Technology is a negative influence on us because it separates individuals from reality. The iPod is one example; by putting in your earbuds and immersing yourself in music while in public, you are disconnecting yourself from the real world. “For some people, the main appeal of the iPod is that it preoccupies you so that you do not have to deal with the uncontrollable factors of everyday life,” writes Krystle Song, a University of California, student on her website “Attack of the iZombies.”
The ability for people to surround themselves with the familiar by using their iPod is appealing because it rarely provides the listener with something unexpected or unknown. However, it can be argued that this is a bad thing. By constantly being cut off from personal interactions and new experiences because of a technological device, a generation with substandard social abilities is being groomed. If we do not have to face reality by experiencing new things, making personal relationships, and problem solving, then we will never be able to function as adults.
Technology hinders personal communication, which negatively impacts our age-group. Although “our culture heralds the Internet as a technological wonder, there are suggestions that Internet use has a negative influence on individuals and their social skills,” writes Bob Affonso in his article, “Is the Internet Affecting the Social Skills of Our Children?” Data shows that those who use the Internet frequently spend over 100 minutes less time with friends and family than non-Internet users, according to Norman H. Nie and D. Sunshine Hillygus in their paper “The Impact of Internet Use on Sociability.”
The Internet actually detracts from the communication abilities of society, especially the young. When our communication skills are gradually lessened, we begin “spending less time talking to families, experiencing more daily stress, and feeling more lonely and depressed,” writes Affonso. In our formative teen years, lack of personal communication due to excessive Internet usage can have an overall negative effect on mental and physical health. Communication skills are critical for everyone, yet use of the Internet is undermining this development.
Technology negatively affects us by perpetuating the mindset of immediate satisfaction. The creation of various portable technological devices has slowly ingrained the idea of instant gratification. With gadgets like the PS3 or Nintendo DS, which allow users to play games anywhere, or cell phones that let us keep in touch virtually everywhere and at any time, we grow up learning that whenever we want pleasure or enjoyment, it will automatically be granted to us.
Some argue that the Internet has a positive effect on social interactions because it allows us to form friendships online. However, the capacity to meet “a virtually unlimited number of people through chat rooms, bulletin boards, and other services,” is actually extremely negative, write Jean-Francois Coget and Yamauchi Yutaka in their paper, “Untangling the Social Impact of the Internet.” There are dangerous people on the Internet who are a threat to young people. The ability to access anything and everything someone posts without knowing if their intent is malicious is a downside to the open transfer of information available on the Internet. While Coget and Yutaka claim that “the Internet can foster openness, self-confidence, and a greater sense of ease and comfort in dealing with others … the Internet can even provide opportunities by freeing those who are too depressed to conduct a social life in the real world,” it is extremely unhealthy to make and sustain all of your social interactions online. We will not be positively impacted by communicating through a computer screen if we already do not have the self-confidence to socially interact in reality.
I believe the advancement of technology has negatively impacted our social interactions because it detaches us from what is happening around us, obstructs communication, and spreads the concept of instant gratification. Society must be able to utilize technology while not allowing it to impede social interactions, particularly for those who are easily influenced during our formative years. Our world must learn to embrace technology without allowing it to negatively impact the creation of functional adults in society.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.
This piece won the March 2011 Teen Ink EBSCO POV Contest.
Technology is a two edged sword, it has it’s positive effects as well as negative effects on our lives. In this post, we’ll discuss the negative effects of technology on our lives in details.
When people talk of technology what comes up in your mind? A lot of people think of technology as the internet. Actually the internet is just one aspect of technology. Every man made things that we see around us is a product of technology. The way we cultivate and utilize our natural resources are also a product of technology. Therefore when we talk of technology we are talking about everything made by man.
Technology is supposed to make life a lot easier. While it is true that technology contributed a lot of good to a better quality of life it also did not come without a price. There are several negative effects that technology has done to us.
Here are a few of the side effects of technology:
1. Depleting our natural resources
Man may have benefited a lot from the development of technology in most if not all aspects of his life but this is at the great expense of the environment. The technology used to harness our natural resources are so advanced that it can harvest billions of resources in such a short time. Technology is harvesting these resources so fast the world is being sucked dry of its natural riches.
To add insult to injury irresponsible manufacture of products has made our air, water, and land full of toxins. Pesticides, carbon dioxide emission, toxic waste in the water, products like plastic that decay are all products of technology. Pesticides are to control pests and the spread of disease, carbon dioxide emission is from cars, our bodies of water have become a garbage can of toxic materials from factories, and plastic, well, everyone uses it one way or another. We are now living in a very modern world and pollution is also at an all time high.
The negative effect of technology to the environment is affecting the every living thing but the toll is heavier on animals other than man because these animals are more vulnerable. Though there are other factors that contributed to the extinction and near extinction of different species technology also plays a very significant part. What is an example of technology contributing to the extinction of animals? The bald eagle, the peregrine, and the brown pelican have been unable to successfully reproduce mainly due to the synthetic chemical DDT. DDT is a product of agricultural technology used to kill pests. What everyone did not know then is that this bright idea was going to kill the birds too. Highly developed countries have curtailed the use of DDT. Unfortunately there are several developing countries that are still using this pesticide until today.
While technology has given man better chances at winning in the fight against diseases pollution which is also a product of technology has made man more vulnerable to all kinds of sickness especially cancer.
5. Massive destruction
Not only has technology due to pollution made man more prone to sickness but developments in terms of arms and warfare has also made humanity more vulnerable at being wiped out and the planet obliterated with just a click of a button.
Do share your thoughts on negative and positive effects of technology in the comments below.
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