The first time I realized the power of an iPhone was in a hotel. I was young, around seven or eight years old, but the device’s rightful owner was my father. When he first purchased the item I found it interesting, of course, but it had no games nor social media applications like today’s iPhones, so it wasn’t all that different from a normal, high-end phone, that anyone could have.

A touchscreen and a camera on the back weren’t that uncommon, its only unique feature was the keyboard was on the screen. The moment it really struck me was when I was lying awake on the couch of our hotel suite when I saw my father stand up to use the restroom and he grabbed something that was glowing white.

At first, I thought it was a flashlight but it was a square which didn’t fit the flashlight profile.

I spent a good twenty minutes slowly and quietly searching the drawers and tables near me as to not wake my sleeping family. I thought, “maybe the hotel supplies them, maybe there’s one in every drawer.” Unfortunately, I found none. Following that, this device that sparked so much curiosity in me was the first of many generations which have ignited a controversial topic in the modern day world: is technology ruining younger generations?

The positive side of things.

Children, adolescents, and students all hear parents and teachers: older generations, that is, talk about how smartphones are destroying younger generations.

It seems like every day there is a new study coming out about the negative impacts of smartphones on developing brains. However, in many more generalized ideas, technology is an incredible resource used by students, scholars, and all individuals alike.

Students use technology as a method for finding useful information and to expand their knowledge.

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Google Docs is an online word processor that allows web-based storage of documents and collaborative sharing and editing by peers. Additionally, there are online resources for students when they are struggling in particular subjects. For students interested in studying anywhere at any time that they have the option to use the application Quizlet on their phone or online.

It is a resource that allows users to make electronic flashcards, including pictures and audio playback to assist in better studying.

Technology is also wonderful for non-students. There are countless websites teaching people how to do a certain skill or task. Organizational shortcuts and new tricks are available to learn about via the internet any time of the day. Additionally, people can use the internet to find the right person for the job they have from a medical problem to a simple household fixer.

Google applications, Quizlet, YouTube, Jstor, Gale Learning Center, Khan Academy, access to medical portals, mental health assistance, reviews for services prior to use, and access to practically any book are just a few of the incredible uses the internet and technology has to offer.

The negative side of things.

As the cliche goes, with great power comes great responsibility. Technology is a powerful tool that can simply be misused. I did an interview with many of my little brother’s friends, all eighth graders, and from my findings, about 75% of them used technology for six to eight hours a day and used it for school work about two to three hours a week, if that. At the same time, a senior in high school with many projects and papers to be done, I spend at least half the time I spend using technology for educational or work purposes.

Much of the time I spend using technology is for important tasks, while many younger children use technology for fun. They use it mostly for social media and funny videos they find online.

In fact, many of them don’t even keep their own social media pages up to date. One of them even said, “You know how your class doesn’t post on YouTube, but (still) uses the app?

Well, it’s that way for us only with Instagram. Our older siblings keep theirs up to date; we don’t.” Something almost all adolescents use social media for is memes. “Memes” are humorous images, videos, relatable pieces of text, etc. that are copied and spread rapidly by internet users. They are what adults would consider “a waste of time.” Social media is one of the main reasons why many people believe that technology is ruining our society. It becomes a way to waste one’s time instead of completing projects or work.

That being said, time spent unwinding or decompressing is important for balance and mental health.

I personally believe that technology is not ruining younger generations because even though some people use it as a bad thing, there are so many incredible uses to technology and more importantly, technology is not going away. All good things come with a price. The price of having advanced technology is some people may use it in the wrong way.