What have we come to?

The following is published as part of the Young Voices initiative, a program that pays students in Geraldton to publish articles they write. Click here to learn more.

Australia, a land of "golden soil and wealth for toil", a land "girt by sea". We have a land abounding in "nature's gifts", thought to be "beautiful, rich and rare". Geraldton, a small country town, is contiguous with beautiful beaches, covered with a wide range of parks, sporting complexes and infrastructure, and is filled with many amazing small businesses run by locals. 

Though, this leads me to ask: Why isn't our town, our pristine beaches, and our locally run shops and services flocked with young adults like myself? Why are really cool activities and opportunities bypassed so easily by us teenagers. Why is it so hard for our parents to just get us outside?

What is the first thing that you think of when approached upon the characteristics of a teenager? I guarantee that the majority of people think of the intoxication and addiction to phones that we as a generation adhere. See, people our age prefer to live their phone rather than in the world surrounding us. We prefer to talk with our fingers, play sports with our thumbs and listen to music through a cord. 

As a teen and ex-avid gamer myself, I can't deny that I once preferred to live in and control a simulated world than go outside and 'kick the footy.' 

However, lately I have found that the real world around us, Geraldton, Australia, has so much more to offer than a screen connected to a dark box of cables and circuits. I have found that there are too many iPhones, iPads overriding genuine smiles and conversation. The fact that we need to lift our eyes away from our screens and enjoy the amazing things our town have to offer; to once again realise that social media essentially makes us unsocial.

As a member of the future generation, I plead. I ask that we simply take a little more time to open our eyes and enjoy the life that our country town by the beach has to offer. To start acting upon and experiencing the things that we all have sung before in our very own Australian anthem. Australia is amazing, wake up.