Behind the Screen

January 12, 2010
How much do you use technology in your everyday life? You can do anything you want from listening to music to talking to people, and everything seems to get easier. Some are starting to say that kids are being around technology constantly is having major effects on them. They are becoming more socially awkward around other children. They can say whatever they want behind a computer screen, but not in person. They can listen to music and zone everyone and everything out. The kids are becoming less social, and more preoccupied with all of the new technology.

A kid could be walking in the school hallway with his iPod blasting in his ears blocking out the rest of the world from talking to him. Maybe he feels that, “for some people, the main appeal of the iPod is that it preoccupies you so you are no longer obligated to interact with uncontrollable factors of your everyday life,” (Song, 1). Instead of talking to other kids, he is alone with his iPod earphones shoved in his ears. Kids need to be able to interact with one another to learn social skills they will need for the rest of their lives. Since so many people are using iPods and computers constantly the, “interaction between individuals is slowly diminishing as people turn to their technological devices instead of attempting to make a new acquaintance… or experience… sights and sounds around,” (Song, 1). Everyone needs to experience everything life has out there for them.

When you are in school, kids learn the manners and the ways to act around others. If you are home schooled on the internet, well, you can’t learn all the ways you are supposed to act around other people. When you are learning in a school environment, they “require children to be in a certain place and a certain time and to follow certain rules, like raising their hands when they wish to speak, not talking when others are… not leaving until the bell rings,” (Postman, 1). Being in school teaches you more than just classes; it teaches you lessons about life and how to act around others. If you are home schooled, you can’t learn these manners. It could lead to these kids to being more awkward when they get older in a more job like environment.

When people are cooped up alone with all their technology, they start to feel lonely. Instead of spending time with friends and family, they are sitting in front of a computer screen, cell phone, or iPod. Affonso states that “a recent study… concludes that internet use leads to… statistically significant increases in misery and loneliness and a decline in overall psychological well-being,” (1). People need to spend time with other people, not just talking to them in front of a screen. You need to get out there and meet people and do new things.

Some believe, “the internet can foster openness… and a greater sense of ease and comfort in dealing with others,” (Coget and Yutaka, 1). Although the internet can make you feel more comfortable when you deal with others right then, but in person it is a whole different story. This is a red herring, and it is distracting from the real truth. Yes, you may have more comfort behind your computer screen, but when you see the person the next day it could be totally different in person. Maybe you are a girl and there is this boy you really like. You two could talk for hours and hours on Facebook or iChat, but the next day at school you can hardly look at each other. You ask what happened, and why is it so uncomfortable now? People feel more comfortable saying what they want while on a computer. The internet can make kids feel more awkward when there is nothing left to say.

Technology is having extreme social effects on kids. Blasting your iPod and switching songs with a tap of the finger on the screen causes you to zone out and not seem to care about talking to anyone. Also, when talking to others, you can’t just hide behind your computer screen wishing you had all the friends in the world, get out there and make friends, it can be done. Finally, being home schooled online staring at your screen won’t teach you any social skills you need for the real world, and you need to learn more than just subjects and classes. People need to stop relying on technology so much, or the world will be filled with unsocial people walking around on the streets. Everyone would be hiding behind their own screens. How much do you really rely on the technology around you?

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