Categorized | Opinions

Teenagers using technology

By Kayla Bowermaster

   It is impossible in this day and age to see a teenager without some kind of technology, like a smartphone, an ipod, or a tablet. These advanced pieces of technology have become common for people now, and teenagers seem to be using them the most. But are teenagers really better with technology?

   Because the brain is still flexible and adaptable during adolescence, teens are showing that they can adapt to new technologies quicker than adults, especially when you count that teens multitask as well. With these advancements along with the internet, teens are taking in more information than ever before. It used to be believed that the younger generations were not as great with technology, but now the teens have surpassed other age groups.

Teens are raised with computers, tablets, and phones now, and it has been found that on average teenagers spend over eight hours on their phones and laptops, climbing to 11 if you count that most teens multitask. That is just in the US; teens in Australia were found to spend 7 hours on their devices. According to study done by the Pew Research Center, 78% of teens have cell phones (47% of that number being smartphones), 23% of teens have tablets, and 93% of teens have access to a computer at home.

   Of course, the biggest concern with technology is if these teens are socializing. Social media is one the biggest things that teenagers use, with 81% of teens saying they are on social network sites just in 2012.

   From an early age we are taught how we are to interact with others, and now that the internet can connect people from different time zones and countries, teens are learning a new way to socialize. Funny posts and videos on websites can be seen from people in almost every country, and with this, barriers seem to breaking down. People now have the ability to instantly talk with someone on the other side of the world, the ability to learn more about another culture and meet amazing people. And a lot of people view this as a bad thing.

   You’ll hear this from parents, the “everyone online is a sexual predator,” and the “everyone online just wants to harm you” type lines that parents use to try and get their children off social networks. But it was recently found that social sites online have helped teens a lot, allowing them to find welcoming environments and talk to actual people who can help them greatly.

There are virtual support groups now, in the form of online chat rooms, for people who deal with bullying, mental disorders, and other issues. There are also many sites that offer safe environments for LGBT teens who have been bullied or feel unsafe at home or at school. Sexual predators online are actually not as big of a problem as online bullying.

   The internet also has many resources about health, offering information about illnesses and even STDs published from medical centers and doctors. There are also many apps that can be used to help keep track of health, like apps that track workouts and diets, even programs to help people stop smoking.

So as teens are adapting more to the new technology, and are able to access more information than ever, teens are the forefront to a whole new world. They are able to not only easily access these things but they can also teach these things to other generations. With new sites enabling them to find help, get answers to questions, and socialize with more people, teens are leading the way to a new era of communication and knowledge.

Sites Used:

http://www.webroot.com
http://scienceillustrated.com.
http://www.pewinternet.org
http://www.theguardian.com/

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