America’s Youth & Technology : is it a Problem Yet?


Recently I was doing something pretty common among teenage girls: babysitting. I was expecting to play fun games with a lively two year old, but instead I spent my time babysitting a two year old boy whose first word was “Apple.” While at first I thought perhaps the boy wanted a healthy snack, his mom quickly informed me that he was actually asking for his iPad. Yup, this two year old has an iPad! For the next few hours he tapped the screen to watch different videos, play games, and do other things. After I picked my jaw up from the ground upon hearing that this little boy has his own iPad, I started to think about how technology plays a role in my life. Perhaps subconsciously, I do always want the next new thing. When the new iPad came out, I had to have it. When the iPhone 5 came out, I pre-orded it as soon as humanly possible. I have never considered myself “obsessed” with technology until I decided to do a little test: how long can I go without using my phone? The first hour or so was fine.. but as hour two came to a close I felt the panic set it. I couldn’t stop wondering who had texted me, what was new on Twitter, if anyone had Facebook chatted me, etc. Let’s just say I did not make it into hour three of not having a phone, and that’s being generous. This made me really start to think about how addicted to technology we all are. If you take a step back and look at all the teenagers you see throughout the day, chances are the majority of them are on a cell phone. Is this a problem? Well, yes and no. It seems that as kids get more and more sucked into technology they are losing their ability to communicate face to face. Even just calling someone on the phone can seem like a tedious task when you can just text. I have to wonder what the future of technology looks like and how much human interaction will be lost over the next decade or so as a result. I am all for the use of technology in school- there is no disputing that it can help make great strides in education. Laptops, SmartBoards, and iPad integration within classrooms has definitely helped benefit my learning process, but being glued to my cellphone most definitely has not. My parents have started enforcing “cell-phone free time” at my house where we have to turn in our cell phones and spend time together or do something active. I have found this to be really helpful. Even just a little bit of time a part from technology can make a huge difference and help us to avoid being a nation completely overrun by technology in the future! Image


One comment

  1. This is an interesting post, and the one posted after yours was about the Boston Marathon bombing. Technology and social media have transformed the world we live in.

    People are addicted to their tech tool of preference. As I write, studies are being conducted about how young people’s addiction to technology is shaping the wiring in their brains. Although this research is not conclusive, research has supported the fact that the brains of young people are more malleable than those older people (e.g. older than 21.) I don’t know for instance if you have researched information about ethical decision making and whether it matters if one is 18 or 21 in terms of making decisions about drinking, enlisting in the military, or buying cigarettes. Apparently, NY city is considering a law to restrict the purchase of cigarettes to those under 21. Reporters went to a military recruiting center to ask those signing up how they felt about having the right to enlist at age 18 but not being allowed to purchase cigarettes. (See:

    I know this is off topic it bit, but it does relate to how the use of tech might be shaping the minds of young people, which in part is the subject of your post.


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