January 11, 2010
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There are many new forms of technology being invented every day. Texting is a big thing for teenagers. Rachel, a girl from New Jersey, went as far as texting 36,000 texts in one month! She is constantly texting whether is during dinner, while doing homework, or even when she is with other friends. Some people believe that the newest technologies weaken kids social skills. While on the other hand, others believe it is purely for the enjoyment of teenagers. Technology is not harmful to people’s social skills; it increases the time to talk to your friends.

One might think that iPods decreasing the amount of time people communicate with others. While I believe that kids listen to their iPods merely to relax and get away from their stressful teenage lives. Kids and adults “love having all their music at their fingertips, allowing them to choose an artist to match her mood at any given moment” (Harris 1). Not only do teens use their iPods independently, “the iPod acts to bring people together” (Harris 1). During parties and dances, music is being played and kids are dancing together to the music. One may say that kids only use iPods alone and it isolates them, but “’… here you’ve got a setup where individuals use a personal technology and make it a social event’” (Harris 1). IPods are definitely not harmful to anyone’s social skills, because it unites people and give them a topic to talk about with one another.

Another way kids use technology to communicate besides a phone is through the Internet. Anyone can talk to their friends over video chats, Skype, Facebook, or chat rooms. Why might someone want to do that you wonder? Well, “the Internet can make it easier to keep in touch with friends”, and it may make someone whose shy more comfortable socializing over the Internet, until they become more familiar with the person (Coget, Yutaka 1). Just because someone uses the Internet to talk to their friends online, does not mean they don’t hang out and talk to them in person also. Coget and Yutaka argue, “the Internet can foster openness, self-confidence, and greater sense of ease and comfort in dealing with others” (1). You may argue that people use the Internet to do inappropriate things, but in most cases it is used just to entertain yourself. The internet is very important for business, school, research, and even shopping online. Without the internet use, a lot of the projects we have accomplished now would not be here, and we can accomplish those tasks quicker with the latest technologies.

Although I believe that technology does not hurt the social lives of people, some people argue that it is. For example, Krystle Song says, “For some people, the main appeal of the iPod is that is preoccupies you so you are no longer to obligated to interact with the uncontrollable factors of everyday life” (1). She, as well as many others, believes “interaction between individuals is slowly diminishing as people turn to their technological devices instead of attempting to make a new acquaintance or simply experience the ‘natural’ sights and sounds around them”(Song 1). I can refute that by adding in that not all the time are people listening to their iPods, but when they are, it is normally because they want to get away from their hectic lives; they don’t want to talk to anyone because they just want their alone time listening and their music.

While some may believe the internet is useful in their everyday lives, others suggest “that internet has a negative influence” (Affonos 1). Some may say that is causes “misery and loneliness” (Affonso 1). I don’t understand how someone could think that, because most of the time teenagers use the internet to chat with their friends, which is socializing! They also use it for schoolwork and research. A HomeNetproject interviewed the people in Pittsburg and came up with “a sample of 169 people in Pittsburg during their first year or two online” (Affonso 1). This is selective sampling, because they did not talk to every single person living in Pittsburg, but even if this was true, what is wrong with using the internet. Most businesses use the internet every day for important emails and research. Many people breeze over what is reality, to make it what they want it to sound like. One may say people use the internet way to much and make it sound awful, when most the times the internet was used for positive actions.

Because many kids use the internet for many different activities every day, some people think it takes away from their social lives vanishing their social skills. It is said that non-internet users spend more time with their friends and family compared to internet users. The time kids have for social activities are declining because of the amount of time spent on their computers. In a chart from a “scholarly paper reporting time diaries for internet users compared to non-internet users” shows that an internet user has a total of “36.9 minutes per day for social activities” compared to “49.5 minutes per day” that someone who does not use the internet may attend (Nie, Hillygus 1). The difference in the amount of social time internet users lose because they are on their computers is “12.6 minutes per day” (Nie, Hillygus 1). This chart shows unreliable testimony, because there is no real way to show how many minutes a day someone who uses the internet and someone who doesn’t use the internet may have. This chart is not accurate, and just because some uses the internet does not mean the miss out on social events to be on their computers alone at home. Most internet users only use it for school or business work, or for talking to their friends. Those who use it for talking to their friends, would of course rather hang out with them, therefore they would not miss out on any activities to stay home and be on their computer. Being on the internet is not a bad thing, and it helps improve kids social skills.

Technology helps enhance your social skills by letting you communicate with your friends, and help start conversations when you are with your friends in person. While one may argue that technology harms your social skills, in reality it helps it tremendously. You may ask why this is important. Well, without the technology we have today many tasks would not be possible. We can accomplish these tasks quicker with the latest technology, and can improve our social skills immensely.

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