Technology: How It Affects Your Relationship With Your Teen By West Ridge Academy
In a previous podcast, West Ridge Academy promised you that we would be coming up with a blog focusing on teens and technology. Well, that blog post is here!
It goes without saying that technology has completely altered the way we live our lives today. As we are writing this, numerous people are already hooked on to the internet, and many more are expected to join the bandwagon as the information superhighway continues to extend its reach towards more developing countries. Cell phones are a must-have gadget for everyone in this hectic world. Gadgets such as iPods, Nintendo DS, or PSP keep us entertained everywhere we go. How is this increase in the use of technology affecting our families, especially the teenagers in our families?
Teenagers are wired. They have what seemingly unlimited options when it comes to technology they can use to stay connected and entertain themselves. 87% of teens surveyed say that they are online, with more and more saying they have high-speed connections. An estimated 9% of all 300 million Facebook users are teenagers. A research conducted in July 2008 showed that approximately 83% of teens have their own cellphones, and is averaging about 50 to 70 text messages daily. Cyber-communication is definitely being utilized by teens to maintain relationships. There are advantages and disadvantages to the use of technology for communication.
There are many advantages that can be had from using new technology, both for parents and teens. Having a cell phone on them makes contacting parents much easier. Whether it's just to check if their teens need a ride or just plainly checking on their whereabouts at night, there is no doubt that cellphones have made 24/7 communications between parents and teens totally possible. Another simple and convenient tool for parents to communicate with their teens is through text messaging. GPS services are also offered by most cell phone companies today so that it would be easier for parents to trace the actual physical location of their teens anytime if they want to. Chat features of social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace allow teenagers to connect with their friends as often as they want to. You can also access a lot of information from sites such as YouTube. Among the most beneficial things that can happen to teens with this advent in technology is that they can showcase their creativity by creating unique content for various blogs and online videos.
As with most other things in life, there are pitfalls and risks that are associated with regards to the possible overuse or misuse of these technologies. Among the biggest concerns is that teens may be disconnected from their friends and parents. As teens spend more and more time on the computer and on their cell phones, there is an appearance of connecting with people. Establishing a connection with people online is markedly different when compared to connecting with them in person. When you are online, you don't have any eye contact. There are no opportunities to send physical stimulus or responses, such as a handshake or a smile. Voice inflection and your body language create a more meaningful communicative experience, and