By Vincent Dunson (Senior)
Increased internet usage can negatively affect teenagers social skills when having to interact with people face-to-face.
Teenagers often use technology for entertainment and it’s often times spent on social media websites. Teenagers feel the best way to communicate is to do it digitally. When teenagers adapt to this type of thinking, they hurt the basic skills needed for human interaction. In the real world adults have to be able to talk with someone face-to-face, not through a typed message. Everyone must have the ability to hold a general conversation with another and speak proper English.
There’s a hot debate about students being allowed or not allowed to use their phone at any time during the school day because phones can distract them from their work. A bunch of students and myself talked about whether students should be allowed to bring their own personal laptops to school and use them throughout the school day. One student argued that its a more efficient way to take notes and do assignments. Another said that students can utilize the effectiveness of being able to research worldwide topics without having to search for book.
In contrast, I brought up the point that a students can get distracted quite easily by getting tempted to log on social media or watch a video. There are a million ways you can be distracted.
Another point is student could feel left out. Senn Journalism teacher Michael Cullinane said, “I would be worried about the students who can’t afford the technology.” This would exclude student from learning and make it difficult them to do the class work.
Senior Rafid Ifraz was genuine when asked some questions about technology. “Teens talk freely on social media, but when talking face-to-face to someone they mix up the way they talk on Facebook with the way they write an essay.” Teenagers are unaware that they talk with slang language and incorrect grammar, and this could largely be due to the overuse of social media, where the rules don’t apply.
The big question is “Does technology impact teenagers cognitive skill?” At this point, it’s tough to tell, but it is apparent that teenagers don’t engage in the same manner. Many times, conversations that might have been sincere are interrupted by someone checking his/her phone.
Senior Raquel Rivas said technology “totally impact teens speech pattern and all behaviors.” Teenagers change the way the conduct themselves just to see the latest post or updated news feed. Teenagers don’t realize this but it is a critical problem.
In order to have a bright future, teenagers need to re-learn the valuable life skill of having a conversation. Social media will likely play an important role in their adult lives, but without personal interaction, this generation might get stuck behind a computer, unable to communicate.