Addicted to the Device

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Addicted to the Device

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Teenagers nowadays are inseparable from technology. It’s quite evident that a typical seventeen year old is almost always obsessed with their cell phone. No matter who they are, most of the time being away from their phone is equivalent to torture. Being left out of the loop will hit your social life hard and it feels like you’re missing out when your phone isn’t available. Whether they are walking down the road, doing homework, or even reading this article, odds are their phone will be glued to their side.

Being teenagers ourselves, we have a first hand look at how social media affects the lives of a high school student. Social media and instant communication has shaped the development of Generation Z. Being able to constantly reach anyone across the world and immediately get access to endless information makes people wonder if teens have been handicapped in a way. Now that everything is available at the click of a button, some are worried that this up and coming generation lacks important aptitudes. Many believe that communication skills, interpretation of body language, and privacy rights have taken a toll on an everyday teen’s life due to the constant use of technology.

Social media is growing rapidly in popularity day by day. Teens spend a multitude of hours searching the web, scrolling through different feeds, taking pictures, and posting statuses about every little thing they do. When describing a teen, many adults use phrases such as, self-obsessed, lazy, and even pretentious. Constantly taking selfies of themselves and texting at all hours of the night makes them believe they are correct in their assumption. However, teens nowadays tend to receive a bad reputation for no good reason.

Yes, technology has its cons but in reality it also has a plentiful amount of pros. “It teaches teens self management” says Ipswich High School’s teacher, Ms. Hoyle; “Now that apps such as the calendar, and reminders are available, students can manage their time better. It is an easy and efficient way to keep track of assignment due dates, and job shifts” (Hoyle). Teens also have instant access to the internet, which proves to be an extremely useful resource. They can look up anything they desire and get strikingly quick results. “This provides a different approach to learning” says Hoyle. Teens have transformed learning and communicating into a completely new and unique aspect of their social and educational life. For example, Ashton Manolian, a senior at Ipswich High School, has used technology to his advantage. “Technology and social media has never really had a bad impact on my life. I’m able to use it to expand my interest in photography and share my photos. It has also helped me learn new ways to take pictures and develop new skills.”

Although there are many beneficial assets that come from the use of technology, there are also some downfalls. The two biggest cons include, distraction and misuse of technology. Many dangerous situations arise from the obsessive nature of teen phone use. For example, texting and driving occurs daily. On average there are 3,000 teen deaths per year all coming from these incidents. Teenagers don’t realize the danger they put themselves and others in when they glance down at their phone, even if it’s for one second. Another example is cyber bullying and lack of privacy. Teens abuse the ability to say whatever they want behind a screen without the repercussions of doing it in person. Whether you like it or not, once you post something on the internet it’s there forever. Additionally, when having a public instagram or twitter account, most of the time teens do not know everyone who follows them. “I don’t always know the people following me, but I let them do it anyway,” says Shannon Sullivan. “It’s scary actually, even though you might think you know someone you actually might not”. This brings up the question, why would teens let people they don’t know follow them? It comes with the obsession of being the most popular, prettiest, and having the most likes and followers.

img_6893-2In conclusion, although there are a lot of beneficial aspects of technology there is also an equal amount of cons. We have to watch how we use technology and make sure it doesn’t take over our lives. We can’t allow this generation to succumb to the expectations of the generations above us. Instead, we need to use technology to our advantage and prove to others what our generation is capable of.

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