By Eli Littlejohn
The movement of technology is on the rise everyday, and teens are the main source of being affected by today’s technology. It may seem like teens’ lives revolve around their phones and social media. In 2015, a study showed that up to 95 percent of teenagers were active online users daily according to the Pew Research Center. Technology is slowly becoming an essential part of our everyday lives as we know it. It is now affecting today’s generation of kids more than ever before. Many teens today are not meeting their peers through school or through activities, but through technology and social media. When interviewing Grand Rapids Community College student, Wyatt Jacobs, about his views on technology he said, “I believe technology is the center of our attention. Look around, 12-year-olds have iPhones now.”
Social media, phones, and video games all play a role in how teens are meeting today. This can be a good or bad situation depending on who you trust or the lack of parental supervision that is being supported. Teens today are getting involved with inappropriate relationships, unsafe websites, and cyberbullying. The Pew Research Center reported that 92 percent of teens go online daily through their smartphones and 18 percent of these teens have been victims of cyberbullying. In many recent study cases, it is said that teenagers are growing up glued to their phones or tablets, and it will take a major toll on their health such as the risk of depression, stress and even mental and physical change behavior. Overusing technology is common and can be harmful in many ways. It can affect a teen’s mental and physical health as well as their social life. Just like any other topic of discussion, there are cons and pros to the development of technology and the effect it has on teens.
Technology isn’t always a bad thing. It could be used for educational purposes such as schoolwork, business, or just connecting with people. It could soon be the solution to our everyday problems. GRCC freshman student, Kyle Young, explains when asked what has technology done for him. He said, “It has changed me in negative and positive ways. I feel as if I am addicted to my phone, but I am learning more off the internet and it is helping me with school, almost like a small study sheet in my hand.” Young is just one of the thousands of teens on the internet today. By 2020, the social media world as we know it today will be overrun by live streaming, according to the Pew Research Center. Technology is on the rise and will only continue to expand into the future. That means more than likely the next generation of teenagers will be growing up in an all new technological world.
“If teenagers/young kids were not introduced to cell phones at such young ages, I believe kids would be less self-centered,” says a mother of four children who is a student at GRCC. Think about it, if kids were not introduced to technology at such an early age, then would they be less self-centered? According to a new report by Common Sense Media, 50 percent of teens say they feel addicted to their phones.
“Digital devices have transformed people’s lives,” explains James Steyer, founder and chief of Common Sense Media, an organization for teens and technology.
The only way to stop teens from going overboard with technology is with the help of parents. It begins with the parenting.