Unplug & Recharge//

Joe Biden to Grads: Stop Living in Your Screens

The former vice president on the dangers of technology.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has a message for graduates: Get offline and look up at the world around you.

Biden addressed Cornell University’s class of 2017 for commencement on May 27th, highlighting how our screen-centric society affects our success, happiness and sense of self.

“The people I’ve known who are successful and happy are the people who treat others with the same dignity that they demand for themselves,” Biden said, adding “to do that, you will have to fight the urge to build a self-referential, self-reinforcing and self-righteous echo chamber of yourself online.”

It’s no secret that screens (especially social media) warp our sense of self and others, something that Biden points out is especially dangerous at a time when “others” — marginalized communities — are at increased risk in America.

Screenshot courtesy of YouTube

“Living in your screens encourages shallow and antiseptic relationships that make it easy to reduce the ‘other’ to stereotypes. They’re not flattened versions of humanity. They’re a whole person: Flawed, struggling to make the world better, just like you. To make it in the world, just like you.”

In an era where our President is tweeting at 3 a.m., it’s fitting that Biden’s speech was centered on our digital identities.

The best solution to the problems Biden outlined? Take your conversations offline. Whether it’s chatting with a friend with similar views or confronting a rogue uncle who wants to hash it out in the comments section, fostering real, in-person conversations about difficult topics can help you listen with empathy, or move beyond just reaffirming opinions and help you brainstorm viable action.

Read the full commencement address on The Ithaca Voice.

Originally published at medium.com

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Unplug & Recharge//

What Joe Biden and Bill Clinton Have to Say About Social Media

by Shelby Lorman

February: Three Favorite Things And/Or People To Help Us Blossom In 2019!

by MeMe Kelly

Rarely Discussed But Widely Felt, Mental Health is on the Ballot

by Bryan Specht

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.