When people express their concern about how the internet is really damaging the youth, I laugh.
Over the couple of years there has been great rise of anxiety among parents and the older generations due to the addiction of the new generation to the internet. Some from the older generation believe that the internet would ruin real human interaction.
Let’s be very clear here. Being concerned about cultural progression “damaging us as a society” always repeats itself with the current trend and will continue to play itself out again and again and again.
Let’s look at it from this angle- In the 1940s, most people had their addiction fixed on newspapers and radios, but by the 60s the Television came in and the addiction trend moved from newspapers and radios. Now the internet is the current addiction trend in play and it can be accessed easily using this devices- laptops, smartphones. See what I’m getting at?
Evolution at play
What’s happening with technology in our culture and society is just evolution. Technology is not undermining real human interactions. Instead, it is exposing people for who they really are. People tend to ask ” What are the young people learning this generation?”. I’ve watched the behavior of a young teenage girl spending up to 15 minutes trying to take the “perfect selfie” just so she can post it on Instagram, then immediately take it down when she notice it is not getting enough likes from her peers.
This kind of attitude tend to concern pundits and adults who believe technology is the utmost cause and fault of this appearance driven or attention seeking attitude among teenagers.
But the truth is teenagers have always aspired to be liked and appreciated within their peers and potential significant others, the average teenagers by default wants to be admired by his/her classmate irrespective of the technology at hand. Selfies on Instagram is just the evolution of this same behavior.
What technology provides for us is an additional pathways to act on these behavioral tendencies that have always existed. Couples who tend to look at thier phones during a date are only getting a different, more constructive outlet to focus their attention instead of allowing for arguments or an awkward silences.
If someones doesn’t enjoy your company, they will ignore you regardless of Instagram, Facebook or Candy Crush.
Parents are very concerned about thier children and believe they will not know how to socialize and that technology is ruining children’s ability to effectively converse with one another. They claim that the interactions made on Snapchat or Facebook “aren’t real” and are alienating kids from the world.
But i would argue that most children who don’t have friends in school or those who are known among thier peers as socially-awkward now have the platform to makes friends and feel appreciated through social media like Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms
It is easier than ever to find a community with similar interests. The next generation of parents will wish for the days of Instagram selfies when the virtual reality world takes hold. When your little boy has the ability to pop in contact lenses to play in a virtual world and doesn’t come out of his room for a month, that generation of parents will express the same type of concern their parents did about spending time on Snapchat.
The problem is that we get scared of everything that we didn’t grow up with; it’s what human beings do. Every new medium brings along a healthy fear that the newest invention will ruin society. But, the truth is that people will always be looking for new ways to be entertained, consume media, and engage with each other.
Technology has not changed us, it just makes it easier to engage in behaviors that we would rather be doing anyway. Some families watched TV instead of talking to each other in the 60’s. Today, those same families play on their phones and check their likes on Instagram during dinner.
In no way am I telling you how your family should be spending time with each other, but there is always going to be something in every generation that is going to “bring us down” as a society.” Either you are a pessimist or optimist on this issue. This is just evolution.
Brillantly Culled From : This Generation Will Be Fine: Why Social Media Won’t Ruin Us