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Alyssa Brown

ERWC first
April 8, 2015

Its in every aspect of our lives. In school, work, everywhere you go,
technology is always following you. It seems as if you can instantly upload a
picture, message a friend, and make a business call wherever you are,
regardless of the scene youre in. Since the first telephone, radio, television
and computer, things have only consistently gone onward and upward when
it comes to portability, durability, and possibility. With all this technology on
the go, everyone seems to just take the idea and run with it. But has anyone
seriously considered the effects that all this progress might have on our
childrens social and mental development? How it might impact the teenage
youth of the world? How the workplace might react to all this technology?
Regardless of how much good technology might bring to humanity, the
constant lights and noise and blinking monitors may have more negative
effects than positive.
Have you ever heard a parent yell GET OFF YOUR PHONE in the middle
of a public space? See the adolescent defiantly glare up at their mom or dad
while they finish their tweet, text, or even yik yak? Do you even know all
these sites? We hear so much about it in the news these days, social media.

Social media started in the mid to late Sixties, with BBS (Bulletin Board
System) and CompuServe being the first major players in the game. Since
then, social media has drastically evolved from blogging to posting,
vining, tweeting, and the ever favorite, yakking. Tumblr, Twitter, Yik Yak,
Vine, and Instagram are the five major players in the communications game
among teens. A 2012 study revealed that a full 95% of teenagers (12-17) are
using social media, 85% of 14-17 yr/o have a cell phone and 44% of those
kids own smart phones. Whats the difference between a cell phone and a
smart phone? Internet access. The first Smartphone entered the world in
about 1993, intended for the use of high end business workers which enabled
them to stay organized and make proper arrangements wherever they went.
In 2007, Apple created the first iPhone, which massively impacted the future
of technology. Out of 100 users, 41.9% of those users use an Apple Iphone,
making them the top manufacturer in smartphones. What does this have to
do with parents yelling at teens and yakking and vines? Simply enough, Apple
has made it possible for teenagers to get in contact with anyone in the world
at any given time of day.
Social media, as insignificant as it seems, is actually more inherent to our
adolescents development and community. Twitter alone has over 255 million
active users who send, in total, more than 500 million tweets every day. Still
think its not so prevalent? Not only does Twitter have 255 million active
users, there are over one billion users, with 395 of them without followers,
and 44% of those billion have never sent a tweet in their life. A massive

reason why people sign up for social networks such as twitter is to stay
updated in whats happening in their world. With the use of social media
comes the abuse of social media. 31% of the young adult group (18-24 yr.
olds) have twitter accounts. Sites such as twitter and yik yak can have a more
positive effect on young adults because it creates the opportunity the
expression of creativity and individuality, as well as providing means to
communicate at a comfortable rate. Due to that ability to freely communicate
ideas and beliefs, there are many ways for positive messages to be spread at
a more rapid pace than that of prior time periods. Twitter, Instagram, Vine,
and Yik Yak all have users that dedicate their pages towards positive themes
and messages, such as equality, anti-hate, absolution of racism, and other
issues. Alongside with that, there are various news sites such as BBC,
Huffington post, and NBC news that have twitter pages that help spread
news, keeping teenagers well informed of the social issues happening around
the world. Twitter is also easily accessible with their mobile app and mobile
version of the website, making it hassle free to get online.
Due to easy accessibility, theres also a large population of negative,
inappropriate users who lack social morals and use social media in a
disturbing way. Sites like World Star Hip Hop encourage ideas of drugs,
unprotected sex, racism, violence, and disrespect to women to teens,
massively impacting their social values. Because of its widespread
popularity, many teens have had exposure to World Star in one way or
another, whether its at school, online, or from a friend, those kids have

