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In 2009 a thirteen-year-old girl, Hope Witsell, wrote in her journal for the last time, “I’m done for sure now. I can feel it in my stomach. I’m going to try and strangle myself. I hope it works.” The thirteen-year-old, from Sundance, Florida, whose only crime was forwarding a nude photo of herself to a boy she liked. The boy had let another girl borrow his phone, but while she borrowed it she found the picture and sent it to a bunch of other people.
Once that photo had gotten around Hope had been started to be called a “Whore” and “slut”. Hope made a journal entry saying, “Tons of people talk about me behind my back and I hate it because they call me a whore! And I can’t be a whore I’m too inexperienced. So secretly TONS of people hate me”. Her school found out about the nude photos and suspended her for the first eight weeks of eighth grade.
When Hope had returned to school she had to go talk to a counselor because they saw cuts on Hope’s legs. Her Counselor made her sign an agreement called, “no-harm”, to prevent her from physically hurting herself. The next day, September 12, 2009, Hope had hung herself in her room. She had written her last journal entry saying, “I’m done for sure now. I can feel it in my stomach. I’m going to try and strangle myself. I hope it works.” (‘Hope Witsell,’ n.d.).
Technology has played a major role in the American lifestyle since the early 1800s. In the early 1800s, the first telegraph was invented, which would lead the way for a world that revolved around technology. Later in 1835 an inventor by the name of, Samuel Morse, created Morse code (‘History Information,’ n.d.). After several years the first programmable computer was invented. The name of this computer was, The Z1, invented by German Konrad Zuse. Zuse’s creation was made between 1936- 1938. Technology is a complicated part of our lives because it has caused issues such as cyberbullying, technology addiction, and fake news
Technology has advanced so much since the first telephone, but since then we have created a problem in our society. Kids today will never know what it’s like to live without some sort of technology. Teenagers, Adults, and even children struggle with setting their phones down to have a real face-to-face conversation. The problem that we have created is called technology addiction. Technology addiction is “frequent and obsessive technology-related behavior increasingly practiced despite negative consequences to the user of the technology”. This can create some problems for teens like if they get deprived of technology it will negatively impact their life’s. When a person gets their technology taken away they feel deprived, angry, isolated, have extreme anxiety, and depression. (Long, Siddiq, & Post, n.d.).
Television journalist, Katie Couric’s, program called “Americas Inside Out” is about how today’s technology affects on a human’s brain. One of the episodes featured a co-founder from a business treating technology addictions and they compared drug addictions, such as cocaine and other drugs, and compared it to technology addictions. The show also said that this addiction could cause Alzheimer’s disease, which is when you have memory loss. Also, a Psychologist by the name of, Jean Twenge, has said that smartphones have caused teen suicide. But not all critics think that there is such a thing as technology addiction (Ferguson, 2018).
The human brain is programmed to respond to something that we like such as swimming and eating. Students that like to play games on their smartphones usually develop behavior problems and neglecting grades to where they are failing, but a problem like this can be fixed very easy to fix by deleting all the games, which should help the situation go away (Ferguson, 2018).
Even tough technology may be considered an addiction or not, it has given us so many great things that us as humans use daily and couldn’t live without. The biggest piece of technology that we couldn’t live without would have to be the smartphone. It has given us so many tools that we use on a daily basis. It has the ability to send test messages, phone calls, search anything on the web, and transport ourselves to anywhere we want. It is very useful to police investigations because the need to have video evidence and all kinds of other things to help them solve crimes, also we use technology everyday at work. We use phones to make appointments, meetings, or even ask questions. We also use computers at work and in school.
Cyberbullying is a big issue that usually teens must go through. Cyberbullying can happen on any electronic device. It involves texting, posting pictures, hurtful/harmful, spreading information, or mean things about somebody else. The most common places for this to happen is Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and texting (‘What Is Cyber,’ n.d.). Cyberbullying has caused suicide and depression. According to too, (Duxbury, n.d.), there is a new campaign to enforce tougher laws against cyberbullying, which is called Charlotte’s Law. This law is to help social media sites regulate their user’s offensive behavior. This law honors the late celebrity Charlotte Dawson who took her own life in 2014 at the hands of cyberbullies on social media.
There are three different ways your child could be involved with cyberbullying are, being bullied, they bully others, or they are a witness to bullying. A child is at a greater risk of being involved if they use multiple digital platforms. Some ways you can tell that someone is involved with cyberbullying is an increase or decrease in device usage, showing anger or upset when using their device, avoiding social situations, and withdrawing or being depressed (‘Stop Bulling,’ n.d.).
Some ways that social media sites can help prevent these kinds of situations are by banning anonymous postings and monitoring what goes on to their website or app. On some apps like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook have the ability for a user to report a post/comment if they dem it necessary or they find it offensive. The country Australia has federal laws that try ad help prevent cyberbullying. If a person puts death threats on social media, they would receive ten years in jail. If a person put anything revolving around severally harming, menacing, harass or causing offense they would receive three years in jail (Duxbury, n.d.). Cyberbullying can be hard to prevent because it is hard to regulate everything that is being put out onto social media, so a way to help is if you see something that you consider offensive or hurtful the best thing to is report the post or comment
Another big problem that technology brings to the internet is fake news. According to, (Knapp, n.d.), the definition of fake news is; “sources that intentionally fabricate information, disseminate deceptive content, or grossly distort actual news reports”. There are also different forms of fake news, they are satire, bias, rumor mill, state news, junk science, and clickbait. Many media sources or tabloids use these tactics to make you believe something is true, but in reality, it’s not true.
Fake news has been said to have affected the 2016 presidential election. Dartmouth and Princeton have estimated that one out of four voters’ votes were persuaded by the fake news they saw. They based their estimates on Italy and Frances estimates that the Reuters Institute found. Fake news can be very deceiving if you don’t know what to look for to make sure all the facts are right (Gurley, 2018). Fake news is hard to prevent because there are so many sources that are putting s much fake news out to the internet. Also, there are some people that mistake fake news with opinions.
To help prevent fake news there are some steps we can take to help people be more educated in what is fake news and what is not fake news. These websites are meant to influence, deceive or attack a student reading their information. One way is to teach a healthy leave of skepticism. This means when need to teach Americans to be suspicious about what they are reading about. Just because an article has an interesting or surprising title doesn’t always mean that its real. We can show Americans and also start teaching students how to look for sources, have them site the sources that they find in their articles. We can also teach how to analyze sources, to look for multiple sources, and show how to use fake news detectors. The hard part about preventing fake news is to teach the differences between biased and fake news, know your personal biases, teach the importance of the press (Palmer, n.d.).
Technology will always give us problems if we do not try and fix some of the problems. We need to help improve the life for our future generations. We need to reduce technology addiction and stop relying on technology to do everything for us. If we forget that we can do things on our own, we will become very lazy and forget how to things for ourselves. We also need to have stricter laws and teach kids prevention against cyberbullying. The last thing that we need to fix is fake news. It is persuading people’s minds about elections and tricking them into thing something is right. All of these are the steps when need to take to teach them the right way so that our society can be a happier and safer place.
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