Technology's Negative Effects On Teens

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For most Americans, today’s access to technology has never been more essential in everyday life. From attending college, finding jobs, to creating relationships across the world, the need for technological interaction has become a necessity of everyday life. While technology overall is seen as a positive force for change, what negative effects do technology and social media have on developing teenagers? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), distracted teenagers hold the highest share of distraction-related fatal car accidents. The CDC states, “42% of high school students who drove in the past 30 days reported sending a text or email while driving” (CDC, 2013). Author Sherry Turkle, a professor and founding director…show more content…
The popularity of texting and driving among adolescents was at one time an unintended and often deadly consequence of mobile technology. While deadly consequences of texting and driving are still relevant with today’s teens, Turkle’s findings in “Growing up Tethered” illustrate teenagers openly acknowledging and accepting the dangers of texting behind the wheel. Turkle argues that “young people live in a state of waiting for connection. And they are willing to take risks, to put themselves on the line” (Turkle, 2017, p. 579). The American Society of Safety Engineers published findings that further support Turkle’s notion and states, “Teen drivers are becoming increasingly aware of the potential dangers of texting while driving, yet that awareness is not curbing the behavior” (“Teens aware of texting dangers”, 2011). The dialogue between Turkle and her teenage interviewees make it apparent that any potential danger associated with the use of technology will likely go ignored for the sake of social interaction. Turkle claims that technology is not necessarily to blame for the technical social addiction, but acts as an enabler and platform to execute them. When compared to traditional forms of adolescent social interaction, a technology that allows instant communication has transformed the simple task of talking into a dangerous…show more content…
Authors Jeffrey Jones and Nancy Deutsch write in, The Journal of Early Adolescence, about teenage identity and social development. Jones and Deutsch claim that identity and social development occur through tasks that require processing of complex social environments in close proximity (Jones & Deutsch, 2013, p. 18). Jones and Deutsch state, “Institutions such as after-school programs can influence social-emotional development through organizational and interpersonal practices…” (Jones & Deutsch, 2013, p. 17). Turkle believes social media interaction contradicts traditional adolescent development processes outlined by Jones and Deutsch. Instead of negotiating social environments in-person, teens are managing digital avatars of themselves to negotiate idealistically created social lives. Turkle describes social media as a place, “where one’s profile becomes an avatar of sorts, a statement not only about who you are but who you want to be” (Turkle, 2017, p. 586). Writing on the relationship between online and real-life social development, the Journal of Adolescent Research indicates adolescents use social media for “self-presentation” and “self-disclosure” with real-life influences impacting adolescent development of identity and intimacy (Michikyan & Suárez-Orozco, 2016, p. 411). Social media platforms create opportunities for adolescents to expose and express real or false
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