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P1_Q2 Teenagers becoming too dependent on technology [ 1 ]

Is technology taking over the world? This question has been debated for years, and there is no denying that technology is
rapidly becoming omnipresent. It seems that whether it be a phone, computer, laptop, or any other similar device,
technology seems to work our way into many aspects of our lives. Teenagers are often the age group that is seemingly
most absorbed in technology and everything – good or bad – that comes with it.
The thing that teenagers are most often attached to, technologically speaking, is their phone. Many young people cannot
last mere minutes without their phones. Teenagers are accompanied by their phones in almost every situation: eating
dinner with friends, sitting in their desks at school, even going to bed. It seems that teenagers are reliant on their phones for
everything they do.
Questions have been raised concerning teenagers and their dependence on technology. The common opinion is that
teenagers are much too reliant on technology to help them get through daily life. People argue that teenagers are lazy and
impersonal due to their overuse of technology. Most teenagers, on the other hand, see themselves as resourceful and
excited to connect with others through technology, particularly social media.
I firmly believe teenagers are much addicted to technology. Even though I am guilty of being overly attached to my phone, I
notice that some teenagers are completely lost without it. Often times I will go out with my friends and end up sitting there
quietly because they are scrolling through Twitter or checking their Snapchats. Social media has become addictive to so
many high school students, and they are compelled to check their accounts multiple times in an hour. People check their
Instagram every 20 minutes to see what everybody else is doing, rather than enjoying the company of whom they are with.
I have realized that I have become very attached to my phone. Having recently ruined it periodically due to water damage, I
noticed I was going through withdrawal for not having it for a day. I would feel my back pocket, expecting it to be there.
Even though I don’t have any social media, I still have become dependent on my phone to concern myself with everything
that is happening elsewhere. I, along with many others, feel the need to respond to every text message I get immediately. I
am always wanting to be everywhere at one time through the use of my phone.
Students may argue that they are not dependent on technology, but technology is how people communicate most these
days. Arguments and difficult conversations are held via a screen versus face to face. Students can’t sit for a mere 56
minutes through a class period without feeling the need to check their phones. Friends can’t go to lunch without having to
tell everybody where they are. I am not arguing that technology is bad, or corrupting youth, or completely negative. I do,
however, strongly feel that today’s youth is become more excited by a lit up screen than somebody’s lit up smile.
Opening 2
Computers have revolutionized the way we learn, travel, work and socialize. Advancement of technology in this domain has
given birth to smart phones, tablets, mp3 players and other gadgets that are not only a great source of entertainment but are
instrumental in fetching valuable information. One cannot imagine living without them in this modern era. People believe that
children are getting more dependent on these electronic devices which are alarming and we should persuade them to
participate in other outdoor physical activities. Though this move is laudable but I don't agree fully. This essay will analyze
the merits of both views before presenting an opinion.

P1_Q2 12 Signs That Present-Generation Kids Are Becoming Overdependent On Technology

1. Use of calculators for simple calculations - Make no mistake - if anyone is asked "how much is 756 times 442,"
(s)he should probably reach for his/her calculator. Unfortunately, most students at present consider the device more as
a shortcut tool to success in math, instead of as a learning aid - to be used only when calculations cannot be manually
done. At the sight of even two four digit numbers (to be added or subtracted), kids don’t think twice before grabbing
their calculators. Understandably, when they are not carrying one and have to do some basic math manually, chances
of mistakes become higher. Without calculators, many kids feel less self-confident too!

2. Everyone reads e-books - Again, there is nothing wrong with reading virtual editions of texts and references on a
computer or a Kindle. Thanks to the advancement of Android and iPhone app development, books can now be read on
smartphones on the go as well. Learners, however, have taken to ebooks at the expense of traditional paper books.
Whenever a teacher gives some reference in classroom, there is a mad dash to download/copy it from the internet.
Even reading story books have become synonymous with tapping on mobiles or sitting in front of laptops. Where has
that charming feeling of "curling up with a good book" gone?

3. Addiction to mobile phones - From middle school students to seniors- everyone seems to own a fancy smartphone.
In fact, in many friend circles - there are untold agreements that whoever has the best mobile phone/tablet would have
the bragging rights over his/her buddies. Drop in mobile network coverage, a call drop, or a break in wi-fi connectivity
cause most young ones to become unnecessarily tense. Many gadget-loving teens are even reluctant to go on
vacations to slightly remote places - lest there is no mobile network availability there.

4. There are too many simulations - In 5-7 years’ time, the demand for smart, innovative entrepreneurs will go up by
several notches. To sharpen the analytical capabilities and decision-making prowess of students, computer simulations
- representing a wide range of business scenarios - are often arranged for at management schools. Once again, many
educational institutions tend to overdo it, trying to explain everything in terms of such simulated, hypothetical programs.
Often, real-life case studies are not properly discussed. It would be a smart move to let students handle small, token
business projects of their own - since that would develop their sense of responsibility and ability to manage risks. We
need more critical thinkers, not mechanized robots!

