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Garfield Senior High School

Technology: The Backbone of our Youth

“Attack of the Killer App” is a disturbingly accurate episode of Futurama. Although based in the year 3000, Futurama contains many references to current human culture.

This particular episode makes fun of the famous iPhone and how people revolve their lives around social media. Such is the case today, where smartphones are probably the most popular invention ever. They give us easy access to the internet that makes our lives a heck of a lot less complicated. We’re able to find information without having to walk all the way to the library, look up a particular book, and do research the “old fashioned way.”

A smartphone also opens up a ton of social possibilities. If there’s someone you’ve been meaning to befriend, all you have to do is message them. You could even save a trip to the vet by looking up questions about your pet’s illness. Smartphones make everything so ridiculously easy, but is that really an advantage? No.

There are those that rely on their phones a little too much. When it comes to a time where people can’t use their phones for some reason, they become lost. Take, for example, a person who always has to use Google Maps even if they’re driving a few miles away from home. What happens when our phone stops working and we didn’t take the time to remember any streets beforehand? We literally become lost.

Phones can also become a distraction and sometimes a crutch to students. There are some cases in which teachers decide to give homework online. When I do homework online, such as flashcards, I don’t really remember much after. Whereas if the assignment were something like reading from an actual book and copying it down I would remember a lot more. Not to mention that when we have to use our phones for an assignment, notifications received from social media serve as a huge distraction.

Phones don’t just create educational problems. This generation may also be losing social skills. Text messaging is cool and all, but before messaging there were phone calls. In a certain way phone calls feel more personal because talking to a person allows you to hear their voice and receive quicker responses. Although people do message each other in order to keep in touch, we would meet up with people more often if we didn’t have social media. We could even begin to experience new things. After all, the world is full of surprises.

Furthermore, we almost always obtain false information from the internet, a platform we so sincerely believe. Self-diagnosing online is one example. You look up your symptoms, and suddenly you have brain cancer when, in actuality, you have a fever of sorts. We rely too much on the information the internet feeds us that we forget that it’s not even that reliable in the first place.

A CBS article written by Bianca Seidman makes a lot of good points on this topic. She says. “Though the Internet can be a source for excellent information, doctors and researchers say it can also be a path to unnecessary anxiety, stoking people’s worst fears at vulnerable moments.”

Although there is a lot wrong with this generation and our attachments to our iPhones, we have come a long way. With easy access to the internet and instantaneous communication, we as “youngins” have become more aware of world news. We notice what is wrong with the world and that incites us go out and protest. We’re more politically involved and knowledgeable than ever and that is an amazing benefit of technology.