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Technology: Does It Cause More Harm Than Good?

1332 words - 5 pages

Technology is a major component of today’s society. From cell phones to free Wi-Fi at subway stations, people are constantly connected to or using one form of technology. However, this constant use of technology has its share of negative effects, especially in youth aged 12 -17. Growing up in an environment where everything is just a click away has affected their communication and interpersonal skills to the point that some teenagers cannot hold a conversation or express themselves clearly. Technology has also created a dependency that was not present ten years ago. More and more youth today rely on technology as an escape from reality or social situations and feel the need to be constantly connected to people who they are not with. With this constant technology use there is an increase in psychological and physical issues as well as negative effects on youth’s decision making abilities.
Conversational skills are important for all people in every walk of life, however being able to hold a conversation and convey yourself clearly is a crucial ability for youth to possess. Unfortuantely, from constantly spending time on technology such as cell phones and computers, youth have not developed these necessary skills. Mark Goldring, executive of Mencap, a charity for people who have learning disabilities conducted a survey in 2011 that found that just one fifth of people over 18 years of age could select words that were incorrectly spelled or categorized as trick words, with teenagers being the worst spellers . There is a loss of basic written communication skills as text messaging and other forms of technology induced communication do not use proper sentence structure or spelling which can be transferred into academic and work place settings without teenagers even realizing . Nick Gibb, Schools Minister in Britain said: “The failure to test spelling – as well as grammar and punctuation in exams over the past decade has been a costly one… Employers expect people with high grades to be able to communicate and write effectively, so it’s right to restore specific assessment of these vital skills.” Text messaging as a main form of communication does not allow for teenagers to foster their written communication skills nor does it help them improve their oral communication. Text messages can be read numerous times and edited before sending the message to the recipient. This eliminates the spontaneity and quick thinking required for face to face communication . This helps teens eliminate awkward silences and lulls in the conversation but hinders their abilities for participating in discussions or talking to new people. “[Teens] don’t know how to handle conflict face to face because so many things happen through some sort of technology. They may have trouble initiating interactions…they don’t have as much experience do it because they’re not doing it ever,” said Melissa Ortega, a child psychologist at New York’s Child Mind Institute. She adds, “They...

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