5. Why do parks and playgrounds remain mostly empty? - At many kids’ playgrounds (particularly in the more
advanced nations), the lovely cackle of toddlers’ laughter is no longer heard. Even preschoolers are way too ‘busy’
tapping on the mobile apps for kids that their parents have got for them. There are books to read, games to play, and
even friends to connect with, via such sophisticated phone and tablet applications. There was a time when elders also
believed that a bit of fresh air would do their children good - but that belief has eroded too. Maybe, it is us who have
stopped giving time to our kids as much as we used to.

6. The obesity factor - This point is basically an extension of the previous one. If children and teens are glued to a screen
for hours on end, tapping on phones constantly, reading ebooks, and then sleeping for the rest of the day (take out
some time for bath and meals, of course!) - is it surprising that obesity would rear its ugly head pretty soon? At present,
around 67% of all adults in the United States alone are obese - and the future generation is not taking many lessons
from this alarming stat. It’s a myth that obesity only occurs due to consumption of junk food - over addiction to
technology and the resultant laziness have a lot to do with it.

7. Inherent creativity is getting lost - Ask a kid to draw a picture for you - and chances are high that (s)he might
immediately turn on his/her computer and launch a virtual drawing program. Now, we are not suggesting that every
child has to be brilliant sketching artists - but the way-too-easy accessibility of tech-based drawing aids have made little
ones averse to even try putting pencil on paper. For a wannabe graphic designer or a cartoon strip artist, familiarity with
sketching-related software and mobile apps is necessary. Making use of such tech resources on a mass scale is just
plain wrong.

8. The overpowering social media - Perhaps the one element which projects the term ‘generation gap’ the best. While
most parents across the globe are struggling to get a hang of how to connect laptops to the internet, their children are
regular on social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Vine. Posting status updates and tweets (often
about mundane, uninteresting things) has virtually become a hobby. Many contemporary schools and colleges also
encourage students to get on these channels and boost their social contacts. The motive behind such encouragement
is healthy enough - but what has actually happened is kids have started gauging their own popularity in terms of the
number of ‘virtual friends’ (s)he has. Real-life social interaction abilities, as a result, have taken a hit.

9. Loneliness and depression - It’s understandable if an elderly person on the verge of retirement feels stressed out and
melancholic. Such depressions are, disturbingly, becoming increasingly common among young adults too. Technology,
again, has to take some of the blame for this. Via fake instant messaging/mail accounts, cyberbullying has become
easier than ever before - and hurling insults and offensive remarks to peers is possible too, under the cloak of
anonymity. More often than not, teenagers tend to brood over such incidents, instead of sharing the problems with
parents or any other guardian.

10. Interference with regular lifestyle routines - The evolution of education technology has made it possible for students
to complement their classroom learning with the help of free educational apps for kids and cyber programs. From the
outside, this looks all very good - but if you happen to be the mom/dad of a gadget-loving child, you would know the
flipsides too. Kids stay up late to play games/read stories on their laptops or iPhones/iPads till late at night, leading to
sleep disorders. Addiction to video gaming consoles (the idea of leaving a FIFA 14 game midway to have lunch is
practically unthinkable for many kids!) has started wreaking havoc with the eating schedules of many children.
Technology has made our way of life easier, but has not done our overall health-consciousness much of a favor.

11. Absent-mindedness and accidents - If a whole week passes by without at least a couple of teens meeting horrific
road-accidents while talking on their mobile headphones or listening music, it is some sort of a miracle. As awareness
and interest about music-related mobile apps have increased, the rush to buy MP3 players have gone up too. Now, it’s
alright to put in those earplugs during a long, dreary flight or train journey - but young adults have started keeping them
on while crossing busy streets as well. Couple that with the penchant to type on mobile chat software (think: BBM or
WhatsApp) while on the move - and the number of such accidents does not seem bewildering any longer.

12. Overdependence is a vicious circle - There has been a lot of talk of making advanced ed-tech tools and gadgets
easily available in the developing communities - but how much uniformity has been achieved till date in this regard?
While senior academicians are doing their bit, kids and teenagers from the Western world are often too immersed in
spending time with their gizmos, to take out time for helping someone else learn how to use the computer. On the other
hand, we have those kids from developing communities, who are polar opposites. They have hardly ever seen (let
alone used!) smartphones and iPads - and are apprehensive as well as reluctant to do so in future. We should be
moving towards a world unified by technology. Ironically, it is the same technology that is keeping, and building, a
barrier.

It’s sad to see how helpless a present-generation kid often feels when his/her fancy laptop and mobile with lightning-speed
4G connection is taken away. Getting rid of this technology overdependence requires a complete behavioral overhaul -
which is, of course, no easy task. There is a fine line between making optimal use of technology, and becoming slaves to it -
and most of contemporary children are beginning to unknowingly cross it.
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