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 piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.
This piece won the March 2011 Teen Ink EBSCO POV Contest.
Positive and Negative Effects of Social Media Essay
638 WordsJun 29th, 20123 Pages
Social media is any website that allows social interaction. Social media is growing rapidly throughout the world. More adults and teenagers are joining sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter to interact with friends, family, and strangers. The introduction of social media has changed the world in many ways. It affects each individual in different ways. Today it can be used as a very helpful tool in changing a person’s life, but at the same time cause such conflicts which can negatively impact a person. While there are some negatives associated with social media, the positives in communication all around, has made the world stronger and a better place to live in. Social media has many positive effects on the society. The…show more content…
Recent article even states that, “Facebook can also have a positive impact on young adults’ lives by helping them be more empathetic” (Turgeon). Despite the positives, there are many negatives associated with social media. Using social media can make a person more vulnerable to predators and cyber bullying. In this age, “Cyber bulling is quite common, can occur to any young person online, and can cause profound psychosocial outcomes including depression, anxiety, severe isolation, and tragically suicide” (“American Academy of Pediatrics”). Cyber bullying impacts society in a negative way because it is harming young teenagers’ minds. Bullies, torment, threat, harass, and even embarrass their victims by using different forms of social media. Using social media can also decrease privacy for an individual. People often give out their personal information not knowing who can see it. To average internet users, “A false sense of security may leave social networking site users vulnerable to security attacks such as hacking, leaking sensitive information, and sending viruses” (“ProCon”). Furthermore, Social media can also lead to brain disorders and can cause people to have a hard time interacting with people face to face. “Social networking entices people to spend more time online and less time talking to a person face to face.” (“ProCon”) The abundance of technology and social media today has led to many positives and negatives in our society. The