How Technology Affects Us | Teen Ink

How Technology Affects Us MAG

January 9, 2010
By mads942 SILVER, Houston, Texas
mads942 SILVER, Houston, Texas
6 articles 0 photos 24 comments

Everyone has seen the moody, withdrawn kid with music blasting out of his white earbuds, or the girl rapidly texting on her phone.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.

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This article has 91 comments.

memalloy said...
on Jan. 30 2012 at 1:29 pm
im doing an article reveiw on this article and i need to know the authors name. anyone know?

on Jan. 13 2012 at 7:08 am
emma_rogate14, Mcguire AFB, New Jersey
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments
I agree that technology can be bad for people, but it's also very useful now days to have all those things since the world is adding more high-tech things into it.

galfam said...
on Jan. 11 2012 at 7:06 am
galfam, Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments
While I agree that technology has its negative side effects, the positive outcomes greatly outweigh the negative, in my opinion. Think about life without it: in hospitals, while driving, everywhere in life you use it.

human6 GOLD said...
on Sep. 29 2011 at 8:27 pm
human6 GOLD, Fasd, New Jersey
12 articles 0 photos 132 comments

Favorite Quote:
If you cannot convince a fascist aquaint his head with the pavement-trotsky
The bourgeoisie might blast and ruin its own world before it leaves the stage of history. We carry a new world, here, in our hearts. That world is growing this minute.“ durry

i don't though most of my offline realationships are "healthy" the brotherhood of the riot, brothers in arms, warriors of the black bloc

human6 GOLD said...
on Sep. 29 2011 at 8:26 pm
human6 GOLD, Fasd, New Jersey
12 articles 0 photos 132 comments

Favorite Quote:
If you cannot convince a fascist aquaint his head with the pavement-trotsky
The bourgeoisie might blast and ruin its own world before it leaves the stage of history. We carry a new world, here, in our hearts. That world is growing this minute.“ durry

the internet is anarchism in its purist form

on Sep. 12 2011 at 11:51 am
Rocinante SILVER, Wexford, Pennsylvania
7 articles 1 photo 386 comments
I agree it is unhealthy to have all online relationships. I mean, someone could be chatting with you and say they are a 13-year-old girl in Florida when they are a 40-year-old man in South Dakota! Not a good thing! And I have noticed when I text my friends, I tend to sometimes say things I wouldn't normally, because I would be too shy face to face. So I think I need to cut back on texting and work on talking more :)

on Aug. 21 2011 at 8:04 pm
JusticeLiberty BRONZE, Portland, Oregon
1 article 0 photos 15 comments

Favorite Quote:
"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music."
Aldous Huxley

I think cyberbullying is another big issue that needs discussion and solution. It's a big problem and it's LEGAL in the UNITED STATES! :( Kinda depressing that such a wonderful nation seems to enforce such acts of cruelty.


on Feb. 27 2011 at 7:39 pm
pianoman95 BRONZE, Eatonville, Washington
4 articles 1 photo 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
The only dependable thing about the future is uncertainty.

I don't think technology is that big of a problem. I definitely think it has some pros and cons but things like the DS or PS3 or whatever are things we eventually grow out of and moderate when we get older. Its not like teens don't know the difference between reality and non-reality. We get reality everyday at school, thats where alot of our stress comes from. Plugging into our iPods and playing videogames is the way we take a break. Escaping from reality is not a bad thing, in fact its probably more beneficial than not.

on Feb. 6 2011 at 8:56 am
musiqqlvr31 BRONZE, Chennai,Tamil Nadu, Other
3 articles 0 photos 35 comments

Totally agree with u..but the problem is 

How can we live without it? Its everywhere! From the grocery store to our rooms to school.I wish it wasnt so complicated

on Feb. 2 2011 at 6:20 pm
booknerd BRONZE, Robinson, Texas
3 articles 0 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Reality is merely an illusion. Albeit a very persistant one."


Your are so right! Technology is really a big part of life today and it has some really negative consequences. Especially because we feel left out if we don't have nice name brand electronics (like ipods and stuff.) Great article! Would you check out my article on book banning? I really need some comments and ratings! Keep writing! =)

VincentD2997 said...
on Oct. 27 2010 at 11:29 am
VincentD2997, Parkesburge, Pennsylvania
0 articles 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
almost only counts in horse shoes and hand granades

i agree with you completly technology is afecting the youth negitivly and kids would be better off with out it. kids and teen these days spend way to much tom ont there computers, Ipods, cell phones, and gaming consoles and they don't realise the real life consiquensis of doing some thing wrong