It's common for people in their 30s and older to notice how advances in technology have impacted living life in the moment.
But for one Chicago high school student, that realization was not only noticed, it was the basis for a video recognized as one of the winners of the recent Expressions Challenge.
Ivie Aiwuyo, a senior at Gwendolyn Brooks High School and a Schuler Scholar, said it was her little sister's birthday that provided the inspiration for the video A World Outside Your Electronic Box."
"I got her a Rainbow Loom craft kit, and my brother got her headphones," said Aiwuyo, a Chatham neighborhood resident who has been accepted to Dartmouth University for college. "Instead of playing with the Rainbow Loom, she was on TikTok using the headphones. It made me realize how much we are consumed by technology these days."
The video shows examples of how teenagers today will be distracted by technology, sometimes taking time away from studying, spending time with family or enjoying the outdoors.
"Why are we spending every waking moment staring at our phones?" Aiwuyo asks in the video. "In the morning, when we wake up, the first thing we do is grab our phones, check our notifications, our social media, our text messages. And we do the same thing every night."
With a powerful musical backdrop, Aiwuyo then says in the video, "We can't lose ourselves to the superficial world of social media and technology. We need to take back control, feel, touch, see real things. And not through any pixels on the screen.
"So stop scrolling, don't click on the next video or story. Instead, look up, look around you, take in the beauty of your surroundings."
Aiwuyo has been a Schuler Scholar since her freshman year at Brooks. She says the program has been instrumental in helping her find success.
"I probably wouldn't be going to Dartmouth if it wasn't for Schuler," Aiwuyo said. "The college counselor with Schuler helped me narrow my college list, and use certain factors to find the right school."
The Schuler program, Aiwuyo adds, often helps first generation college-bound students find a sense of community and the academic support that's needed.
"My grades have definitely gotten a lot better, I've become more engaged, organized and better with time management," she said. "Schuler helped me build up my confidence to be involved in leadership and a well-rounded person as a whole."