Technology: blessing and a curse

By Gregory Smith
February 6, 2013

It seems like everyday we wake up, there is some new gadget or gizmo that makes something easier, or an app that helps us accomplish the most basic thing more effectively or quicker. But one of the main questions that seems to keep popping up here and there is, does technology ruin our kids?

While it’s clear that technology does have it’s benefits, such as keeping in touch with friends and family through Facebook or cell phones and we can find anything on the web, the same benefits can also turn detrimental to our youth if used the wrong way.

One of the most used, and perhaps the most misused technological medium, is Facebook. According to the APA (American Psychological Association), “73 percent of Americas youth are on MySpace or Facebook, and 75 percent own cell phones.”  This mass use of Facebook by youth is often misused.  It seems like bullying takes its main form through Facebook conversations or posts, and sometimes through anonymous comments.  This outlet allows for an individual to demean another person from behind the safety of a computer screen where it becomes difficult to address the issue for adults or administrative workers, and makes the victim feel helpless. There is also the fact that there are numerous online mediums in which alias’ could be used to help the bully hide his or her identity, making it even harder to stop an already existing problem.

The unlimited access to the internet also opens up a whole other can of worms.  While most people use the internet to find out what the symptoms of the flu are or how long you bake a chicken for, there are some websites children can easily access that can alter their moral fibers.  The access to pornographic websites are a danger to our kids for a few reasons. The first reason is that it creates a false image of women, and that they’re objects to be taken advantage of. Another reason it’s a danger is that it distorts the respect that should be had for women as human beings.

Technology can also ruin our youth by eliminating the interaction between people. This has to be the most aggravating thing for me to see. When people can have full out conversations via text, but can’t when you talk with them face-to-face, it really grinds my gears.  And then theres the Xfinity commercial where the dad sends a “dinner is ready” message to his kids from an ipad to the t.v. and the kids ipads. This irritated me because, quite frankly, I don’t see how it’s hard to walk up the stairs and say that dinner is ready. Also, everywhere you go, whether its the barber, the bank, or in line at the store, people are always on their cell phones instead of talking to each other like they did before this technology came out.

I think it’s important to keep in mind that even though technology keeps moving forward, in certain ways, it may be holding our kids back. While technology has its advantages and we always hear, “there’s and app for that,” there is no app for human to human interaction, and that as technology advances, human to human interaction is becoming a lost art in some ways, and that is something we can’t afford to let our kids fall into.

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Gregory Smith

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