In our current era of technology we have the ability to be connected to those around us. Via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, text messages etc. we can stay continuously updated and in communication with our family, friends and even celebrities and public figures. Individuals born today will never experience a world without technological communication. What are the effects of being constantly connected with technology?
'She can't resist checking her smartphone when it buzzes or rings. Sometimes she even imagines feeling a vibration in her pocket when the phone is actually tucked away in her bag'
'It's crack. It's like an addiction' she says, 'I feel that maybe I'm going to miss out on something if I wait to check my text messages and emails'.
Children and Technology
Children, even as young as toddlers, have the ability to work with user-friendly technology. Many parents are shocked to see their toddler can open their iPad and find their favorite show. But what are the effects of children using communication technology? Should children not be allowed to use iPads or smartphones until they are more developed? Below are two interesting and differing opinions on technology use in children.
Teens and Technology
In the 'Ted Talks' below Suzy Cox, a professor at the School of education at Utah Valley University, looks at the effects of going through puberty and high school in an age where we are surrounded by technology. Cognitive development of the brain to an adult level has shown to take the longest in generations that use communication technology. Also, rates of anxiety among teenagers has increased dramatically. Technology has the ability to support learning and higher cognitive functioning. However, current generations use technology for mainly for entertainment, which actually the contributes to the lack of cognitive development seen in teens currently.
Saphira Howell is a 17 year old highschool student from Las Angeles with an impressive 80,000 YouTube subscribers. She covers many typical teen topics including: make-up and hair as well as fashion. Saphira has maintained and honest and open dialogue with her followers and makes videos on challenges faced by teens. She has talked about menstruation, bullying and even suicide. Saphira has gained recognition for her positive attitude and is considered a role model to teens worldwide.
Worklife and Technology
It should come as no surprise that your online presence can effect the way people perceive you. What may be surprising to some is that although your social media account may be used to express your personal opinions and interests, it can be a deciding factor for employers in the hiring process. Especially posts including questionable political views or lifestyle choices may have grave effects on becoming employed.
Lesser known than the Oscars or Golden Globes is an award called the Shorty Awards. This is the first award of its kind to honor the best of social media. The awards are given under multiple categories to recognize the individuals, brands and organizations on social media that contribute positively to their area of interest. Past winners have included: Taylor Swift, J.K Rowling and PewDiePie.
Individuals nominated for an Activism Shorty Award have used social media (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc.) as a platform to create awareness about their cause, stand up for their beliefs and bring positive change to the world around them. Finalists for this award include:
- Ashley Graham- As pictured above, Ashley gained fame with her controversial photo-shoot with Sports Illustrated and is one of the first ever plus sized models to be featured on the cover of this type of magazine. She has used her fame and presence on social media to empower other women to love themselves regardless of their shape or size.
- Jazz Jennings- Known most for her show I Am Jazz on TLC, Jazz is a trans-gendered teen who has documented her life through Instagram. She shares the struggles that come along with being trans-gendered in high school. Jazz currently has several hundred thousand followers on social media. She truly is a force of activism within the LGBTQ community.
- Shailene Woodley- Although Shailene might be known for her red carpet looks or parts in movies, she has chosen to use her fame from acting to shed light on the Dakota Access Pipeline. Shailene used her following on Facebook and Twitter to spread awareness on Indigenous issues that have not been acknowledged or covered by main stream media.