The current generation of young people, known as Generation Y, have grown up with the Internet. They utilize it for social networking, researching, and gaming. It is difficult for many in this young group to imagine that there was a time when text messaging, e-mail, blogs, online news media, digital books, or social networking did not exist -- that people actually talked on the phone, visited, and engaged in face to face conversation with one another. Many young adults, especially teens and middle school age children, are in need of constant stimuli and instant gratification that only the Internet can deliver. Consequently, this has resulted in a generation of young people who are lazy learners, have shorter attention spans, and often lack familiarity and knowledge of general subjects.
The Internet has become the primary source of information gathering. Students no longer deem it necessary to retain facts, nor absorb and understand their ...view middle of the document...
The articles suggest that because children are spending extensive periods of time exposed to various online activities, their base social skills are diminished, they lack critical thinking abilities; and it also has had a profound negative effect on their productivity and focus. For example, if my son is playing intently with his LeapFrog, it might take several seconds of me calling his name before he gives me his attention; or take for instance the number of fatalities that are the unfortunate consequence of texting or talking on the phone while driving. The staggering amount of accidents can be drastically reduced if we could concentrate on just driving and avoiding the constant need to be on our smartphones.
Children and young people are not the only groups who are adversely affected by our technologically engaged society. Employees often cyberslack when there is unrestricted access to the Internet. For example, my co-worker spends (at a minimum), a quarter of her work day on the internet on non-work related activities. Her cyberslacking has resulted in lessened productivity and loss of profits for our employer.
Popular social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are this generation’s form of “social interaction.” When was the last time you received a handwritten letter, note, or card? In most cases, conversations are done via text message, or instant messaging programs; and as a result many young people lack the ability to have small talk or hold prolonged conversations with their adult counterparts.
Our dependency on technology and the Internet is shaping the way our brain processes information. The Internet can be a hindrance without proper time management and usage control. For the young minds of our generation of students, the Internet is a part of their lives, and perhaps a change in the education system’s teaching methods will benefit all involved. There are studies that have positive indications wherein appropriate online stimulation can enhance multi-tasking and analytical reasoning competencies of children, particularly in schools where online educational websites are used – in certain cases, their overall attitude towards learning is improved.