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Het Adhvaryu

Professor Mrs.Scaife
RHET 1331 Composition 1

Time has changed, so have the world and its people. The Internet with its
ambivalent characteristics has taken a great part in the lives of people, predominantly
teenagers. The Internet is been carved on the brains of these teenagers. John Green a
great writer once said “Just move to the Internet, it's great here. We get to live inside
where the weather is always awesome.” This shows how the internet is the

world in itself and how people are migrating to that world. Should
we alter our ways about how we use the internet, is it a boon or a bane for today's
modern world? Is it helping the teenagers to grow or are they just becoming internet
busybodies in a virtual reality? There are lots of harm which internet is doing to the
future generations. There can be many reasons why we should look at our interaction
with the internet and the community. The Internet has created gaming disorders and
given the teens physical, mental, and social problems. Teens have started detaching
from the reality and substitute their lives and time with the Internet; they have been
invaded and lost themselves. There are no longer authentic real relationships. And the
way these teens develop their personality is now mainly based on what they learn from
the Internet.
Internet Gaming is one of the most attractive features that draws the attention of
this teenagers. Sometimes they use it as a medium to do things which they could not
possibly do in the real world. Or they simply find it the most exciting thing to do on this

planet. And slowly and gradually they get addicted to it. They start bonding more and
more with the virtual world and get detached from the real world. This gaming sensation
has grown so big that it affects the psychology of a kid to a deep extent.
One example for this is the Internet Gaming disorder. Certain Asian countries and
many other groups of people have researched and come to a conclusion that this
gaming addiction is equal to the drug addiction because both of them affects the brain in
the same way. They also experience the symptoms of withdrawal when drawn away
from the gaming just like when a drug addict is pulled away from the drugs. The APA,
American Psychiatric Association has entered this gaming disorder into the DSM’s
(“Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders”) section 3 and doing research about this
condition as a real disorder.
Internet gaming is so influential because it also affects a child socially and physically.
Researchers also find that youths who were prone to impulsivity had lower social
competence and issues with regulating their emotions were particularly at risk. Dr. Cora
Breuner believes that “Some of the kids who are most at risk are those who struggle in
school or other social settings, for these kids, retreating into video games where they
can do all kinds of otherworldly things can be a respite from reality, and can be very
appealing.” (Aarsvold). Parents also play a major role in this. They are responsible for
understanding the conditions of their kids and limiting their time and use of internet and
the gaming.
Catherine Steiner-Adair, a Harvard-affiliated clinical psychologist and author of the bestselling book “The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the
Digital Age.” claims that “We’re throwing screens at children all day long, giving them

distractions rather than teaching them how to self-soothe, to calm themselves down.”
Gaming can create much emotion in a kid and these emotions escapes the kid in the
real world. This is very harmful for the kid and the community as whole itself because
we need stable and calm minds to benefit society to make it do better for humanity. And
internet gaming only does the opposite. It is very harmful to their future and school life
too. Children tend to start losing their grades in schools and isolate themselves from the
real world to the virtual world. They try to substitute what they want to be in the real
world with the virtual world. Technology is a poor substitute for personal interaction,
expanding on that statement it means that instead of children coming together and
playing like in old days, they nowadays choose to sit in front of the internet and play with
their “friends” virtually.
Not only socially and physically but this gaming condition harms them physically too,
their fingers, wrists, back, eyes all start to wear out.
The second reason or the harm that internet does is that it isolates a human being from
the society and takes him to the world which doesn’t really exists, a world where people
try and live their “cool” side. Gone are the days when friends and family sit together and
spend some quality time having a wonderful conversation? Nowadays people might sit
together but are dedicated to their internet devices which virtually connects them to their
“friends”. The personality or coolness of a kid is defined by how many followers he has
on Instagram or how many like he gets on Facebook. Social media gives them huge
platform and lot of power which if not used correctly can lead to a big problem.
Teenagers try and live a perfect virtual life and play a role which they always wanted to
play in real life and eventually they get so engrossed into the virtual world that they

