Entering the Internet: is technology good or bad?
By Arden Y.
Driving through the streets of Duxbury, seeing a kid playing outside is a very rare sight. Most of the children and teens of this generation spend their time inside, watching YouTube videos, playing Xbox, or browsing Instagram for hours on end.
No one can deny that technology has become a very important part of our lives over the past few years. Young kids of this generation, and even adults, use phones and computers almost every day for virtually everything. Uses range from research and schoolwork to communication and entertainment.
“I’ve noticed a lot of the kids my age have really stopped talking to each other and are just talking to their phones,” said senior April D. “They’ve kind of built up this wall around themselves.”
Even though there are so many positives about using technology and the Internet, what are we leaving behind as we enter this digital world?
Some students at DHS believe talking to other people is a lost art.
“We [this generation] have forgotten how to talk to each other face to face. We just can’t do it anymore,” said April.
Junior Anna O. agreed with April’s sentiment.
“I also think it has affected us socially and teenagers have lost much of what it takes to talk face to face” she said. “Everyday, in almost all of my conversations, someone checks their phone or laptop at least once.
“It’s really frustrating trying to have a conversation when the other person is only half participating. It is difficult to disconnect to technology because it is so prevalent in our world as teenagers but it is a skill we need to learn.” Anna said.
However, there are many ways to talk to people with technology, but options that involve actual human interactions like Facetime and calling someone are often overlooked by texting and emailing.
Even though chatting online can be faster and easier, there is a down side. You can’t see the face of the other person, so you have no idea what they’re actually thinking or trying to say. Punctuation and emojis can only get you so far. You can also edit what you say while texting, compared to an in person conversation where you can’t edit your words. These essential interactions with other humans are what we need to develop our social skills, and if kids grow up only talking to people online, they might not be prepared for the real world in the future.
It seems as those people are losing their social skills more and more and we travel further into this century. We’ve already seen the fall of school social events such as school dances, and on the flip side the raise of Internet chat rooms.
Mr. Harty, an instructional assistant at Duxbury High School, said that technology as a whole is ”a distraction”, with aspects like “social media and video games, all that good stuff.”
Even though there are so many negatives to being surrounded by technology, there are quite a few positives to our modern devices. Some positives include staying in touch with people, making new friends online, and looking up information and research faster than ever before.
Mr. Harty said “I would say [technology] gives students the chance to easily connect to one another in and outside the classroom”.
So, is technology as a whole good or bad?
“It depends on the subject,” said April. “If it’s for mental health, I think it’s more harmful because it’s taking away those natural connections we have as humans” but in a broader sense “if it’s [used] for improving the environment with the solar technology then it’s definitely more helpful”.
Even though our generation did not originally grow up with technology, we have grown into it, and have become dependent on it. Now, the kids of the new generations will be born into an era of technology, and they will grow up looking at screens. Also, the adults who criticize teenagers for spending too much time on the Internet and social media were the ones who created it.
“I, also, am guilty of this,” said Anna, “and wish I were more patient with my natural skills rather than turning to technology to do work for me.”
Technology will continue to develop over the years, and it is hard to predict what will be developed next. Hopefully, we never lose what makes us human beings. As long as humans balance technology and real life, we can get the best of both worlds, without being too consumed with only one aspect of life.