Positive and Negative Effects of Technology
First off to start, there are positives, negatives, and even neutral standing facts in this touchy subject. Teenagers and children are currently being brought up in a technological environment. Technology is constantly being developed so we have to learn to properly use it. So how is technology a problem, or is it a problem? Negatively there are many things brought up, such as teens using technology irresponsibly. In a study, “87% of teachers and parents agree that technology is creating an easily distracted generation with short attention spans(NAIS,1).” With a majority of people thinking like this, they have observed in classrooms and other environments using technology irresponsibly by the current generation. With that being said teenagers who spend more than average on their phones are more than likely going to be unhappy, but those who spend less time on technology devices are more likely to be happy and participate in extracurriculars. Social apps and games are a major take away to some people. On the contrary “77% of people say that the internet and digital tools have had a positive impact on students(NAIS,1).” This is said because it has been shown that some of us have done better using technology as an advanced tool. Not only is that something to think about but technology is considered a neutral because scientifically there are no proven risks that can be argued. They consider that if we use a device, to limit our screen time, and that we consider taking safety measures to ensure that we don’t become addicted to technology. Professionals advise us to put phones in another room to ensure that we are making progress in something else other than on our technology devices. They also suggest that parents go through their children’s phones and remove the addictive tech applications and use screen management apps. Even if you have to set certain time limits on those apps to ensure productivity is happening in other areas. Things such as “screen time” produced by Apple, allow us to regulate our use on technology devices to give us time to do something productive such as do homework or connect with friends outside of social media. Parents should always encourage their kids to go and play, especially if they are young or go and hang out with their friends. It gives children a chance to develop social skills while having a good time.
As of today there is not enough information to ensure that technology is a benefit to our youth. It has been proven to be used proficiently in some areas and others not so much. The youth use technology as they want to use it, not entirely how it should be used. What exactly could be affecting them? Everyone these days seems to have a phone and they use it all the time, even right before bed. “According to the national sleep foundation, 90% of people in the United States sat they use tech devices in the hour before going to bed(Pietrangelo,3).” Once you start to sacrifice sleeping, you are constantly tired and wanting to stay indoors in front of a screen. While trying to sleep notifications go off, for us we are so used to checking our phones that we naturally just pick it up. The thing about that is we are constantly checking our phones, and we also start flipping through it so it keeps us up instead of sleeping. “A study in 2015 demonstrated that blue light devices can emit melatonin and interrupt your “circadian clock.” It can make it harder to fall asleep and result in you being less alert in the morning(Pietrangelo,4).” During the day it is just as bad, people always feel the need to be distracted in order to keep our mind entertained. Technology has become a part of our daily lives, more children than adults. “According to researchers they say that the current generation has forgotten a sense of boredom and this is not a good thing(Garg,3).” Today having a distracted generation, we face the challenge of reduced creativity. A sense of boredom gives us time to improve our surrounding relationships, happiness as well as creativity. It has been suggested that we learn how to force ourselves to get bored, such as staring out a window while on a road trip. It helps us use our imagination and to examine things bringing back our creative streak. Things like this could cause us to have a great impact on society, forcing ourselves to get bored could cause us to make new friends and gain new relationships. Also using technology in various ways can impact how we act in society. “Parents’ top fears about technology found two important things, first, most of what happens online happens offline. Second, effects really do depend on the user(Denworth,4).” Parents believe this because they watch their kids learn something they watched in a video and repeat it because children learn right from wrong by repeating what they see. Then again others believe it is because no one enforces strict behaviors. “We are all looking in the wrong direction,” Odgers says. “The real threat is not smartphones. Ithe the campaign of misinformation and the generation of fear among parents and educators(Denworth, 4).”
How Technology Affects Health
How you act in society plays a big part in this but how does technology use affect health? “As each new technology enters the scene, it has the potential to improve lives, in some cases it has potential to negatively affect physical and emotional health(Pietrangelo,1).” We live in a world where it can save lives but if used in the wrong way it can have the potential to be a harmful object or substance. It can play a huge part for us but it can also be a drawback. “Heath apps are used to track chronic illnesses and communicate vital info to doctors as well as track diet, exercise and mental health info(Pietrangelo,7). In other cases, it can affect your physical and emotional health. It has been proven that being on your phone too much has increased a dramatic increase in depression and suicides because others use the technology to their advantage. It is suggested that we learn how to use technology right, because if we don’t we have things such as cyberbullying. Mentally technology is exhausting, physically it is just as bad. Technology can cause eyestrain which can lead to blurred vision, dry eyes, headaches and neck and shoulder pain. There is a 20-20-20 rule suggested when on a device for several hours at a time. After 20 minutes of play look away at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. “When using a smartphone you put a lot of stress on your neck, shoulders and spine due to an unnatural forward-leaning position(Pietrangelo,2).” As well as making us lazy, we don’t have to go anywhere to receive information because it’s all in our back pocket. Socially it is also having an effect on people. Using social apps can make you feel more connected to the world but it can also make you feel left out. We began feeling left out when we start comparing social profiles with others, it is like this because in today’s society we feel the need to use the likes we get as a social standard. This makes us feel more socially isolated. Evidence has suggested that social networks have correlated with mental illnesses. It can work with us and how we pace ourselves at learning, people who prefer to pace themselves while learning obtain knowledge more. They use technology in their advances and excel in their learning. It is not meant for everyone to learn on a device but for others it’s an advantage.
At the end of the day we begin to wonder if technology should have strict limits or if people just over exaggerate. It’s all just a matter of opinion but we should have at least even simple knowledge of how it affects us. With the little information we have and with it being continuously gathered the most we can do is regulate our technology use. We also need to use the safety regulations suggested so we can improve our lives even if it can only help us in the slightest for the moment. By regulating ourselves it can develop into a every day habit which is beneficial to us because it is self regulation. So even after all the discussion, it is possible the technology can have an effect on our youth but it is also our jobs to regulate ourselves and encourage others to do the same.