Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Growing Up Online: are the benefits worth the risks?

It has been said that the internet has created the largest generational gap since the advent of rock n' roll. When you think about it, this is true. Think back to the seventies. Nobody owns a personal computer, an ipod, or a cell phone, and the internet does not even exist. Now, flash forward to today. Nearly everyone has some sort of mp3 player, a cell phone, and a computer that runs the internet. Technology, nowadays, is less of an item than it is a lifestyle. Our society, the youth being at the forefront, is connected to other people through technology nearly 24/7. Is this a bad thing? Here are two cents.
Let's face it, anything as colossol as the internet is going to result in its fair share of negatives. People begin to be obsessed with the internet, nearly living at their computer on a social network or their favorite website. Not only does time spent on technology subtract from time that could be spent doing physical activities, but it also opens the door for every type of negative website imaginable, as well as bullying and low self esteem caused by social networking. In the video, the boy learns to physically cope with bullying, but is unable to avoid the persistant cyber bullying that followed him onto his myspace page. He eventually becomes so emotianally damaged that he takes his own life. Bullies on the internet can be more harsh, as they have the benefit of being safe and secure in a different location. Most feared among parents is the issue of internet predators.
Not everything about the internet is awful, it does have benefits to youth that are also very relevant. For instance, in todays world it is crucial that youths stay current in technology so that they stay current when they enter the job field. Additionally, the internet is a very useful resource as well as a way to stay connected with good friends and express yourself. In the video the girl that goes by the modeling alias of Autumn Edows uses the internet to feel understood and express herself.
The internet is neither good nor bad. It just is. It's influence on youth can have negative effects, but it will not be going away any time soon, and it is also very beneficial. I use the internet frequently, whether it be facebook, yahoomail, google, etc. I am always connected. I take it as my responsibility to filter out the negatives and utilize the internet in ways that benefit me. I avoid sketchy people and websites, as well as keeping my facebook presentable. These days kids will grow up online. There is no point fighting it; our time would be better spent teaching our youth to use it safely.


  1. I agree that there are both positives and negatives about growing up on the internet. I like the fact that if I am ever in doubt about something I can go into the office, turn on the computer, and find out exactly what I need to know, as fast and easy as possible. This is the major appeal about the internet. Along with finding out facts, the internet allows people to communicate faster. No need to send a letter! Just send out an email that takes about 2 seconds to complete, and then wait for a response that should be coming in a matter of minutes. Cell phones also allow this type of fast communication via text messaging. Also, from being a source of fast communication, the internet allows people to express themselves and connect with other people through different types of social networking sites like Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter.
    Many people, mostly adults, argue that these social networking sites are all bad and the kids of today should not be participating in the use of them. I can see both sides of this argument. I personally do not have a Facebook or a Myspace, and I am perfectly, 100% okay with that. I have seen the different things, both good and bad, that come with having one. I just do not want to become one of those millions of people who sit at their computer all night on Facebook. I would rather go out or do something fun with my friends all night. I also do not want to deal with all the “did you see what so and so posted on my wall?” drama. At the same time, social networking sites allow people to communicate with those who they do not see very often or talk to that much. What some people need to realize is that the internet is the internet; it is not going anywhere. Those people who do “bad things” on the internet are going to continue doing “bad things” on the internet regardless, but that is no reason to stereotype every single person who uses social networking sites in that category. Most children of today know the dos and don’ts of the internet world; so do not be so fast as to stereotype the internet or the kids who use it. Vasi Panos

  2. We know that some people in our generation are obsessed and addicted to the internet when one of our senior superlatives is "always on my news feed". I agree that being obsessed with the internet is a negative thing. It passes time quicker than you even notice. It takes away from other things that could be beneficial to you. The other negative mentioned saddens me more than anything. I can not stand when people are bullied. I feel when people are bullied online than the bully is actually a scared person. They can not even say it in person and they need to do it where they can not see the reaction of the other person. Sometimes i think that the negatives override the positives when it comes to the internet but there are some very positive aspects of the internet. The ones mentioned are some of the most important. In conclusion I personally think the internet is slightly more negative than positive. But used in the right way which me and most other people do it is a great and useful aspect in our life.

    - Emmelie