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How Technology Affects Us This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category.

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Everyone has seen the moody, withdrawn kid with music blasting out of his white earbuds, or the girl rapidly texting on her phone. The youth of today are constantly immersed in technological advancements that promote nonstop communication and instant gratification, whether through cell phones, gaming systems, laptops, or MP3 players. But are these technological advancements a good thing? I believe that the growth of technology has negatively influenced the social interactions of today's youth because it isolates individuals from reality, hinders communication, and perpetuates the concept of immediate ­satisfaction.

Technology is a negative influence on us because it separates individuals from reality. The iPod is one example; by putting in your earbuds and immersing yourself in music while in public, you are disconnecting yourself from the real world. “For some people, the main appeal of the iPod is that it preoccupies you so that you do not have to deal with the uncontrollable factors of everyday life,” writes Krystle Song, a University of California, student on her website “Attack of the iZombies.”

The ability for people to surround themselves with the familiar by using their iPod is appealing because it rarely provides the listener with something unexpected or unknown. However, it can be argued that this is a bad thing. By constantly being cut off from personal interactions and new experiences because of a technological device, a generation with substandard social abilities is being groomed. If we do not have to face reality by experiencing new things, making personal relationships, and problem solving, then we will never be able to function as adults.

Technology hinders personal communication, which negatively impacts our age-group. Although “our culture heralds the Internet as a technological wonder, there are suggestions that Internet use has a negative influence on individuals and their social skills,” writes Bob Affonso in his article, “Is the Internet Affecting the Social Skills of Our Children?” Data shows that those who use the Internet frequently spend over 100 minutes less time with friends and family than non-Internet users, according to Norman H. Nie and D. Sunshine Hillygus in their paper “The Impact of Internet Use on Sociability.”

The Internet actually detracts from the communication abilities of society, especially the young. When our communication skills are gradually lessened, we begin “spending less time talking to families, experiencing more daily stress, and feeling more lonely and depressed,” writes Affonso. In our formative teen years, lack of personal communication due to excessive Internet usage can have an overall negative effect on mental and physical health. Communication skills are critical for everyone, yet use of the Internet is undermining this development.

Technology negatively affects us by perpetuating the mindset of immediate satisfaction. The creation of various portable technological devices has slowly ingrained the idea of instant gratification. With gadgets like the PS3 or Nintendo DS, which allow users to play games anywhere, or cell phones that let us keep in touch virtually everywhere and at any time, we grow up learning that whenever we want pleasure or enjoyment, it will automatically be granted to us.

Some argue that the Internet has a positive effect on social interactions because it allows us to form friendships online. However, the capacity to meet “a virtually unlimited number of people through chat rooms, bulletin boards, and other services,” is actually extremely negative, write Jean-Francois Coget and Yamauchi Yutaka in their paper, “Untangling the Social ­Impact of the Internet.” There are dangerous people on the Internet who are a threat to young people. The ability to access anything and everything someone posts without knowing if their intent is malicious is a downside to the open transfer of information available on the Internet. While Coget and Yutaka claim that “the Internet can foster openness, self-confidence, and a greater sense of ease and comfort in dealing with others … the Internet can even provide opportunities by freeing those who are too depressed to conduct a social life in the real world,” it is extremely unhealthy to make and sustain all of your social interactions online. We will not be positively impacted by communicating through a computer screen if we already do not have the self-confidence to socially interact in reality.

I believe the advancement of technology has negatively impacted our social interactions because it detaches us from what is happening around us, obstructs communication, and spreads the concept of instant gratification. Society must be able to utilize technology while not allowing it to impede social interactions, particularly for those who are easily influenced during our formative years. Our world must learn to embrace technology without allowing it to negatively impact the creation of functional adults in society.

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

This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category. This piece won the February 2011 Teen Ink EBSCO POV Contest.




