The millennial generation and the baby boomers have one outstanding thing in common–an obsession with technology.
A common counter-argument expressed is that technology is a testament to the advancement of humankind. But with advancements comes problems that are lasting and detrimental to today’s youth.
It is no surprise that technology has addictive factors, such as coffee or nicotine, that draw the user in over and over in an almost maniacal way.
One example is teenagers using their cell phones while driving, as “over 78 percent of all distracted drivers are distracted because they have been texting while driving,” according to a 2015 study by distractedriversaccidents.com
This is definitely not what teens, or anyone for that matter, should be doing when behind the wheel. Society can’t seem to wait to send that last text, or scroll through their news feeds until they can pull over.
It’s bad enough that young adults feel this unsurmountable need to use their phones while behind the wheel, but even while afoot, they keep their eyes glued to those little illuminating screens.
Ohio State University researchers found in a 2013 study that an estimated “1,500 pedestrians were treated in emergency rooms in 2010 for injuries related to using their cell phones while walking. “
Technology is a new and fixable problem for the Net Generation, but will become an ingrained problem for future generations if ignored.
A Common Sense Media poll found that half of the teens they asked felt that they were addicted to their mobile devices, which is alarming because it suggests a heavy decrease in the amount of human interaction.
The younger generation is also affected by this technological craze of the modern times. Instead of playing with toys, most children are now occupied with iPads or other electronic devices.
Children under the age of two have an actively developing mind, as they learn the proper social interactions from their parents as they get older. While technological advancements are great at teaching educational aspects, they are hurting the social developments of children.
“These developments are only made possible, however, when the child is actively engaging with their caregiver,” according to a 2014 article in the Medical Daily.
It is interesting to note that companies that manufacture these child-proof tablet covers and tablets designed for children are actively engaging in this brainwashing of toddlers. They are blatantly ignoring the harmful ramifications that these devices will have to turn a profit.
For children older than 2 years old, ”research has shown that only one extra hour of TV can lower a child’s motor skills and psychosocial abilities,” according to Medical Daily.
This brings up justified concerns as everyone has seen babies at the mall that are screaming one minute, then the next are quietly subdued by a glowing screen.
Worryingly, this addiction can start at a young age. However, the parents are worse with these addictions, as shown by the same Common Sense Media poll which found that, “27 percent of parents feel they are addicted to their mobile devices.”
These children will most likely grow up with impaired developmental abilities, like a lack of focus, bad eyesight and some sort of social nervousness as these devices aid in an aversion to traditional upbringing, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
It’s not impossible in the slightest as children learn from watching parents and millennials walking around staring at their phones and tablets. These kids will know no other type of interaction in society.
The general public needs to reconnect their kids and themselves to the world around them and disconnect the endless stream of news popping up on their social media accounts.
As technology continues to evolve, individuals must practice better self-control in the presence of electronic devices while improving the social relations that are a natural part of human interaction.
While this is a relatively new problem in society, it can be thwarted just as quickly as it was brought up. The only way to do so is recognizing it first.