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How Does Technology Affect The Younger Generations?

Lexi L. Frasher

Piketon High School


If you live in todays world, chances are youve seen many things, good and bad, come from the

use of technology. While it may sometimes seem that no good can come from technology, there

truly are positives and negatives to both sides. The purpose of this research paper is to reflect on

the positive and negative effects technology has on the children in todays world. This paper will

discuss the good things technology can do for the youth, such as: make the brain work while

playing games, increase connectivity between peers, enhance creativity, and also use

educational media and television shows to help strengthen childrens thinking. This paper will

also discuss the darker side of technology, which includes: addiction to video games, addiction to

texting, cyberbullying, sexting, social anxieties, suicidal thoughts or tendencies, depression,

mental health disorders, and damage to the prefrontal cortex.

Keywords: effects, positive, negative, children, youth, brain, games, educational,

addiction, texting, cyberbullying, sexting, mental health, suicide, damage, pornography

How Does Technology Affect The Younger Generations?


These days, it feels like everything we do revolves around technology; whether we use it

to google the answers to the worksheet we have due in anatomy or to watch the newest season of

our favorite TV show on netflix, we are constantly using technology for various different things.

While there are many upsides to technology, there are downsides too. This research essay will be

discussing the positive effects technology has on our youth and also the negative effects it has on

our youth. Overall, technology can be very beneficial if used properly, if used improperly, the

results can be tragic.

Positive Effects

To begin with, let's talk about some of the positive effects that technology has on children

and teens. In Eugenia Ives (2012) thesis, he discusses how technology has helped bridge the

educational gap, he explains that with technology in the palm of our hands it has connected

students in more ways now than ever before, children can learn from anywhere in the world and

they can get ideas from other students which can help them to become more creative (p. 21).

The thesis also brings into light how technology and social media have connected students

because students can do projects and connect with their classmates out of class through Twitter,

Facebook, Google Classroom, and other social media platforms (as cited by Ives, 2012, p. 22). In

2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics posted the positive findings they found on the effects

of social media on children and teens; the results showed that social media enhanced

communication skills, helped teens shape their identities, and created new ways for teens and

children to learn in the classroom as opposed to how traditional education works (as cited by

Ives, 2012, pp. 25-26). These are just some of the positives technology is having in childrens

lives today.

Secondly, Tammy Erickson (2012) talks about technology has shaped a more confident

generation, when kids know that they have all the information they could ever want or need at

their fingertips, it tends to boost their confidence and self-esteem. Another great thing about

technology is how it can connect people and build friendships without face to face connections.

While this has downsides we will discuss later, it has positives too because children and teens

can share their ideas and opinions with one another to understand each other better (Erickson,

2012). This goes to show some more of the positive impacts technology has on teenagers and


Likewise, technology in a childs home has been proven to help them in school. In the

1950s, it wasnt exactly normal for every preschooler to have a television in their home. This

made it extremely easy for researchers to follow up on the effects television had on the children.

Researchers watched through the years and these childrens test results and academic scores

were overall better than children without television sets in their homes. Many childrens shows

over the years have have made an effort to improve kids literacy and mathematical skills early on

in their lives. The show Sesame Street has been associated with many positive outcomes such

as readiness for school, increased vocabulary early on, and numeracy skills (Bavelier, et al.,

2011). Therefore, maybe technology isnt so bad after all.

Furthermore, I conducted my own survey and asked the question, Do you think

technology has a positive or negative affect on children? Seventy-eight percent of people chose

both, sixteen percent chose negative, and six percent chose positive. After this question I then

asked people to explain why they chose what they chose and I got a lot of responses to it. I have

had a lot of people tell me technology makes kids lives easier because they have so many

resources available all the time, they also think having all the resources makes school, education,

and learning in general more practical and efficient. People that have taken the survey have even

claimed that technology helps with cognitive ability and that there are educational apps that are

fun so kids are learning and have no idea. Another plus is that children nowadays are more up to

date on current events than children and teens have ever been in the past, this is good for kids

because they can formulate their own opinions on controversial topics, like politics, at a younger

age which will help them to be more educated as they come into adulthood. These are just a few

of the positives technology has to offer for the younger generations.

Negative Effects

To start off with, when there are positives to something, there are negatives too. There

has been countless hours of research that show that violent video games make children more

violent and cause them to have aggressive thoughts and actions. It is extremely easy for children

and teens to get addicted to the internet; internet addiction can lead to depression, increased

loneliness, bipolar disorder, ADHD, and even anxiety disorders. Internet addiction can end

tragically, it can even lead to death in some cases. There was one couple that was so addicted to

online gaming they let their two and a half old daughter starve to death because they were so

immersed in the game they forgot about her (Bavelier, et al., 2011). These are some of the

negative effects technology has on children and teenagers.