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DannyBoy177 said...
Apr. 7 at 6:15 am
Three things: 1. (To the author) I can understand your point of view - hell, I ration my own computer access - but I feel that some oomph is missing. It is very good, I'll admit, but it feels like more could be there. How about touching on the whole video-game violence side of it? Or how about more positives? 2. (To the commenters) Hear this logic for 5 seconds: I know someone has said somewhere that "Why are you using technology to say this then?" Short answer? It's more likely to reach those... (more »)
 
Danny said...
Apr. 7 at 6:01 am
I would call it a 50/50 scenario. Technology may ruin one's social capacity, but there are plenty of benefits, and you have to factor in oddballs. Other than that, it's a great, hard-hitting article.
 
abbth345 said...
Mar. 28 at 2:14 pm
hey this is good
 
sunshine said...
Mar. 14 at 10:58 pm
i think we need to manage time that we use technology that we don't need to use or it not important.
 
maybe in the world said...
Mar. 13 at 9:45 pm
i agree, i think we need to manage time of Technology
 
yuki said...
Mar. 13 at 9:41 pm
i agree with the writer!\(^o^)/
 
maybe said...
Mar. 13 at 9:31 pm
i agree!\(^o^)/
 
WriterExpert7This 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...
Mar. 3 at 12:36 pm
A thought-provoking article!
 
Opine said...
Feb. 27 at 11:51 pm
I disagree.
 
BallsDeep69 said...
Jan. 21 at 12:11 pm
I think technology does have it's pros and cons. In pros, you get to meet and talk to people from all over the world. In games i play online, you get to talk to people and socialize. The people who stay locked up in their rooms on the internet doing nothing usually feel lonely, depressed, and grow up with social disabilities. Kids today simply overuse the internet. People just have to learn to keep that balance of using the internet and talking to people.
 
Anonnymous said...
Jan. 11 at 12:44 am
All of you people who are saying that he wrote it using technology doesn't mean he is a hypocrite. It just means that he uses it enough and uses it effectively.
 
ElsyMThis 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. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 29, 2015 at 12:06 am
Technology has its place in society, but the problem is that many people of all ages don't know how to use it properly. Kids who aren't good at socializing make the problem worse by spending time on the internet every day. In Japan many (not most, necessarily) teenagers spend entire days locked up in their rooms playing video games. This condition is even seen in some adults. This is more a result of social frustration than anything else, but is helped along by endless hours watching TV to forge... (more »)
 
cartierthefoamposite said...
Nov. 6, 2015 at 9:24 am
I like how technology affects us, but the big problem I have is how it can slow us down and prevent us from doing the things we need to do. It keeps us from completing our homework or studying for a test, that’s things we need to do.
 
Tyranoh This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 4, 2015 at 1:19 pm
I agree with this issue completely. Technology “separates individuals from reality.” If people toned down the use of technology it wouldn’t be so bad, but it wouldn’t be the human race without imbeciles abusing it.
 
kinly.nicole said...
Nov. 4, 2015 at 10:01 am
I partially agree with this. The problem is not so much technology, the problem is how much time people spend using technology and how people are using technology. I do agree that technology “has a negative influence on individuals and their social skill” because people can text all the time. Then when it’s time to actually see that person they do not even talk because the people are shy or scared to talk to the other person.
 
2RileyA said...
Nov. 4, 2015 at 9:55 am
“The iPod is one example; by putting in your earbuds and immersing yourself in music while in public, you are disconnecting yourself from the real world.” Is a bad example of how technology affects us in a negative way because we may be to the point where listening to music is the only way it may stop us from killing another person. Technology is as brilliant as finding a new way to calm people down instead of using medicine.
 
MLK2.0 replied...
Apr. 8 at 12:05 pm
Wow I think your wrong
 
paulponcho said...
Nov. 4, 2015 at 9:26 am
"I believe that the growth of technology has negatively influenced the social interactions of today's youth because it isolates individuals from reality, hinders communication, and perpetuates the concept of immediate ­satisfaction." I don't necessarily agree with your opinion on technology. Technology has also come to influence our culture in positive ways as well. There are games and apps that kids can enjoy with friends and family, and also to help us learn. Some apps are even able to contro... (more »)
 
Random Stranger said...
Aug. 31, 2015 at 1:41 pm
Reported :D
 
ShellyPWrites said...
May 21, 2015 at 7:26 pm
Keep on writing young lady! Excellent!
 
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