What's paper? By Hailey nusbaum

Every day when teens sit down to do their homework they procrastinate by using their phone. When you walk around school and see kids on their computers, you wonder how many people actually spend time doing schoolwork. All teens waste so much unnecessary time on technology. It’s addicting. It has taken control over their lives, mine included. I spend many hours on my phone when I could be studying more for a test or hanging out with my family.

The effect that technology has on our lives is huge. When I initially started researching the impact of technology on daily life, I believed that recent advancements in technology, like smartphones, computers, and the internet, helped us learn and work more efficiently, even though I knew that these items impacted our lives in a negative way as well. First of all, I didn’t realize how drastically and quickly technology has evolved. Everything is so much different now than it was 15 years ago, and the transformation has been unimaginable. According to Motus.com, “Today’s offices would be unrecognizable to workers of the past thanks to the proliferation of emails, video conferencing, tablets, laptop computers, and other relatively recent innovations” (How Technology Impacts your Life). This made it clear to me how much the American workplace has changed drastically over the years since it is hard for me to picture what a workplace without current technology looks like. Furthermore, people are really using technology often while doing their job. In fact, “A 2013 Pew Research study found ‘94% of jobholders are internet users’.” As a result, “The Telegraph found that the incorporation of technology into the workplace has led to an “84% increase in productivity per hour for office workers since the 1970s.” There is a clear relationship between the use of the computers and the productivity that is achieved while using them. I have found that the impact that technology has had on our lives in working spaces is tremendous, which supports what I originally thought.

This is a graph of the difference of the use of technology from 2010 and 2013.

Technology doesn’t just affect workers in offices, it also affects how kids behave in classes everyday. As the years progress, and technology becomes more advanced, kids are introduced to it at a younger age in their life. That can impact these children for the better or for the worse. Fox News provided me with information on how technology affects children daily. “Parents are concerned, that as schools try to keep up with all the technology, they're leaving some of the basics behind. They say cursive, map reading, and mental math skills such as making change and tipping, are falling by the wayside, as do-it-all devices move in.” When I found out that kids react these ways to the new invention of technology, it has helped me realize that technology isn’t helping us the way I thought. Technology has also negatively affected the schools who have begun to use technology. As the technology advances, more people become aware of it and begin to use it in school. Kids are not learning the basic techniques that they need that will “help them later on in life”. Computers are being used more often so there seems to be no need for these different paper techniques in the classroom, but as the parents said, they will need these basic skills. Also, I know that so many kids don’t pay attention full time in class while using computers. Most teachers can’t see what is on the kids’ screens so they play games or check sports updates or text without the teacher even knowing. I asked 17 people if they have ever gone off of the website that they should be on while using their computers in class: every single one of them said that they have and have done so more than once. It is evidently clear how little people pay attention in class, since technology has become so advanced, it has affected the way kids act in the classroom by finding teachers less entertaining than devices that do it all. Technology affects the way kids learn basic things and the way they focus in class.

Young elementary school kids all on computers and technology.
This graphic shows facts about bullying on social media.

Lastly, social media isn’t just harming the way kids learn in class but also the way it affects their brain both physically and emotionally, especially through the use of social media. Huffington Post states, “5 percent of teenagers in America currently have profiles on social networking sites, of which 68 percent use Facebook as their main social networking tool… Pew also found that nearly 39 percent of teens on social network have been cyberbullied in some way.” More than ⅓ of teens on social media have been bullied by people on social media. Even though it can be found online, it isn’t the same as people getting bullied in school and a teacher noticing it, it’s more private and harder to find, making it easier for the bullier to bully. It’s creating a damage to people’s lives and it’s not a good thing. Believe it or not, social media isn’t just affecting your life emotionally, but it’s also affecting how you think physically. CNN News states, “Dumontheil does, however, concur that social media is affecting our brain, particularly its plasticity, which is the way the brain grows and changes after experiencing different things.” The amount of time teens spend on technology affects how their brains are developing. The way that teens are taking in information is affecting how well the brain processes it, which actually damages the brain, (CNN News). The damage on teenage brains due to the use of technology has proven correct what I originally thought, but has taken it to a whole new level, by explaining that their brains are actually damaged. Undoubtedly, technology is affecting the way teens’ brains develop both physically and emotionally.

Who would’ve ever thought that technology has had an enormous daily affect on teen and adult lives. It can affect the workplace, it can affect the way kids learn in classes, and lastly, it can affect the way teens’ brains develop both emotionally and physically. As I completed my research, I found that although technology is helping us be more efficient in the workplace, its increased use is also hurting us. Therefore, we need to figure out a way to minimize these negative repercussions and expand our research to get better intel on how to do that.

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