Next, we will discuss the darker side of technology: cyberbullying. Alvin Cabral (2009)

discusses that sixteen percent of children are more scared to get bullied online than offline.

Cyberbullying can lead to low self-esteem, grades in school dropping, nightmares, eating

disorders, antisocial disorders, and depression. As a society we should not downplay the effects

of cyberbullying, just because there is no real life contact there are still traumatic effects (Cabral,


Moreover, one of the more tragic things that has to do with the internet and teens is

sexting. Studies have shown that nearly twenty to thirty percent of teens have sent pictures of

themselves to their peers and others; this can have lifelong effects on their self esteem and

confidence levels. At the same time, about forty to sixty to percent of teens said they have

received sexts and over twenty-five percent have sent sexts they have received to their friends.

Most teenagers dont even know that there are long term effects when it comes to sexting, if

somebody underage receives or sends a sext they can be prosecuted for child pornography or

even labeled as a registered sex offender. It is scary that kids have no idea what they are getting

themselves into when they are just sending a quick picture of themselves. Sexting can also lead

to teens being cyber bullied by their peers and slut-shamed; this can also lead to suicidal

thoughts, actions, and even depression. When kids do get bullied for sexting, they are usually too

embarrassed or scared of the consequences they may face so they dont reach out to adults which

only makes things inside of their heads worse. Sexting can ruin teens reputations; once a picture

or pictures have gone viral online, future employers and reps for college may see these. This can

lead to teens not getting a job or even a spot in college, no matter how good of a student they

may be (Lohmann, 2012). These studies show more negative effects of technology and the

internet on children.

In addition, the survey I conducted yielded negative results as well. If you recall, sixteen

percent of people chose that technology has a negative effect on children nowadays. In the

survey, people have brought up how kids these days would rather stay inside and play video

games or on the internet which leads to them being unmotivated, lazy, and even heavier than kids

were twenty years ago. These are the people that believe children need to go outside and play in

the mud, that way the children can stay active and healthy. Another popular theme is that

children are put in much more danger than they have in the past because social media is exposing

them at such a young age; children can get cyber bullied to the point of wanting to kill

themselves or they could put too much information online that could lead to them getting stalked

or even taken from their families.


When children and teens are actively using technology and the internet in general, there

are always going to be upsides and downsides when it comes to their usage. It is up to the adults

to make the final decision of whether or not they want their children to be using technology.

There are ways to prevent the negatives when it comes to technology but nothing can ever be

foolproof and guaranteed to succeed. As a parent, teacher, or guardian it is important to do your

research before deciding whether to limit your kids usage, not let them use technology at all, or

to let them run wild with it. Since there are many ways technology can help our youth but also

many ways that our youth using technology can go wrong, my personal recommendation to you

is to do continuous research on the effects and to make an educated choice for the well being of

the children in your care.


Bavelier, D., Green, C. S., Han, D. H., Renshaw, P. F., Merzenich, M. M., & Gentile, D.

A. (2011). Brains on video games. Nature Reviews. Neuroscience, 12(12), 763768.

Bavelier, D., Green, C. S., & Dye, M. W. G. (2010). Children, wired for better and for

worse. Neuron, 67(5), 692701.

Cabral, A. R. (2016, August 15). Cyberbullying affects your kids more than you think.

Khaleej Times (7/2008 to 4/2009).

Erickson, T. (April 18, 2012). How Mobile Technologies Are Shaping a New Generation.

Retrieved from

Frasher, L. (August 31, 2017.) How does technology affect the younger generations?

Retrieved from


Ives, E. A. (October 1, 2012). iGeneration: The Social Cognitive Effects of Digital Technology

on Teenagers. Online Submission.

Lohmann, R. (July 20, 2012). The Dangers of Teen Sexting. Retrieved from

Rubric rating submitted on: 9/23/2017, 4:24:36 PM by

3 5 8 10

Intro: Discussion of Minimal discussion Minimal discussion Limited discussion Clearly identifies
Research of research focus of research focus or of research and discusses
Your score: 10 and purpose of purpose of research. focus/purpose of research
research.Research Research question research. Research focus/purpose of
question and thesis and thesis is not question and thesis research. Research
is poorly articulated well articulated is described but not question and thesis
or is absent as well articulated is clearly articulated

Intro: Background Provides very little May not give Gives the reader Briefly gives the
Information & infomoration for the enough information enough information reader enough

Importance audience. The to thoroughly to thoroughly information to

Your score: 10 importance or familiarize the familiarize thoroughly
significance of the auidence with the themselves with the familiarize
study is not clear. topic or goes into a topic but goes into a themselves with the
too much detail.The little detail. The topic without going
importance or importance or into too much detail.
significance of the significance of the The importance or
study is superficial. topic is describe but significance of the
not articulated very study is emphasized
well. and clearly

