg. Once you´re there, it is a must to see the treasures of the Hermitage. I noticed many young people walking with their smartphones, not looking at the gorgeous paintings or stunning sculptures of which they were ferociously snapping photos, ready for uploading on to their Facebook or Twitter profiles so that their friends can see the message: “Wow, look, we’re here”. The question is, are they really there? Will they remember the excitement of seeing all the beauty surrounding them, or just the fact that the selfie taken there had been their best so far? I´m afraid it may be the latter.

It is sad seeing young people in cafés not chatting together, but tied to their little toys, constantly checking all incoming messages and firing off their replies. I always have a strange feeling that they are texting each other at the table. Only from time to time they remove themselves from the bubble and say a few words. It looks like the people calling are much more important than those sitting right in front of them. Many of you will object, again, that phones and other gadgets have increased the amount of connections to others on all fronts. But, frankly, how can you enjoy the company of someone who is constantly connected to someone else?

So, enjoy your smartphones (I have one as well). It is amazing that such a small thing allows you to be connected to the Internet for updates on the news, sport events or weather forecasts. You have all this at your fingertips, but do not become obsessed by or addicted to your smartphones. Don’t live merely in a virtual bubble; believe in the power of grounding yourself in the present moment. No, I’m not anti-technology – I just try to use it wisely and live a real life instead of being permanently in awe of the latest models of communication devices. So, don’t kill the moment.


gadget haze – žít v mlze v oparu technologických výdobytků

behind the iron curtain – za železnou oponou

the feeling of joy I had whilst standing/walking –  pocit radosti, který mě ovládl když/zatímco jsem stála/šla

ferociously – zuřivě

it may be the latter – to druhé řečené/uvedené je …(pravdivé)

firing off their replies – odpalovat/chrlit odpovědi na přijaté zprávy

frankly – upřímně řečeno

at your fingertips – na dosah ruky

in awe of – být v úžasu

Foto: archiv autorky

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