Computerization of various spheres of human has started decades ago. Computerized data started to be used in engineering, mathematics, machine building, banking and economics, medicine. Over the last decade this process has penetrated the sphere of interpersonal communication, both private and professional. The older generation was a bit redundant towards this happening, while the young people grew up in the world where this is the only way of living known to them. Basically, most of the contemporary teens and children have never written a letter using a pen and a paper, they barely ever read magazines, their diaries and journals are electronic, they do not know what it is like to wait for an answer from a person because the letter or a message takes days or weeks to travel back and forth. They are used to instant messages where quick answer means that the person is busy or not in the mood to chat, they are all the time connected, always online, constantly available for a talk.
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The accessibility of the modern means of communication makes people addicted to them. Teenagers and kids psychologically have the need for being a part of a group, feel like they belong to some community, experience togetherness. Being isolated, having no friends, no peers sharing the same interests and hobbies makes them depressed and fearful that the feelings and emotions they face while growing up and learning about the world around are unusual and odd. This created the illusion of constantly being misunderstood, the feeling that no one else is or has ever had to deal with anything like that. This means that basically today’s electronic communication is the teen’s way of coping with the changes, challenges and trials they face every day. Digitalized communication is the way of young people of looking for similar peers, expressing themselves, searching for their identity and answers for various questions. Social networks provide teens with the resources required to fulfill their needs (Boyd, 17).
Self-presentation is a crucial aspect of self-expression and personal identity for teens and children. Before social networks occurred, young people used to self-express through clothing, music or various hobbies. Today accounts on various network platforms such as Facebook, video blogs on portals such as YouTube and short messages and comments on websites such as Twitter compile the major part of the self-presentation of the youth. Social networks allow the adolescents to share their pictures, gain attention of their peers, discuss various issues privately and publically, participate in various social events remaining online and staying a part of their group or community. This is why social networks are so massively popular among the teens. Besides, the majority of teens notes that using social media makes a big positive impact on their lives (Social Media, Social Life: How Teens View Their Social Lives, 9). Statistically, around ninety five per cent of American adolescents aged twelve to seventeen are online by various means (Greenberg, par. 3). Heavy use of various social networks among children and teenagers is a fact, which scares the parents quite a lot. Internet carries various dangers such as sexual predators, accessibility of violent or pornographic content and what they call cyber addiction.
In spite of all the worries, these dangers can be monitored and limited. As to the addiction, that starts bothering many adults when they notice their children using their phones and computers all the time, the researches show that contemporary teenagers can do just fine living month without any access to technologies spending summer at a camp, or being busy with other things such as hobbies, sports or jobs.
Boyd, Danah. It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2014. Print.
Greenberg, Barbara. How Long Can Teens Live Without Social Media? 2014. Web.
Social Media, Social Life: How Teens View Their Social Lives. San Francisco, California: Common Sense Media, 2012. Print.
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