Technological Influences: Good or Bad? Our generation has been fortunate enough to have the privilege of growing up in the 21st century and using technology in our everyday lives. Previous generations were not as fortunate as us; they did not get to have the technology lifestyle as we do. Our digital access offers our generation technological advances that can either be harming our future or benefitting it. Technology has affected many teenagers and their families. The Growing Up Online goes into depth about the pressures and benefits with the internet and technology.
In the video, many teens admit the technological advances are becoming a little too out of control. A child named Ryan Halligan committed suicide because of all the online threats and cyber bullying he was receiving. His father had no idea about the severity of these letters his son was receiving because they were all read by Ryan in the privacy of his own room. The anonymous messages were only possible through the use of this technology. Ryan’s ability to keep his online life private and away from his parent’s eyes is also a result of the digital technology.
People are starting to express their feelings online, and not to other peoples’ faces. The cyber bully who was sending Ryan these horrible messages, would not confront Ryan at school, he would only harass him online. Technology is starting to create a world of people who are becoming less social. This is just one example of how the online world can create horrible worlds for the people who use it. Greg Burta is a teenager who was always isolated in the privacy of his room with his eyes locked in hard on the computer. He would play video games constantly or use the computer to “read” novels in five minutes.
He would rarely leave his room and grew very impatient toward his family. This got to be so bad that his parents would text or email him, while in the same house, because it was the best way to get ahold of him. His grades were slipping and his relationship with his family began to plunge. Greg was not a special exception either; many kids today are doing the exact same thing, if not worse. They become so locked up in their rooms that they don’t know how to have fun any differently.. The use of computers, phones, and TVs is becoming an obsessive “hobby” that is starting to make people less social, and overweight.
Their need to be constantly connected with their phones or on computers scares me for our future. The video Digital Nation gives more examples about the side effects of the internet. It shows one study about how technology can truly lead to death. In South Korea, there are miniature cafes called “PC Bongs,” people go to these cafes and become addicted to playing video games. Young men stay in these cafes for hours, and even days at a time, only playing video games. This is an addiction that can be very dangerous, and it has even led to death.
These boys can get so engrossed in their gaming that they fail to eat or drink, and can play to the true point of physical exhaustion, and even death. Sitting on a couch for hours and even days is not beneficial for people’s health, and even their eyes. People need to be active and more social during the day instead of wasting time playing these games. The online world had a good impact of a girl named Amber. She used pages like Myspace and Facebook to feel important and pretty to people. When she wasn’t on these sites, she felt unimportant and useless.
Amber would take explicit and questionable pictures of her self posing inappropriately and post them on Facebook and Myspace. When she would receive positive comments about the pictures, it would comfort her and make her feel beautiful. Her parents were completely blindsided when the principal relayed this onto them. He said that parents, students, and teachers had seen explicit pictures of their daughter and that it was completely unethical and inappropriate. They had no idea that Amber was doing any of this because when she used the computer, she was in her own safe haven of her bedroom.
For Amber, the online world was a good way to express herself and her feelings. Most teens that do what Amber did become so caught up with their other online side that they can sometimes forget who they really are. The internet is a very good way for people to stay in touch with each other. In present times, people are video chatting, e-mailing, and instant messaging from all over the world. I went to Spain over the summer to stay with family, and emailing or using video chat made it so easy for my family and friends to connect with each other. The internet is also a good way to catch up on the latest information and news.
This feature benefitted me and many others greatly. Every day the latest headlines from the news hits the internet faster than it goes onto paper. Many people rely on the internet for news about the stock market, foreign affairs, local news, and our country’s news. It has become very popular and almost a necessity in our country. Technological advances do have positive and negative side effects on our generation. Teens do too wrapped up in the technology that we have today. The boy that cyber bullied Ryan online, sending him vulgar messages, took advantage of the internet and used it to harm Ryan, but to feel better about himself.
This could easily have been avoided if he was educated about the harmful effects of the online world. Greg played video games and used the computer to get summaries about books he didn’t want to read. He should have time limits for the uses of technological machines so he doesn’t get too carried away. Amber created a place where she felt comfortable by making an online persona. This site she had helped her gain confidence by all of the positive comments people left, even though she exploited herself.
Without the news of current event, it would be hard to keep up on what is happening in the world. The technological advances that we have today give us a tremendous amount of knowledge and lessons that we can use our everyday life. Teens learn not to cyber bully because they know the possible outcomes. Some learn to understand that they need limits on machines, and some learn between right and wrong. People use the technological advances for everything these days, and now that they have been introduced, not very many people would even consider going without.
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