experiences what others view as socially acceptable. From then on out,

those kids who thought the content on World Star was appropriate then
began to resolve conflicts in violence, disrespect their women, and openly
disobey the law and authority. World Star isnt the only site that is an
advocate for these ideals, and other personal sites have a tendency to reblog
or repost tweets and posts that they think is funny or identify with. On top of
that, teens have a tendency to stay on their phones for extended periods of
time. During class, during work, even during family time, teens who have a
smartphone and a social media account on one or more site is more likely to
spend extensive amounts of time on their phones. In a recent studies,
teenagers 14-18 were less likely to be self-conscious of outside opinion, less
depressed, and had more time for eating, sleeping, extracurriculars, and
spending time with friends and family. All in all, teens who didnt have a social
media account lived a healthier lifestyle than those who did.
As social media is to teens, online learning centers are to children. Since the
advancement in computer technology, learning centers old and new have
stepped up to the plate in educating our children, our future. These days,
there are various sites that say they help spur a childs development. A lot of
them, such as ABC Mouse and even claim that can help
further the development a child experiences in the math and language
portions of the brain. ABC Mouse is a child development site for children ages
2-6 that has lessons in literature, mathematics and the arts. ABC mouse and
other learning sites have the ability to encourage mental growth at a young

age, making learning fun and academics a top priority again. Alternatively
though, children ages 2-8 have a tendency to grow a dependency on
technology, causing an addiction problem that will be hard to discourage later
on in their youth. Also, because of the easy accessibility, a child can get a
hold of inappropriate material easier than they could before. Because of popup ads and viruses, children have access to material that contains violence,
mature content, and obscene language that can stick with them later on. If
not careful, a parent can accidentally expose their children with material that
might hinder everything that theyve worked towards creating for their child.
By early exposure to content such as this, children have a higher tendency to
mimic what theyve encountered because they believe its a normal, relative,
appropriate thing to do. Children learn by observing social behaviours, so its
only natural for them to believe that behaviors that are portrayed in
inappropriate material that was encountered via online access is okay for
public display.
Unfortunately, not only are the kids being affected by social media. As
the original audience that social media was intended for, adults 30-45, they
have seen the evolution from friendster to myspace to facebook and so on.
Technology hasnt just affected the youth, technology has affected all. Not
only are schools beginning to incorporate laptops and technology into their
curriculum, workspaces are allowing more phone, laptops, and just tech-savvy
appliances into the workspace. Some businesses such as Luckys even
provides a separate cell phone or smartphone for higher level workers,

making it easier to contact them. Along with that, studies have shown that
instead of taking one fifteen minute break every 2-3 hours of work,
employees now have a tendency to take one fifteen second break multiple
times within the hour. Is it hindering the working ability, or improving it?
Some studies believe that, by allowing to make time to rest at more constant
intervals and at a lesser extent of time, employees actually increase
productivity, making their work more finished and of better quality. But, at
what point is it too much? If a worker is constantly on their phone and social
media sites while at work, is it then appropriate for their boss to visit that
employees site? Is it, to a further extent, appropriate for workplaces and
schools to include social media sites and online searches of an applicant as
part of the background check? or does this infringe on privacy? There are
many cases where an employee posted something inappropriate on their
social media site, which was then seen by their manager, which then lead to
the employee being fired. If online, is a person removed from the professional
atmosphere, or do they continue to represent their company and its ethics,
ideals, and beliefs? When is it appropriate for an employer to look at a
persons online presence, and when is it not?

Overall, technology has seemed to manage its way into every aspect of our
lives, regardless of whether it was invited or not. The question here isnt if its
bad or good, its if its being used right. What constitutes right though? A
positive online presence. One that displays self expression at appropriate

levels, positive beliefs, and nothing hindering or damaging to society or even

ones personal atmosphere. Thats what everyones told, right? Online is
forever. Once its there, its never not there. That anyone can find anything
and everything youve ever said, posted, tweeted, or simply just put online.
So when is technology okay to use, and when is it not?

Works Cited
Chron. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2015.

Code Scanning.Com. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2015.

comScore. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2015.
Digital Trends. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2015.
Forbes. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2015.
Pew Research Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2015.
Pew Research Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2015.
Use of Technology. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2015.