Power outages reveal ugly truth about this generation


BY Julia Lombardo ’20

This past Nor’easter on March 7 was one like no other. A downed tree blocked off my street and prevented anyone from entering or leaving. In other words, I was trapped. Trapped with two disobedient, younger brothers.

When the power went out, I wasn’t too worried. I knew it took the generator about 30 seconds to kick in, so I waited. And I waited. Even after five minutes, I had hope. But then it grew clear that the generator wasn’t going to turn on. I began to panic. Not only was my phone at 18 percent, all– and I mean all– of our flashlights were dead. I mean, I guess it makes sense: Why charge flashlights when you have a generator? Let me tell you something, charge them anyway.

The next morning, despite my low battery, I watched a few shows on Netflix, sent some Snaps, and, don’t worry, I remembered to text my parents that we were alive before my phone died. My brothers couldn’t play Fortnite. I couldn’t do any school work or watch any shows. It was a disaster. I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but I wished I was at school.

In our generation, we revolve around electronics and technology in all aspects of life. It is how we communicate, how we get work done and how we have fun. I can’t imagine life without technology, maybe because I was born into this era. I grew up having TVs around the house, getting a phone for fifth-grade graduation and receiving a computer upon entering high school. Technology has surrounded my life, and, like many, I don’t know how to function without it.

According to the Washington Post, “Teens are spending more than one-third of their days using media […] nearly nine hours on average.” Technology consumes our lives each and every day. Whether it is to play a video game, check Instagram or even complete school work, we demand technology to fulfill these tasks.

When the power went out and all my electronics were dead, I didn’t even think about reading a book or playing a board game. We are culprits of being trained to practically require technology in order to function. That’s why I would rather have been at school, where there was power and WiFi.

With around 4,500 Westport residents without power after the storm, many struggled to find things to do not requiring WiFi, electricity and power. Living in this world where technology seems to grow on trees, we have forgotten how to operate without these things. We have forgotten how to take a step back and acknowledge how lucky we are. We are generation X. The ugly truth is that we are the generation that needs technology to survive.

I am not trying to complain. I am not even trying to point fingers. I just hope that next time there is a power outage or we are somewhere without these “necessities,” that we take advantage of it. Take advantage of the time we can spend with friends and family. Take advantage of the board games, books and resources that don’t require technology. There is so much in this world beyond our game of Fortnite, episode on Netflix or our Instagram feeds.