Personal Computers This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   A few weeks ago, a momentous occasion occurred in myhousehold: my parents finally realized how lacking in technology we were anddecided to install the Internet. My younger siblings were ecstatic. The fact thata wealth of information was now available at the click of a mouse wasn't whatexcited them, though, it was the realization that along with the Internet camethe bonus of having America Online's Instant Messenger (IM).

Our liveshave changed. Instead of reading books or playing outside, my brother and sistersare permanently glued to our computer, "chatting" with their friendsand acquaintances. The other night, while I was doing research on the Web, myyounger sister demanded that I let her use the computer, saying she had to"make plans." Whatever happened to making a few phone calls?

"But, Ali," she said, "there are some people you don'tjust call."

Situations like this exasperate me. Why formrelationships online? Don't a person's facial expressions, emotions and tone ofvoice make up a big part of his or her personality? When I see the TV commercialwith the girl saying, "I love having Instant Messenger, it lets me bemyself," I wonder how someone can be herself while hiding behind a computerscreen. When did teenagers become so superficial that they can't show theirpersonalities in face-to-face conversation?

I hope our overly technosociety can return to the old forms of communication - talking in person or onthe phone. While I still get the "You've got to be kidding me" lookfrom my siblings when I say email instead of IM, I'm glad that for me, thepersonal computer is not a place to formshallow relationships, but one of education and information.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 11 at 10:08 pm
i love this so much!
kagc411 said...
Apr. 12, 2010 at 6:46 pm
I believe you. People often make friends online that they'll never meet in real life. They're talking to toal strangers. They are probably not aware of the dangers of talking to these people. They could be revealing personal and important information. Before people become obsessed with computers, they must first be aware of how to properly use them.
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