Technology: The End of the World

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Bob Affonso of the University of Nevada collected data on whether or not the Internet was affecting social skills of children. While most Internet user claim they spend there time on social networking sites to maintain friendships, Affonso’s results show otherwise. He writes, “Data showed that as people used the Internet more, they reported keeping up with fewer friends.” The Internet has become more of a distraction then a useful tool. It is now pulling kids out of the real world and into a land of electronics. Also it is introducing them to isolation and cyber bullying. Modern technology advances, particularly the Internet and iPods, have a negative effect on today’s youth.

Technology gives Kids confidence to say whatever they want in a public space, whether it is positive or negative. Jean Coget and Yamauchi Yutaka of The Anderson School at UCLA claim, “The Internet can foster openness, self-confidence, and a greater sense of ease.. in dealing with others.” While gaining confidence is good, kids misuse the Internet by posting negative and disparaging comments in public spaces that ultimately hurt someone’s feelings. Using the Internet a mask has allowed kids to say whatever they like without a sensor. One example is Facebook hate pages. Hate pages are created to ridicule and humiliate someone, ultimately ending is cyber bullying wars and self-confidence issues.

Secondly, technology such as iPods and MP3 players allow children to isolate themselves from the social environment around them.It is important that youth gain social skills and learn to make genuine friendships, but they are denying interaction by listening to their headphones. Kelly Coyle-Mace, a sophomore at the University of Georgia states, “I can’t live without walking around campus listening to music, and I am willing to sacrifice some degree of social interaction to achieve this.” When we allow kids to isolate themselves, they will enter the work force without a proper understanding of how to work with others. Also one they leave a school environment and try to form relationships in the adult world, the may not have the social etiquette they should have adapted in childhood to do so.

Lastly, technology was created to be a helpful tool in work, it has become a huge distraction. Some parts of technology help kids with school work, but with all the temptations of gaming and social networking it is hard t stay productive. Technology is also a distraction from genuine social lives. Sites like Facebook and Myspace are supposed to help you achieve social comfort but a study by Norman Nie and Sunshine Hillygus suggests the opposite. They show the Internet users spending 185 minutes with family and 59 minutes with friends per day. While non Internet users spend 287 minutes with family and 94 minutes with friends per day. Technology is obviously a big distraction creating more harm then good to students.

In conclusion, technology is “working against the learning of what are called social values, “ (Postman 1), and sending kids into a world of social isolation and work distractions. If children continue down this path social interaction will fade and youth will rely on a computer screen for support.





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