It was not until this semester that I truly realized how far technology has come and what an impact it has made in our daily lives. I have grown up my entire life with all of this “modern” technology, and I have always taken it for granted. Among the technology that I used every day are the mobile phone, the computer, the earphone and the Internet. As compared to my grandmother’s generation, they used to write letters to friends, going the library to search information, or playing stones’ game to pass their time. It was almost unheard of to own a TV in your house less than a century ago. Hence, it could be said that technology has now improved dramatically. However, with technology becoming a part and parcel of almost everyone’s live, it may seem hard for many people to realize just how much technology has affected today’s society. In my opinion, technology has brought both positive and negative impacts to us, especially to the teenagers of the present generation. The impacts are technology has connected the world, made our lives easier, separated individuals from reality and made teenagers dependent on it.
First of all, technology has connected the world. This is because with the help of messaging applications and social media, we can get our message across to our friends or relatives in a matter of seconds. Some of the examples of these messaging applications and social media are emails, short message service (SMS), Facebook, Instagram, Skype and WhatsApp. Teenagers nowadays always use the social media to interact with each other. The average teen processes 3,700 texts a month. For examples, teenagers can use the mobile phones to contact their parents in case there is an emergency like shooting or forgot to bring textbooks to school. Besides, teenagers also can use social media to post pictures, information, and update. This helps teenagers to stay in touch and keep updated with friends that are at local or oversea. For instance, recently, I will video call my friend who has now studied at Taiwan through Skype. When video call, we can see and talk with each other in real time, although we are in different places. It not only saves money and time, it also not hindered by weather conditions as we can be contacted instantly as long as we have a cell phone that has a signal. Thus, we could see that technology has connected the world by improving local and international relationships without time and distance as obstacles.
Technology can also make our lives easier. Over the years, technology has created amazing tools and resources, putting each person’s most useful information at their fingertips. Huge amounts of information ranging from books, images, to videos, audios, are available through the Internet and that will enable teenagers to empower themselves with knowledge. In addition, technology has made data saving and retrieval easier. Earlier on, people had to manually file the important data of their documents. This consumed time. However, nowadays, with just one click, we already can instantly find the name of a document, the date modified, size document and so on. Therefore, it could be summarized that technology has made the world a better place to live.
On the other hand, technology separates individuals from reality. As the saying goes— “technology has connected the world and disconnected all the humans”. The Pod is one example; by putting in your ear plugs and occupying yourself with music while in public, you are disconnecting yourself from the real world. Well, it is also not surprised to see the family gathering while most of the youth is texting or surfing through their mobile phones. Although our culture heralds the Internet as a technological wonder, there are suggestions that Internet use has a negative influence on individuals and their social skills. According to Norman H. Nie & D. Sunshine Hillygus (2002), data shows that those who use the Internet frequently spend over 100 minutes less time with friends and family than non-Internet users. Thus, it shows that technology has changed our ways of communication not only in a good way, but also in a bad way.
At the same time, teenagers have a greater chance of becoming dependent on the technology. One of the most common examples is the dependency of students are using calculator while calculating mathematic equations. It will make students become lazy to calculate manually and soon it will make them dumber in the future. Secondly, surfing Internet to find information also make us dependent on the technology. This is because our school projects, and written essays nowadays are usually done through research from the Internet. It will make students lose the ability to think critically, although the use of “copy and paste” may seem easier for us. Furthermore, the issue of industries rely on robots in workplace also makes teenagers of the present generation worry. It is because the efficiency of robots may cause lesser work opportunities in the future. This includes the manufacturing, assembly and packing, transport, and laboratory industries. Therefore, the usage of technology might make us simply cannot live without them.
To sum up, technology has advanced considerably over recent years. Technology can bring both positive and negative impacts to us. Thus, it all depends on the individual to make full use of it.
Jane Chung Qi Qian adalah siswa Institut Pendidikan Guru Kampus Darulaman dalam jurusan Bimbingan dan Kaunseling. Beliau adalah penulis yang terpilih dalam Liga Penulisan Artikel Pengajian Tinggi.