detach from the real world. Updating their profile picture becomes more important than
helping a friend or having a conversation with parents. Slowly they get so attached and
addicted to it that it makes them vulnerable, social media becomes a potential weapon
to hurt each other. This leads to the issues of cyber bullying and Suicides due to cyber
reasons. Because the National Crime Victimization Survey data is weighted to represent
the entire enrolled 9th-12th-grade student population, it is estimated that about 2.2
million students experienced cyberbullying in 2011. Social media scholar Danah Boyd
believes that “Social media has affected how people interact with one another and, thus,
it has the potential to alter how society is organized” (Boyd).
I personally believe that social media has invaded our lives completely. Teens spend
their most of the time on the internet. They find their homework on the Internet, they
meet people on the Internet, they date online, and they even have sex online! Isn’t this
enough to tell how teens have corrupted their minds with the Internet? Overall, 35% of
American teens ages 13 to 17 have ever dated, hooked up with or been otherwise
romantically involved with another person, and 18% are currently in a romantic
relationship (source).
Psychologist and digital communication expert Sherry Turkle believes that our lives are
taken away by the internet and mobile phones, slowly with evolving technology we have
unknowingly started using them so much that we fail to realize how they have affected
our brains and psychology very much. We are now addicted to it. Can you imagine a
day without your cell phone? Probably not, and If you are a teen, definitely not. So the
point is that it has carved a psychological “need” which is not really that important.
According to Turkle, people text or do email during corporate board meetings. They text

and shop and go on Facebook during classes, during presentations, actually during all
meetings. Basically, what Turkle is saying is that internet and phones are invading our
lives and we are being detached from the real world. We are growing apart from
ourselves and each other and becoming a part of a fantasy world.
Although Turkle’s ideas about the invasion of technology into our children’s life and they
becoming isolated from the real world may seem trivial,but it is, in fact, crucial in terms
of today’s concern over as people are being detached from the real world. We have lost
real conversations, communications and relations with people. We need our lives back
where we can again develop those relations with each other. We need to get out of the
social media world and spend some real quality time with the people we love. We need
to make this life the life we can love.
The other major problem with internet addiction is that people have lost themselves and
substituted their personality with the internet. We are being the slave of this devil. Our
brains have stopped thinking and google has started to think for us. A thing which is
supposed to be a tool just to find information and learn new things have now become
the basic tool for us to do any process even thinking. Real life interactions are taken
away by online communications. And children are growing through the Internet which
may not necessarily be good. They learn a whole lot of things on the internet and it
starts being a part of them and then their habits which define their personality. They try
and be “cool” on social media and in real life doing stupid things which get attention of
social media. Example, Dr. E. Hani Mansour, a burn specialist in Livingston, New
Jersey, witnessed a patient who was an attention seeking teen, who burned 14% of
himself trying to explode a bathtub full of firework and record it to put a video online

(source). Teens have thought that the internet has great potential and is a rich resource
but they are never taught how to utilize it, which leads them to use the internet for their
harm which they don't even realize. They slowly get so dependent on it that they even
the world without internet is unimaginable for them. They become addicted. They try
and do their homework on the internet they spend their free time on the internet which
they are not supposed to. And keeping up and updating their social media they never
get time to discover themselves as they are busy being someone else. Catherine
Steiner-Adair, a psychologist, and author of “The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood
and Family Relationships in the Digital Age,” says that “The need for validation and
confirmation that you’re OK is so huge.” She adds,“Parents often say, 'How could you
go on a site where people can anonymously respond to whatever your question is: Am I
cute? Am I fat?' But we’re forgetting what it means to be a teenager when we say things
like that.” Experts like Steiner-Adair and Dr. David Greenfield say the fact that many
teens view their online and real-time identities as identical can be a recipe for disaster.
They believe that it can be dangerous if the real and the online identity does not match.
In an interview with NPR, media theorist and author Douglas Rushkoff explains very
clearly that that the teens lost their as identity as they juggle between Facebook and
twitter and Instagram. Putting it in his words he explained his word Digiphrenia, “
‘Digiphrenia’ is the experience of trying to exist in more than one incarnation of yourself
at the same time. There's your Twitter profile, your Facebook profile, your email inbox,”
Rushkoff said. “All of these sorts of multiple instances of you are operating
simultaneously and in parallel. And that's not a really comfortable position for most

