Technology's Impact on Younger Generations
The Divide Between Children and Their Parents
With each passing generation, the generation before will often judge the generations after them for their differences. While, for many years, there weren’t many differences between generations, with increased technological advancement, generations are becoming much different than those before them.
One of the largest factors in this gap between generations was caused by the invention of the internet. Before the internet, the standard method of long-distance communication was through letters and mail. Even after the telegraph and the telephone, the common man still commonly used written mail as a form of communication. The invention of the internet changed this. Now, people are able to communicate with people across the world easily. Messages are received in seconds rather than weeks. What’s worse is that this speed of communication has led young people to become impatient, since they are used to what happens in front of them happening in an instant. The internet has become a part of the culture for the younger generations in a way that it will never be for our parents and grandparents.
The boom of social media has caused this divide to become even larger. Rather than going outside to play, children spend their time posting pictures and making posts for their friends to see, rather than going outside to ride their bicycles and play tag. They aren’t on their feet, exercising like children should, but are sitting inside. For them, popularity has become what is most important. Children act like adults, trying to look “sexy” for all of the world to see. They are growing up faster than their parents and losing out on their childhoods. This is making it harder for the parents to relate to their children since their experiences of childhood are far different.
Children spend so much time looking at screens, rather than looking at real people, that it has had major impacts on how the children function in the world. Children have the tendency to be more impatient, likely because everything on the internet happens nearly instantly. When children are bored, they are more likely to misbehave. In stores, it is a common sight to see children throwing temper tantrums when they don’t want to be there. Making this worse, parents, rather than disciplining their children, often give their children their cell phones or other devices in order to keep the child content.
Children are also not learning how to properly interact with the people around them, causing them to struggle with talking to one another and working together. They often learn how to communicate by talking to each other through text messages and over their headsets. This causes the children not to learn how to read facial expressions and body language as well as they could if they had talked face to face.
Finally, technology has been linked to increased fatigue, stress, and depression in younger generations. Children are not receiving the love and affection that they need to feel from their parents. Families are staring at television and phone screens over meals, rather than talking to one another. Children lock themselves in their rooms to use social media, rather than spend time with their parents and siblings. This leads these children to miss out on a huge part of emotional and social development, causing many children to become anxious and depressed. Children also disrupt their melatonin cycles by looking t the artificial sources of light, especially when they use their devices late at night right before bed.
It’s a shame that younger people are not having the same experiences as their parents and grandparents. While technology has made many parts of life more convenient and much easier, it comes at a high price. As more and more children are born into lives where technology has been there from the start, the problems that arise from technology’s use will likely become much more prominent and obvious to anyone born before the modern technological boom. Sadly, there isn’t much of a way to universally fix this problem. It is on the parents of the young generations to try to keep their children away from the addiction to technology that many of their peers suffer from. Until then, children will continue to stray further and further from their older family members, and more and more people will suffer at the hands of technology.