In today’s world, there is no wonder we have a whole group of anti-social youth. With teenage technology addiction on the rise, it is a wonder most teens even know how to communicate via age-old means at all (i.e. actually talking). The availability of laptops, desktops, tablets, and the smartphone, social media, and internet communication are the ways to communicate nowadays among everyone but especially our teenagers.
Technology addiction statistics
There have been many technology addiction studies done, here we will look at some of the statistics of technology addiction, especially teenage technology addiction. In the average American home, everyone has access to most of if not all of these five devices; laptops, desktops, tablets, and smartphones not to mention the gaming consoles and devices that can now go online. Out of all of this, some alarming facts about technology addiction have arosen. Some 24% of teens are online “constantly”, 92% of teens are online daily. In the age range of 13-17 56% are online several times a day, while only 12% are online once a day, a small 6% are online weekly, and approximately 2% of teens are online less often.
Out of the population, today about ¾ of all teens have a smartphone, 30% have a basic phone, and 12% have no phone at all. The percentage is higher for African Americans since some 85% of African American teens have a smartphone. Whereas only 71% of the white and Hispanic teen population have a smartphone. Boys will be most likely to have gaming consoles for online communication versus the girls with their smartphones and tablets as the main medium for their communication. Over half of all teens-56% have a tablet and 87% have a desktop or laptop. Devices outside of phones are much more prevalent in the middle and upper-class families, however, with the lower economic bracket mainly using only their smartphones or having one or two tablets or computers to use amongst everyone in the household.
Our technology addiction is fueled in a large part by social media. The rise of facebook, twitter, Instagram, snapchat, tumblr, and others out there the whole world is now connected at a phenomenal rate. Among teens, Facebook is still by far the most popular this is used by a large majority of teens nowadays. Boys more than girls will use facebook predominantly, whereas girls opt for Instagram. Among the older teens, ages 15-17 snapchat is pretty much champion next to Facebook. However, its popularity is starting to rise among the younger teens as well. Older teens will also use twitter, tumblr more. Twitter is mostly popular among adults whereas tumblr is still relatively new but it has been utilized more and more by young adults and older teens. In all actuality for the numbers’ sake, more than 71% of all teens admit to using more than one social media outlet for their communication. Still though half of all teens use snapchat and about the same number holds true for Instagram. Boys will usually use their gaming consoles since in all reality that is where they spend all of their time outside of their phones, this is the medium they will communicate by. With things like the Xbox live community they have many options as to whom they want to talk to and not talk to.
How technology addiction affects the family unit
There have been many studies done in recent years as to how the modern family is being affected by technology and social media. The truth is the modern family is technology and social media. Where everyone in the family has a smart device and texts or uses a messenger platform of some type several times a day to communicate everything from the grocery list to checking in on the kids and spouse. Entire families have their own twitter feeds or facebook sites now. Where everyone can join the group or follow each other to keep up to date on the day to day lives of those family members that live far away or who never see each other.
Without social media and smart devices, the families would actually be forced to speak to one another over dinner or an unplugged vacation. These things have been such the norm for so long that if they were to ever sit down and have a dinner or take a road trip without their devices they probably wouldn’t have much to say to one another. This is proven by walking into any restaurant or shopping center and looking around everyone is looking down at the various devices in their hands. Even though a sad fact it is still a fact none the less.
These technology addiction facts are startling but true which begs us to ask the question what will our youth be like in 20 years, if in the event of some major event and technology were to be cut off how would we communicate? Would our children even know how to pick up a landline and dial it, or would they know how to actually write something down on a piece of paper? Could they use a phone book or a regular paper street map? Could they even do something as simple as write a paper check out for a purchase? This is the direction the world has taken, we wonder why we see so much violence in the streets and such disrespect from our children and teens. The answer lies in who are they talking to on the internet, what video games are they playing and even what are they watching on Netflix or Hulu if they even do watch tv at all. The truth is we are so plugged into everyone else’s life that we forget to take stock of our own and appreciate the things we do have. If your young child has to come disrupt you on your device more than three times a day to get you to play with them or feed them, then there could be a problem with addiction to technology in your household.
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Technology has become an integral part of our lives. It has transformed our lives in many ways. In many ways, it makes life more convenient for us: we can send messages quickly via the internet, cook meals in a few minutes in a microwave, and book train tickets online instead of walking to the station. However, in our increasingly technology-driven world, have we become addicted to technology?
Not too long ago, many children enjoyed reading a good book in their spare time. Nowadays, adolescents are more likely to be seen playing video games or watching television. Some people even claim they can't go without watching their favourite TV programme - which is a bit extreme!
Similarly, sending letters has become a thing of the past. It has been replaced by email, instant messaging and social media. I think this is a huge shame; for me, there's nothing better than receiving a letter in the post. It shows someone has taken the time to sit down and write something; this is much more personal than a conversation online. For some people - especially the older generation - new methods of communication aren't so accessible. I regularly send letters and postcards to my grandma to keep her updated with my life in France; I also send them to my boyfriend and sister.
The presence of social media has, in some respects, turned us into anti-social beings. Instead of meeting up with friends and seeing them face-to-face, we now spend a lot of time communicating online. Although online communication has its advantages - notably, enabling us to keep in touch with loved ones in different countries - we shouldn't forget the value of real-life human interaction. It is, after all, in our nature to socialise with others!
Admittedly, I spend a lot of time using technology. I rely on the internet and my laptop to plan lessons for my classes. I use wifi on my phone to send messages via apps such as Viber and Snapchat. That said, when I'm on holiday it is nice to switch it all off and have a break. Taking a break from technology is liberating.