The Effects of Technology on Teens Modern day technological advancements are constantly seen throughout every aspect of life. Cell phones, portable Internet availability, laptop computers, iPods, mp3 players of every brand, and many other devices, are everywhere. They seem to possess unending possible detriments, but, along with such issues, technology also has positive impacts on today’s youth. In some situations, the Internet and iPod prevent sociability, though in others they may be the cause of increased social activity.
Overall, modern technology has the capability to bring people together as well as enhance the social abilities of the today’s youth; however, if used without discretion, can also create a less interactive generation, frequently depending on technology for satisfaction. The immense capabilities of the Internet today are astonishing, and offer many positive opportunities for teens. Primarily, the Internet makes sharing information fast and simple, despite factors that in other cases would prohibit such simple distribution.
According to Jean-Francois Coget in Source C, “With the Internet, information can be transmitted and received with ease at any time of the day to and from any number of friends. ” It is possible to send videos, pictures, papers, projects, and a quantity of other things with the click of a button. The transfer can happen in seconds. The amazing capability of modern day Internet simplifies teenage life, by providing a way to convey knowledge. Another way in which Internet proves positive is by providing a way to keep in touch with friends and family worldwide, or just across town.
Whether it’s a friend that switched schools and is never around, or a family member in London, the Internet makes it possible to email, instant message, and even video chat. Such qualities of Internet communication bring people together with more frequent contact, boosting sociability and relationships. In addition, the Internet also has the capability to, “foster openness, self-confidence, and a greater sense of ease, and comfort in dealing with others” (Source C).
Since it is not obligatory to reveal physical appearance or social status over the Internet, it grants an opportunity to be a completely new person, who is entirely open and confident. Internet chats, even with mere acquaintances, can supply a chance for socially challenged teens to experience a form of social interaction, in order to create a sense of composure. Modern day Internet advancements not only offer an easier way to share information, but also contribute to sociability by providing a way to communicate with distant friends and family, as well as giving socially challenged teenagers an opportunity for interaction.
Likewise, another modern day technology, the iPod, may also have a positive effect on some teenagers, by presenting a different view of the world as well as uniting individuals through musical taste. In the eyes of Kelly Doyle-Mace, in Source D, “music deepens the experience of walking through the world, rather than detracting from it. ” There are millions of songs out there, one to match every possible mood. Sometimes, turning on just the right song can be motivational and provide a completely new outlook on a certain circumstance.
In addition, lyrics are often relatable to personal life and can be significant or simply encouraging. Another way in which iPods and personal musical taste is a positive effect on teens is by uniting people of different backgrounds and diversities through their music choice. Lisa and Johnny Rocket, hosts of “iPod DJ nights,” describe that one night a month they invite guests to bring their iPods to a London bar. Where they can play whatever songs they choose (Source D). “Even more diverse than the music are the members… the iPod acts to bring people together,” Lisa explains (Source D).
These gatherings prove that as diverse as music can be, it is also unifying. The multitudes of people attending these parties, from every race background and belief, are united through their assorted music taste. IPods have the potential to positively affect today’s youth by matching any and every mood with music, resulting in a deeper walk through life, as well as bringing people together by means of musical interest. The alternative argument is that the Internet can be a significantly negative influence on teenagers, if overused. Constant Internet use detracts time that could be spent with friends and family.
Hours wasted away typing useless messages is detrimental to personal relationships with the ones who really matter. It was discovered through a study in Pittsburgh that people who use the Internet most often are “spending less time talking with their families…keeping up with fewer friends” (Source B). It is of no use to spend so much time talking to people over the Internet, when one could just as easily walk down the stairs and spend time with family, or go to see friends instead. According to Source F, Internet users participate in approximately 244. minutes per day spent with friends and family, while non-Internet users spend on average 381. 6 minutes per day with friends and family. Modern day Internet opportunities are decreasing physical interaction and essential quality time. The Pittsburgh study also determined that such teens are “feeling more lonely and depressed” (Source B). Even though teenagers are simply using the Internet for “interpersonal communication,” it is causing reliance on brightly lit screens and keyboards, instead of sincere personal interactions with close friends and family members (Source B).
Investing too much on Internet chats will inevitably produce a sense of deprivation, and a resulting sense of loneliness from a lack of real relationships and personal contact. Obsessive or constant use of the Internet as a social tool deprives teens from necessary relationships that are crucial to life, especially throughout high school and college, which will ultimately result in a damaging sense of loneliness and depression. Similarly, iPods, much like the Internet, become a negative influence on teenagers, when in constant use.
According to a university student’s study of iPods, “the main appeal of the iPod is that it preoccupies you so you are no longer obligated to interact with the uncontrollable factors of everyday life” (Source E). IPods provide an easy escape from having to interact with strangers in a public situation; because, in just about any situation, pressing play can zone everything out. This portable instant entertainment takes away opportunities to meet new people, or just admire the surroundings and environment of a new place.
Although it is a solution to boredom, there are other, more advantageous, solutions such as social interaction. Such disregard to discovering new people and new places leads to isolation. The obvious signal iPods send out is “don’t bother trying to talk to me” (Source E). Headphones constantly blasting music often prevent conversations that could prove to be much more worthwhile. The need to continuously be surrounded by one’s own familiar environment results in countless missed opportunities for meeting new people or experiencing “natural sights and ounds” (Source E). The Internet and iPod affect today’s youth in positive ways; however, when not used in moderation, can become negative influences. Modern technologies are positive by providing simple communication, unifying diversities, and deepening the experiences of the world through music. Those same technological advancements can become highly addictive, and like all addictions, have negative consequences. Teens who are constantly engaged in using technologies become so addicted that they spend less time with loved ones, and feel lonely and depressed.
Technological addiction is leading to a more isolated generation, overly dependent on technology. Modern technological advances, particularly the Internet and iPod, have many positive effects on today’s youth, yet if overused can lead to addiction, which consequently produces negative influences and over obsession. Although technology can be profitable, it must be used in moderation, as not to damage the social ability of today’s youth.