Power can have a powerful hold over us

McKenzi Roe ’17, Editor-In-Chief

If you are a resident of the South Lyon area, then during March 2017 you became a part of one of the most historical power outages in the state of Michigan. On March 8, due to extreme high winds with gusts of more than 60 miles per hour, more than 800,000 of Detroit Edison’s (DTE) 2.1 million customers were stripped of their electricity. A large majority of South Lyon High School’s student body and staff were left in the dark, whether it was at home or at work, and as a result, South Lyon received two full days off of school.

While some families gained their power back within the first day or two of this extreme outage, many people across South Lyon and surrounding areas were without power well into the weekend, with some still not having electricity until almost 9 a.m. Monday morning.

It is quite obvious that people in today’s society place high importance on the use of power and electricity, as we need it in almost every aspect of our daily lives; however, this historical power outage has left the students of South Lyon, including myself, quite amazed at how truly dependent we have become on power.

In a rapidly changing, globalized world, the advancements our society has made in technology are quite astounding. Fifteen years ago, most people would have never expected to be able to utilize an iPhone, where they can control a large portion of their lives at just the touch of a button, or even have the ability to track the amount of steps they take or calories they consume through a simple device like an Apple Watch or FitBit. While these technological advancements provide exceptional benefits to our society as a whole, this power outage proved to be quite an eye-opener as to how much we use and ‘need’ these items on a daily basis.

The loss of  power meant no way of keeping your cellphone charged or being able to use your computer or laptop. Nowadays, with the excessive amount of time teenagers spend sitting on their cell phones, how did anyone survive? For me personally, I spent about an hour and half just sitting in my car so that I could charge my phone, and after speaking to many of my peers, it is safe to say that there was a great deal of panic when the realization set in that they could not text their friends or scroll through Twitter or Instagram without fear of losing battery or contact with the outside world once their phone died.

The usually glowing streets of SL fell dark and the typical hustle and bustle of the city fell awfully quiet as people scrambled to charge their electronic devices, order take out from any restaurant that still had power, and find some old candles and flashlights along with some warm blankets.

While it is necessary in this era in which we live to fully utilize all technological advancements and improvements as it can push society forward as a whole, the problem becomes when we find ourselves too absorbed in this constant use of our cell phones, computers, televisions, iPads, etc. I believe most people became well aware of their excessive use of this technology during these five days in March when we found ourselves helpless with the lack of power.

Perhaps this was a sign? Or maybe just a reminder of the importance we have placed on electricity, or at least what electricity fuels or provides in our everyday lives. Either way, this blackout put the residents of South Lyon in quite a frenzy, and while most people might not have taken much appreciation away from this situation, I know from now on I will think twice every time I find myself just scrolling through random apps on my cell phone for hours when I could be outside with friends or participating in fun activities that involve a little more human interaction and a little less Twitter and Snapchat.

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