By Corinna Howland, Wellington
In our never-ceasing quest for progression and expansion, it seems taken for granted that technological advancement is a positive phenomenon.
Amidst the hysteria, however, lies the forgotten fact that the latest development is not necessarily what is best for society. We are encouraged to believe that faster, more complex and superior technology will be beneficial to us in some way.
Technology has many positive aspects but, in the wrong hands, it can become dangerous. Technology is a valuable tool but is somewhat misused by today’s teens.
The two main forms of technology affecting teenagers — cell phones and the Internet — have brought about major changes in our lifestyle.
This technology has allowed teens to have inane communications and in doing so, contributes to the dumbing down’ of society. We spend more time corresponding with our friends on cell phones and the Internet than we do working or participating in activities which expand and challenge our minds.
Our fixation with technology makes us oblivious to the social implications. Teens today are lacking basic social skills because of an absence of face-to-face communication assisted by this technology.
On average, a teenager uses his or her cell phone more than 100 times per week. Technology is becoming an addiction. Today’s youth crave instant satisfaction, and our desires are met by broadband Internet and text messaging.
Our society no longer has time or the need to have a good old sit down and a chin wag. We can communicate via intricate networks and satellites.
The art of personal communication is being lost as it gives way to a new era of interaction. The introduction of cell phones and the Internet has challenged our notions of space and time by putting communications into hyperdrive.
However, because we are in this constant state of communication, our time becomes someone else’s. People are able to instantly correspond with us at any time they choose, wherever we may be. This technology has had a major effect on teen life, because we have come to expect instant gratification and results.
Despite the negative influences technology has, it will continue to play an important part in the teenage lifestyle. I believe we should critically embrace new technology, always keeping a wary eye on possible destructive effects it may have on our society.