Does the internet have a negative effect on youth or does its use need to be monitored more?
The Internet has become a major part of everyday life for most Americans especially today’s youth but some say that internet has a negative effect on youth more than a positive one. The question is: are all of the effects of the internet negative? The internet is used by most youth for entertainment, to find information and to connect with people. Unfortunately while the internet can be useful it has been known to cause negative effects on children. Social networking sites are very popular among today’s youth. In recent years cyber bullying has become a trend among youth because of the internet. There are also cases that youth have been exposed to inappropriate websites while on the internet and it had a negative effect on them. The internet has been known to cause a negative effect on youth but it can be prevented if their internet use is monitored. Social networking websites that are popular on the internet Twitter, MySpace, face book and YouTube. It is said by some that youth spend more time on websites like these than studying and doing their homework.
While most of the young people in the study got good grades, 47 percent of the heaviest media users, those who consumed at least 16 hours a day, had mostly C’s or lower, compared with 23 percent of those who typically consumed media three hours a day or less (New York Times). Some youth can spend all day on social networking sites. Often times social networking sites can also become a distraction to youth. Most youth would much rather get on face book or twitter than study or write a paper. Most of the time youth can begin writing a paper but end up spending hours on face book. Social networking sites also have been known to cause children to be kidnapped or raped. Because of the amount of information that can be put on these sites it is easy for them to be tracked. There have also been cases where youth have chatted someone under the impression that they were someone else. There have been several cases where children have been harmed because someone found them on social networking site. This can only be prevented if youth internet is monitored. So it seems that social networking sites can only have a negative effect if the time they spend on social networks is not being monitored correctly. Cyber bullying is another negative effect from the internet.
Cyber bullying is using the Internet to send or post texts or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person. It has been said that forty-three percent of teens have been victimized by cyber-bullying in the last year (ncpc.org).Cyber-bullying is a result of youth being mad at another peer or just trying to have fun. Cyber-bullying has been said to cause depression and sometimes even suicide among youth. It has become a major problem among youth in recent years. A lot of the time cyber bullying takes place on sites like twitter, face book and sometimes even YouTube. There have been cases all over the news where youth have said that they became depressed because of cyber-bullying.Most youth who have participated in cyber bullying thought that it was funny and not realized that it would have a negative effect on the victim. There have been steps taken to try to prevent cyber-bullying but there are still some cases where it is still happening. Cyber-bullying can be prevented if the internet use is being monitored. Almost eighty percent of teens said they did not have rules for the internet or that it was not monitored. While browsing the internet the youth can be exposed to a lot of inappropriate websites that most would agree they shouldn’t be exposed to. Twenty five percent of youth had unwanted exposure to sexual pictures on the internet in the past year, challenging the prevalent assumption that the problem is primarily about young people motivated to actively seek out pornography according to youth and society (Protectkids.com).One quarter of these youth were upset by being exposed to pornography. In other cases when youth are exposed to pornography they become interested and begin watching it regularly. According to one study, when youth under fourteen years of age are exposed to pornography it is related to greater involvement in deviant sexual practice, particularly rape (protectkids.com).
It has also been said that because pornography encourages sexual expression without responsibility it endangers children’s health. If a child were to see porn he/she may think that is okay to have unprotected sex which could then lead to std’s and unplanned pregnancy( protectkids,com ). Although porn can and has had negative effects on children it has been said that porn does not always have negative effects on children. Some children are exposed and it has no effect at all. In the end it seems that it may depend on the child if it has a negative effect or not. It also seems that the only way that this can be prevented is if their internet use is monitored.
There are strategies that can be taken to do this (Council). It seems to be proven that the internet can in fact have a negative effect on youth. Social networking sites can cause youth grades to drop. Cyber-bullying mostly takes place on the internet and it cause youth to become depressed. Youth can be exposed to several inappropriate websites which can damage their future development. The internet can be a very useful tool for youth to have access to but it can also have a very negative impact on youth if it is not monitored correctly. To ensure that the internet does not harm our youth in negative way parents/guardians must monitor their children’s internet use.
Courtney from Study Moose
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