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Technology among Teens

Teenagers spend around fifty-five hours a week watching T.V., texting, and playing video games. That’s one hundred and nineteen days a year! With all the technological updates, new ideas, and hot creations, technology is rising to a new level each year. It can be helpful and a lot of fun but the way it is used by teenagers has grown to a state of utter disappointment. Time-sucking devices, loss of control over personal information, and danger from the distraction rides along with the accomplishments that come from this brand new age of technology.

The attention we put on cell phones, computers, and T.V.'s is unbelievable. I have noticed that the people around me always have a device in their hand. Most cell phone owners say they would rather text a person they barely know than talk to them in person. This applies to many of teenagers I know. I had one person tell me that they talk to their parents more through a phone than face to face. This doesn’t surprise me. The idea of confronting someone in person has decreased significantly. This phenomenon has morphed from handwritten cards or letters to a text message or a simple sentence on facebook and twitter. Most of my friends say they go home and go straight to the couch to watch T.V. or to their computer. Facts show that the next generation spends, on average, ten hours of their day looking at a screen. Whether it’s a game system, iPod, or a cell phone, they all waste time one way or another.

What makes cell phones and computers so hot? Online socializing of course! Fifty-seven percent of teens view their cell as the ultimate key to their social life. They have the power to say and do anything with the tiny device they hold in their hand. With so much power for themselves, the people around them actually lack control more than ever. I have heard about a lot of things that have happened to teenagers due to lack of control online or through a text, such as, a picture going up on a site of them that they didn't want to go public, something written about them on a site that shouldn't have been, or they posted something or sent a text and the person receiving the message interpreted it the wrong way. Almost everyone has been talked about or harassed in even the smallest way through electronics. There’s no control over what you could see online about you. It seems there’s just too much free space for them to explore with technology and new ways to connect but teens seem to enjoy the freedom. With four out of five teens carrying a wireless device around and almost half saying they can text with their eyes closed, I’d say this trend isn’t going to end anytime soon.

When technology rises, danger is right beside it. It has caused the biggest distraction ever known. Things like grades, health, and relationships are affected by technology. Each year, twenty-one percent of fatal car wrecks involving older teens were the result of cell phone usage and about half of all drivers between the ages eighteen and twenty-four are texting while driving. It happens everywhere and recently, there has been an increase in the amount of sad stories I have listened to of lost loved ones due to texting while driving. Grades have also dropped due to the distraction. It's a huge temptation to text in class and forget to listen to the teacher. It has been proven that teens with less electronics generally have better grades. Responsibility levels have also decreased in a teenager a great deal since 2004. Shocked? No, not at all. Anyone can access the internet if given the chance. This isn’t always a good thing. Fifty-five percent of teenagers (and many I know) have given out personal information to a stranger, including pictures and physical descriptions, and more than enough have been stalked or contacted by someone they don’t know. Besides the fact that this could be just about anyone, statistics say the internet is also one of the top ways to target a victim for a dangerous person.

So there it is: technology among the unexplainable species of teenagers. As much as they enjoy it, there’s always a bad side. Attention spans are shortening, personal communication skills are decreasing, and there’s a big reduction in the ability to think abstractly throughout the next generation. We all have to come to attention to things like this. Dangers never stop increasing in the tangled web of internet and cell phone usage. It is a great help and it’s believed that nobody can deny it but the facts remain to stand strong. So there’s only one thing to say to teens out there. I guess you could say the future is in your hands but it’s not. Why? Because your cell phone is. Put it down please!





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