human beings." So, in simple words to put it all together the Internet cannot be useful if
youth are unaware of how to utilize it very wisely.
Many are to argue that the internet has revolutionized our world for good and without it
we would still be in the archaic age, which it is true to some extent. But thinking about it
with a different perspective, the Internet is like that knife in the kitchen which had a great
potential and can be very useful but it not used properly it can be fatal, that is why we
tend to keep it away from our children who do not comprehend its harmful side.
Therefore, teens are not ready to be careful while using the internet. It is also a reason
why people with better education and income learn more from the internet because they
are wise enough to know how to use it. When it comes to the impact of different kinds
of learning, the learners with higher education levels and higher household income
levels are also more likely than others to report reaping gains from their Internet
activities. The need of the hour and a more valid argument would be to master the
internet before it masters us. For example, Gaming may help to improve hand and eye
coordination but it harms the social life of the teens. So now we have to decide what is
more important very good hand and eye coordination or one’s good social life. Another
argument with a strong point can be that The Internet is very rich resources and teens
can learn things about everything all by themselves. But does that thought, is it not
scary in itself, would it be a good idea to expose these teens with flickering minds? I
think there are some things they should be ignorant of at this tender age until the right
time comes. But the internet doesn't watch for it, it throws all the information it has which
might affect the teen in many ways, harmful too. Teens start copying their homework,

instead of the productive use of the time they get addicted to gaming which again does
more harm than good.
So to conclude, The Internet if not used in a wise way, can do more harm than good.
And teens are not capable of learning without experience or through experimentation
which might also mislead them, so it is duties of elders to teach them on how to use the
internet. It can do many harms making the teens addicted to gaming, losing their
identity, affecting them socially, physically and psychologically. It may also help them to
choose virtual relations over the real and healthy relationships with real people. The
point is not to stop using the internet but it is to use it in a shrewd way and only having
its benefits. Addiction towards it is not at all healthy because it then substitutes the
distinctive organ which humans have, the brain. They desire to communicate and live in
the world of virtually rather than using their brain and living in the world of reality. It is a
double edged sword. It is so overwhelming and fascinating that Andrew Brown, an
American former professional baseball outfielde. has rightly said, “The Internet is so big,
so powerful and pointless that for some people it is a complete substitute for life”. So let
us use the double-edged sword wisely and not playing much with it beyond our
comprehension of it.

Works Cited
American Psychiatric Association (APA). "Internet Gaming Disorder." Web. 24 Apr.
2016.
Aarsvold, Andreas. "Video Game Addiction: How Much Is Too Much." Seattle
Children's Hospital. 17 Feb. 2015. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.
Brody, Jane E. "Screen Addiction Is Taking a Toll on Children." New York Times
16 July 2015. Print.
Connected, but Alone? Dir. Sherry Turkle. Perf. Sherry Turkle. TED Talks, 2012
"Cyber bullying and social media." Megan Meier Foundation. 2013. Web. 24 Apr.
2016.
Horrigan, John B. "Lifelong learning and technology." Pew Research Center. 22 march
2016. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.
Johnson, Chandra. "Growing up Digital: How the Internet Affects Teen Identity." Desert
News National. Deseret News National, 28 May 2014. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.
Lenhart, Amanda, Monica Anderson, and Aaron Smith. "Teens, Technology and
Romantic Relationships." Pew Research Center. 1 Oct. 2015. Web. 24 Apr.
2016.
Sandymapple. "The Internet Makes Teens Stupid." Babble. Disney, 2010. Web
24 Apr. 2013