Argumentative Essay on Technology and Its Negative Effect on Teens
In modern-day, technology is all around us. Society has come to develop a strong attachment to their electronic devices and nowadays it feels as if no one can let them go.
Technology addiction is characterized by excessive urges regarding computer use and internet access that lead to impairment or distress. The condition has attracted increasing attention in the popular media and among researchers, and this attention has paralleled the growth in computer and internet access (Shaw, Black 2). When an individual is addicted to technology,
physical, emotional, and behavioral changes start to arise. As the future approaches, new technological devices are being innovated and more people are being drawn to the realm of technology. Although these devices were meant to make our lives easier, there seems to be more negatives than positives. Ranging from health risks, relationship problems, classroom, and work interferences, these all serve as negative outcomes caused by technology addiction. Although technology is beneficial in some aspects, it is more destructive than rewarding. Therefore, by acknowledging the ways being too attached to technology has on individuals, humanity will recognize the harm.
In the present day, a large number of people no longer own home phones. People have traded in their home phones for cell phones and wireless internet. This change between phones has proved technological advances. Nowadays, phones aren’t just restricted to being at home, their small, convenient size makes them easy to take anywhere. Many people communicate through Snapchat, Facebook or Twitter. According to Manoj Sharma, a professor at the Department of Behavioral and Environmental Health in New Delhi stated that “the growth of cell phone subscriptions are on the rise,” thus showing that more and more individuals are buying devices. Moreover, from a consumer perspective by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that “cell phone subscriptions rose from 34 million to 225 million in 2 years” that is a 96 million increase in cell phone subscriptions per year (4).
Furthermore, there have been multiple research documents that state the health risks associated with technology addiction. In particular, a book by Matthew Kreuter, a Kahn Family Professor of Public Health at the University of North Carolina, finds that long term wireless use may be associated with health risks which include complications in vision, sleep deficiency, and weight gain (107). These negative effects can be detrimental to teens and young adults who are in their growing and developing phase of their lives. The blue light that is emitted from technological devices can cause damage to the retina of the user, also the blue light causes the user to stay up later as it makes the brain feel “awake.” As for weight gain, technology is a task often done while sitting down, so it can make people feel not as active when compared to doing other tasks. Additionally, cell phone risks involve minor ear warming and even ringing in the ears that has effects as severe as brain tumors (Bandawar 6). Technology addiction plagues teens the most as they are always surrounded by technology; in their homes, at their place of work and even their schools. Technology addiction is inevitable as it is bound to happen because teens are always surrounded by technology.
From the beginning of a person's emergence into society, they are always told what to say, what to do, what to wear and what to look like because imaging technology prevails. Pressures like these can take a heavy toll on the minds of teens, and can quickly lead to both low self-esteem and a determination to cope with reality. The more an individual looks at influencers on social media, the more their perception of themselves begins to significantly alter. When this combination goes out of control, it can prove to be deadly. Statistics show suicide rates are dramatically increasing because growing individuals compare their looks to people online, making them feel inferior. Therefore, when individuals compare themselves to others, it lowers their self-confidence making technology detrimental to their self-image.
There is no clear solution to this detrimental problem, but there are ways to reduce technology addiction or totally abolish it. First, the addict needs to realize that they have a problem by recognizing their symptoms. Symptoms could be depression, loneliness, and boredom while doing routine tasks. Second, the addict needs to distract themselves from the thought of technology by either meditation, art or physical activity. Lastly, the person needs to seek counseling or therapy if this addiction gets out of hand and is somehow harming them. Another solution can be brought up which is that cognitive neuroscience can have a specific focus on the neural connections in the brain which are involved in mental processes. However, it is not a viable solution because of the “use of correlation coefficients between external phenomena or cognitive processes” (Ekhtiari, Bashir 2). For treating technology addiction cognitive neuroscience will not work because cognitive neuroscience is mainly used to treat drug-related addictions whereas there is little to no research on technology addiction being treated by cognitive neuroscience (Turel et al. 22). Therefore, showing that a solution to this problem is not easy; it is a multistep process, which starts off as the person acknowledging that they have a problem.
Adversaries of technology addiction claim that technology is helping society grow. They believe technology helps, not harms, individuals. According to the School of Informatics at Indiana University, they conducted a study where they made an event with adolescents which focused on motivational factors for physical activity in teens. They concluded that individuals who had technology involved while performing physical activity, gained more motivation and self-confidence (Toscos et al. 3). In other words, the technology involved gained the individual’s self-esteem and made them feel better about themselves. This phenomenon of believing technology benefits society may be true in some aspects, but the cons outweigh the pros. When students are constantly berated with negative comments on social media platforms, their self-esteem, motivation, and self-efficacy start to diminish (Granito, Chernobilsky 2). Thus, ultimately showing that technology has a greater negative effect than positive.
As technology is always around us, technology is a part of nearly everything we do. Technology has even gotten to refrigerators, Samsung’s new edition of high-end fridges has a 22.5-inch touch screen built into the door (Samsung 1). This just proves that technology is prevalent in all aspects of our lives. With technology spreading, it's important to make sure individuals have a limit on their usage. If limiting usage on electronic devices are out of control, addictions can develop throughout teens which can consume their lives. When an addiction develops, it can be detrimental to a person’s mental health. The only viable solution is a three-step process which includes: acknowledgment of the problem, ways of distracting the addict and consulting a professional in extreme cases. As for now, the technology can be reduced by big social media companies. For example, Instagram can include time limits for browsing the app or individuals who feel like they are too dependent on technology can have a detox day where they use little to no technology. Then, addicts of technology would be able to minimize their screen time.