The effects of technology on teenagers

The modern technological world is swiftly changing and advancing before our very eyes. Technology has become part of our every day lives with, mobile phones, laptops, iPods, Wi-Fi spots available nearly everywhere, mp3 players and an enormous array of gaming consoles – there is no avoiding it. Technology has fully developed into the 21st century and seems to have brought with it an unending list of potential detriments. These especially have negative effects on teenagers although it is argued that technology may have also provided a positive impact on today’s youth, for instance, an increase in social activity.

I myself, being a teenager of the 21st century cannot even begin to fathom the capabilities of technology. The possibilities are literally endless, however if used without discretion it could also create a generation that solely relies on technology for satisfaction and happiness. The first main problem technology brings to teenagers is the Internet – a global network connecting millions of computers. Now you may be failing to see what the problem is in this description but the budding dangers of the Internet are extremely high and are all around even if they don’t seem obvious at first.

Seeing as the Internet is a huge part of a teenager’s life because it provides so many positive opportunities, it isn’t hard to fall into the easy traps of the Internet. For example information such as pictures, projects, videos and documents can be sent with a click of a button; it primarily simplifies teenage life. So, where is the issue in this? The key issue is that whatever goes on the Internet can never truly be gone, even after it has been deleted. The moment that something is posted online, it falls into the hands of millions of strangers who can then download that photo or video, or save a copy of that post.

My main point is that what goes on the Internet stays on the Internet and could most likely end up downloaded on someone’s computer. Recently, this issue has affected more and more teenagers. This is mainly because the youth of today are so used to using the Internet, it has become a part of their life but so many are unaware of how to stay safe online. In addition to potentially putting yourself in danger at the click of a button, technology can also take a toll on your behaviour. As teenagers we are still discovering ourselves and establishing our identities.

The majority of us have a strong desire for acceptance in society and the images that are available for teenagers to see on the Internet or on television have a strong effect on the process of becoming who we are. These images often stimulate the ideals of the perfect body or how you should behave, especially for young girls. In one study, 69% of girls said that models they see on television fix their idea of what a perfect body shape is. With this much influence from technology it isn’t surprising that eating disorders have grown 400% since 1970.

Girls as young as eight years old are becoming conscious of their weight because of these ideals that are set by the world of technology. As upsetting as these statistics are, it does reflect life for young people in the 21st century. Most teenagers can say they have been influenced by the images they see online but the real problem that technology brings is that nowadays, more often than not; these influences are being taken to extremities. Most importantly, technology can be affecting our health.

During the past 20 years, obesity in young people has risen drastically and the main contributor is technology. Today, teenagers spend a lot more time in front of the television, or playing video games or using computers. Technology has become a constant companion, completely replacing the idea of active play. More than 40 studies have proven that technology contributes to an inactive lifestyle and weight gain in teenagers. Therefore, this issue is also a reflection of teenage life nowadays as child obesity has become a social epidemic

Overall, technology is the perfect example of what life is like in the UK in the 21st century. It is the one thing that has developed the most throughout the years; almost to an extent where people rely on it so much they cannot live without it. It is certainly a huge aspect of young people’s lives as a recent survey showed that 93% of all teenagers aged 12-17 uses the Internet or emails. The worrying statistic is that 58% of teens don’t believe that posting photos or other personal information on social networking sites is unsafe.

Things like this are an even bigger aspect of teenage life and unfortunately also reflects life in the 21st century as teenagers are becoming increasingly active online and are at a high risk of falling into the trap of online predators. Nevertheless, I am not completely against technology. I am part of that 93% of teenagers and of course it does have its benefits too, such as educating us, making life easier and simply for its entertainment and social capabilities.

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