Essay on Technology And its Negative Effect on Teens



Technology addiction is characterized by excessive or poorly controlled 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). Technology addiction displays physical, emotional, and behavioral characteristics that can be detected by observation. Many have concerns that people would rather use these devices than to have a face to face conversation. The addictions of technological devices are on the rise. Although these devices were meant to make our lives easier there have been many problems to arise ranging from health risk, relationship problems, classroom, and work interferences. There is no definitive solution to this problem, but there are multiple ways to cure this addiction. Technology addiction can be treated completely if the abuser is willing enough, which includes; physical activity, meditation, art and recreation.

A large number of people no longer own a home phone. People have traded in their home phone for a cell phone and wireless internet. This change between phones has proved technological advances. Nowadays, phones aren’t just restricted to being at home, cell phones can be taken 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 home phones are decreasing in number which as we know mobiles can not go out with an individual to the market or gas station.

In contrast, mobile phone sales are increasing which as the name suggests they are portable. 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, one of which is a book by Matthew Kreuter, who is a Kahn Family Professor of Public Health at the University of North Carolina found out that long term wireless use may be associated with health risks which include complications in vision, weight gain, sleep deficiency, and learning disabilities (107).

These negative effects can be detrimental to teens and young adults who are in their growing and developing phase of their lives. Cell phone risk involves minor ear warming, ringing in the ears or effects as severe as brain tumors (Bandawar 6). Technology addiction plagues teens mostly 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. 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. Technology addiction is a prominent problem in America. According to Statista, a statistical website, it states that the “most popular mobile social networking app in the United States as of October 2018” is Instagram with a reach of 82% on mobile phones with 1.12 billion accounts. From Instagram’s top 10 most followed accounts 8 of them are social media influencers ( Forbes 1).

There is no clear solution to this detrimental problem but there are ways to reduce technology addiction or totally abolish it. Firstly the addict needs to realize that they have a problem symptoms include; depression, loneliness, and boredom while doing routine tasks. Secondly, the addict needs to distract themselves from the thought of technology by either meditation, art or  physical activity just to name a few. 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; cognitive neuroscience which is the scientific field that is concerned with the study of the biological processes and aspects that underlie cognition, with a specific focus on the neural connections in the brain which are involved in mental processes.

But 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.

By the rate technology is increasing among society, it can lead to a plethora of disastrous outcomes. Addictions can develop throughout teens which can consume their lives. The addictions can be detrimental to a person’s mental health. 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 have 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. The only viable solution is a 3 step process which includes: acknowledgement of the problem, ways of distracting the addict, and consulting a professional in extreme cases. As for now technology can be reduced by big social media companies, for instance 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.