Technology use limits social ties

Technology use limits social ties

Sierra Bryant, Reporter

Imagine getting home from school early ten years or so ago. It’s bright and sunny, the only thing on most kid’s minds back then was finishing homework so they could go outside and play with their friends. Now fast forward to the present, what is seen outside is not the same as it used to be; there are no children playing because they’re all inside on phones, tablets, or computers.

Today, close to 80% of children ages five to eight use a smart device, which has nearly doubled from two years ago reports the Washington Post. They also say children are spending more time on these devices as well. Some parents do put a time limit on their children’s use of electronics but they still do not get enough activity outside.

In 2007 the first generation iphone came out, but according to the U.S. Census Bureau, internet usage skyrocketed in 2011. It was reported that 62,138 people ages three to seventeen used the internet. This was about the same time social media started gaining popularity. Facebook and Twitter have been around since about 2006 but Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat all came out around 2010-2011.  The number of internet users then was considerably low compared to what it is now.

With all this internet use there are some health concerns. Karishma.S.Ramdhonee, a child psychologist says in their presentation, “Psychological Impact of Internet Usage on Children”, some of the health concerns include the following: anxiety, depression, less mobile, less social, more stressed, etc. Some student report their younger siblings to me more moody when they spend time on their devices, however some students don’t see any health concerns with their younger siblings.

Younger siblings of students will spend from as little as one hour to as much as five to six hours. Junior, Jadian Kartchner said that it doesn’t really bother her  how much time her sister spends on the internet,  but she does feel that the large amount of internet usage affects relationships inside their family

“I feel like it drifts people apart because they’re more worried about what’s happening on facebook then what’s happening in their home.”

Junior, Cameron McDougal, speaks from experience that so much time on the internet or other devices can ruin friendships.

“ I’ve seen it ruin a couple of good friendships of mine… so I’m hoping that he doesn’t let it destroy any of his.”

McDougal was not  as inactive as his brother when he was younger, but he did spend some time playing with his Nintendo 64. Now McDougal’s habits have changed, he is much more active than his younger self by being apart of the wrestling and track team. He does hope that it has a positive effect on his younger brother to influence him to also take up sports when he’s in middle school.

Students have noticed that they are not as active as they used to be and are also spending large quantities of time on social media. Younger kids spending less time being active could be a result of following in their older siblings footprints. If this is true, wouldn’t it be better to lead the younger generations to a more promising future by showing them that there’s more to see than what’s just on their screens.

The age of technology will either liberate or destroy the human race. It’s possible to have a prosthetic limb that can move at the joints by themselves but at the same time technology can keep the brightest and youngest minds trapped inside, kept back from such wonderful opportunities to learn, create, and share everything they’re cable of. Technology has made society lazy. Something needs to be done to change that behavior. The addiction needs to stop so we can move forward.