Social Lives and Technology: “hyper-connected”
April 23, 2019
Technology has become a staple in teenagers’ lives today. According to the Pew Research Center, 45 percent of teens say that they use the internet in any sort of way almost constantly. Whether it is an iPad used for school or a personal cell phone, technology has impacted teenagers’ lives in many different ways, especially when it comes to relationships. In particular, technology plays a part on how teeanagers interact with other teenagers. “I think all of our relationships are being affected by technology,” said Technology Author Janell Burley Hofmann.
Hofman said that connecting to others through technology allows them to improve socialization and improve their knowledge on issues they care about by engaging with others. “We are all more hyper-connected and constantly communicating,” said Hofmann. “Of course this can be wildly convenient and at the same time it can be a challenge if we would like some away time and space.”
According to Hofmann, technology also can take away from sleep and can become dangerously central to an individual’s life. “We also need to learn not feel offended if someone takes the space they need to decompress or leave their device off for a bit,” said Hofmann. “I think in our friendships and relationships we have pay attention to our connectedness and make our devices work for us.”
Family life has also been impacted by the boom in technology. “One of the most common challenges I hear from families is the impact on quality family time – dinner, conversation, riding in the car, hanging out together,” said Hofmann. Technology also affects classroom productivity—students can simply look up the answers to a question by pulling out their iPads. “It has never been easier to get information but sometimes it may even be too much information,” said AP Calculus teacher Curtis Wyffels.
According to Wyffels, he recognizes the promise technology offers, although he sees the downsides of technology within his classroom. Wyffels particularly notices students checking their email during class, playing games, and doing homework from other classes. “There are so many students just over the last five years who are so wrapped up in their phones,” said Wyffels. “There are a lot of people that they simply do not interact with.”