Only a decade ago was the pandemic disease of becoming a ‘couch potato’ a threat to Western societies. However, the current generation has the luxury of observing its demise; which brings about a new era, a Doi Moi as you will. The influx in access to new technology brings about not only the benefits from its uses, but also the negatives. I will discuss and prove that new technology poses a risk to the modern adolescent and the future of society. You may argue that if it only affects adolescents, then why should anyone be worried? It’s simply because if any attention was paid during biology classes, one would realise that adolescents will undoubtedly one day become adults. So the seemingly usefulness of modern technology slowly wears off to reveal a more prevalent threat; the inability to communicate in person.

When Apple released their line of iPods in the wake of the new millennium the slow and painless death of social interaction could be seen. The iPod, while providing a source of entertainment for listeners, prevents further development in any relationship with people that individuals have never met before. I refer to a time when conversations with strangers were a norm. The musical device known as the iPod disconnects people from one another. When an individual plugs in the headset and places it in his/her ears, he or she is disconnected from everyone else on that train carriage. Now the argument can be made that he or she listens to music to make that trip more enjoyable. However, just as much entertainment can be found in holding a conversation with other commuters. That is merely just one aspect of our lives that ahas slowly died due to the onset of technology.

Another regretful loss to our lifestyles is the ability to communicate in person. I present to you the grim truth about society; through instant messenging programs such as AOL and MSN, the modern adolescent has lost a portion of their humanity. While providing a source of interaction between his or her friends – provided that he or she has friends to begin with – it develops, or should I say, deconstructs an individual’s ability to communicate face to face. Now I don’t mean that when approached by a complete stranger in public, that they will respond with gargled noises. What is meant is that the individual loses confidence in his or her ability to hold a successful conversation with the other person. And not only does this confidence become nonexistent, but for some their entire vocabulary is rewritten and replaced with phrases such as LOL (laugh out loud) and hru (how are you). To hear such profanities in modern society is not only disgusting, but presents to us the grim realities of the detrimental effects of instant messaging.

The final piece of technology of this certainly not exhaustive list is the dreaded website known as Youtube and other streaming video sites. These websites provide a hub for socially challenged individuals to express their opinions and ideas. While the argument is made that without such a source of expression for socially challenged individuals, they are otherwise unable to do so. But it is also obvious that these websites are not presenting a solution to an existing problem, but rather creating new ones. These websites are exacerbating the situation; they do not teach individuals to learn to be more confident – talking to a camera – then crush their hopes about what they have just developed when they face the real world. It is a shame that such networking websites allow for the inhumane exploitation of an individual’s skills, only to have them destroyed by real people when he or she ventures into the real world.

As I have shown, the culmination of these aspects of the development of technology has had a somewhat promising existence, they only provide for the development, or should I say, deconstruction of societies abilities to communicate with one another on a physical basis. Imagine society in 60 years time dependent on technology, it is almost incomprehensible to imagine such a thought where an individual is unable to communicate to his or friend without going through iChat.

Advertisements