Background An incomplete The history or The history or The history or

Information or description of background of the background background
Methodology subject's history or subject is overly information of the informaiton of the
Your score: 10 background is general or too subject is described, subject is
provided. OR specific. OR but not clearly thoroughly
Description of how Description of how articulated. OR described and
the data was the data was Description of how clearly articulated.
collected, what/how collected, what/how the data was OR Provides
many data sources many data sources collected, what/how accurate, thorough
were analyzed, plan were analyzed, plan many data sources description of how
of analysis or of analysis or were analyzed, plan the data was
measurement measurement of analysis or collected, what/how
instrument is very instrument is measurement many data sources
confusing/not somewhat instrument is were analyzed, plan
articulated confusing/not adequate but of analysis or
sufficiently. clearly articulated. limited. Limitations measurement
Limitations of the Limitations of the of the study are instrument.
study are not study are addressed addressed but are Limitations of the
addressed. but are inaccurate. generalized. study are clearly

Use of Sources Not all information Most information is All information is All information is
Your score: 10 is supported with supported with supported with supported with
credible sources. A credible sources. A credible sources. An credible sources. A
clear understanding vague understanding understanding of clear understanding
of who has already of who has already who has already of who has already
written about this written about this written about this written about this
subject is not subject is subject is mostly subject is
demotnstrated. demotnstrated. demotnstrated. demotnstrated.

Findings/Results: Level of detail is Level of detail is Level of detail is not A comprehensive

Organization (a) severely insufficient, and as sufficient, and level of detail
Your score: 10 insufficient, and there are more there are some provided and are
there are serious organizational organizational well-
organizational issues.Tables/figures issues.Tables/figures organized.Tables/fig
issues.Tables/figures are not clear/concise are not as ures clearly and

are not clear/concise in conveying the clear/concise in concisely convey

in conveying the data. conveying the data. the data.

Findings/Results: Results are not Results are not very Results are not very Results are clearly
Organization (b) clearly explained. clearly explained. clearly explained. It explained. There are
Your score: 10 The paper is lacking Some major is clear that there are multiple major
any major findings. findings are hinted major findings, but findings that are
at, but not clearly they are not clearly clearly and
explained. articulated. The thoroughly
findings are not all described separately
described in-depth and in depth.
or separately.

Discussion Interpretations/ Interpretations/ Interpretations/ Interpretations/

Your score: 10 analysis of results analysis of results analysis of results analysis of results
severely lacking in lacking in are sufficient but are thoughtful and
thoughtfulness and thoughtfulness and somewhat lacking in insightful, are
insight, are not insight, are not thoughtfulness and clearly informed by
informed by the clearly informed by insight, are not as the studys results,
studys results, and the studys results, clearly informed by and thoroughly
do not address how and do not the studys results, address how they
they supported, adequately address and do not as supported, refuted,
refuted, and/or how they supported, thoroughly address and/or informed the
informed the refuted, and/or how they supported, research question
research question informed the refuted, and/or
research question informed the
research question

Conclusion The paper fails to The paper reiterates The paper reiterates The paper
Your score: 10 reiterate the thesis, some of the the thesis, major concludes very
major claims, and following: thesis, claims, and nicely with a
significance. New major claims, and significance, but is reiteration of the
information could significance. Some not as smooth. If thesis, major claims
be provided. new information is appropriate, a and the importance
provided may be recommendation is while offering a
provided. A made. No new look to the future. If
recommnedation information is appropriate, a
may be appropriate, provided. recommendation is
but is not provided. made. No new
information is

Documentation of Does not cite Cites some data Cites most data Cites all data
Sources sources. obtained from other obtained from other obtained from other
Your score: 10 sources. Citation sources. APA sources. APA
style is either citation style is citation style is
inconsistent or used. accurately used.


Spelling & Excessive spelling Noticeable spelling Minimal spelling & No spelling &
Grammar and/or grammar and grammar grammar mistakes grammar mistakes
Your score: 10 mistakes mistakes

Manuscript Format: Title page Title page deviates a Title page Title page has
APA completely deviates bit more from APA approximates APA proper APA
Your score: 10 from APA formatting. The formatting. The formatting. The
formatting. The abstract is mostly abstract is mostly abstract is clear and
abstract does not clear but a little clear and concise. concise.
clearly summarize wordy.
the paper.

Sentences Headings and Headings & Used correct Used correct

demonstrate correct subheadings subheadings less headings & headings &
usage, punctuation, completely deviate consistent subheadings almost subheadings
and capitalization. from suggested consistently consistently
Your score: 10 formatting or are
absent altogether

Total: 120

Overall, I think this is a solid paper. You clearly explain the importance of the subject as well as
the current research on the issue. The essay is well organized and very clear. The conclusion
clearly follows the information found in the research. Excellent work, Lexi!