In today’s world, the internet is something that is both used and abused every day. Group chats result in business decisions, blogs are the new entertainment magazines, and Facebook and Twitter are the powerhouses of self expression. The teenager of this new computer generation has much more advanced problems to confront than their parents’. With the creation of “No Child Left Behind” and the advancements of electronic devices, teenage students spend less time hitting the books and more time probing the web. Limiting computer use is something that is definitely necessary in today’s young generation.
Today’s internet holds the responsibility of socially connecting people. Different cliques formed on the internet transfer into social cliques in schools. Some of these “cliques” are formed because the teens that are part of them all share the same obsession: vanity, just as some of them are formed by teens who share a common talent. These groups can be powerhouses and support groups for many. But for some, a large group of friends is intimidating, solely because they are so used to having their one loyal friend called “internet”. This avoidance of social activities can lead to depression and social anxiety. Many times posting a picture on Facebook and seeing how many likes it gets is like a judgment of ones own appearance. This can result in a decline in self-esteem and can further enhance social anxiety. The addiction to acceptance from the internet is similar to being addicted to drugs. The internet can be an escape for many teens. Once a teen becomes addicted to the internet they rely on it to exist; which is why some teens become intimidated when asked to get off of the computer.
Another issue is the decline of grades due to overuse of the internet. When students go upstairs for the night there is no telling what they are doing on the web or for how long. Typically, students who are addicted to the internet are so used to the speedy responses from a computer that they have a hard time focusing during class. Overuse of the internet also takes time away from sleep and causes students to be late to school and miss class. In some cases, a student who is in class will spend most of the class time on their smart phones surfing the web or chatting in chat rooms. The decline in grades can then lead to social exile and can lead a student into depression.
Some would say that internet use improves typing skills. Then again, how many careers in the United States require advanced typing skills? Internet Communication and Tolerance are other things that can be beneficial to a young mind. How many students commit suicide every year due to cyber bullying sourced from chat rooms? Some say the internet teaches us how to handle computer malfunctions ourselves. How many IT specialists lose their jobs every year due to internet safety/computer maintenance classes provided by big businesses to their employees? Social media provides opportunities for people to express themselves. How many US citizens feel endangered by ISIS support groups flooding their news feed with death threats being explained as “self expression”? Ironically, some people say that the internet provides teens with the opportunity to learn time management skills. Ladies and gentlemen, time management is a choice that not many teens are mature enough to make.
The internet is something that can be very beneficial to a teen’s life. The internet can bring many new things to us and can allow us the opportunity to be ourselves: Innovation at its’ finest, which is why it saddens me to say that the internet can also destroy us, and tear us apart. The choice is yours. Unfortunately, our generation struggles with this decision; which is why computer access should be limited and balanced. Something beautiful can also be something brutally cruel.