Thoughts on the Impact of Technology on Youth

Helping-hand

In this world there are hundreds of millions of young people and teenagers but equally in this world there are billions of microprocessors and even trillions of terabytes (1024 Giga Bytes). Each one of these Micro-processors and gigabytes works harmoniously… out of sight, in a non-physical and non-cumulous cloud form! Maybe it isn’t asked enough about the impact and effects all of this technology has on teenagers and young people alike.

With all of this innovation in technology its not hard to see why we are becoming lazy and lethargic, In fact most teenagers turn to google as an automative response before even consulting their brain on logical issues. It also seems illogical that as we become more “Smart” and intelligent on particular topics we could actually become more thick in others… There is no question technological advancements make life easier, but if we don’t do something in the time we have saved maybe not all advancements are as appetising on a long term basis. Can it be said that a 14 nanometer processor, made by Intel in this very country may replace you and your brain cells? Surely not!

The addictive nature of bright, vibrant LED screens means that many teenagers even take to opening Facebook messenger before using their voice boxes to communicate in close proximity. Last year Facebook acquired Whatsapp a booming online chat messenger for several billion dollars, but what they actually acquired was the intangible value of the following figure. Seven Hundred Million – The number of active users using Whatsapp every month. The truth is Facebook and Twitter make zero dollars off any teenagers using their services of social media. I can pay twenty euro to Facebook today, create a quick advertisement and get thousands of ad views and interactions in a few minutes… I welcome you to the monetary side of social media.

With more than a billion profiles, internet social media is now the advertising medium of choice for most businesses. When you create your profile you hand over the keys to Facebook to allow them to spam your newsfeed with tailored marketing. But How?!…You gave them your age and probably every interest you have simply by pressing the ‘like button’. This information is called Data and everyday teenagers inadvertently give them tonnes of it. Facebook sorts the data, remodels it to categorise the different demographics in society, then sell it off to third parties whom can easily target their desired consumers. Now who’s ‘Smart’?

Sadly the nature of the internet is store as much memory or data as possible, meaning those pictures teenagers put up of their adolescent adventures are ever-present in some data centre possibly in Arizona i.e. out of their control. Legislation is now aiding the breakdown of this undesired captivity of your countless selfies and activities, but your new human “right to be forgotten” can only be implemented in a sluggish manner and data is removed on a request only basis.

The tech industry is currently trending with the topic of the “Internet Of Things” which is a conceptual philosophy of connecting every home appliance you own to your Smartphone. The manufacturers will specify this is to put you in control and allow you to have their kettles and toasters at your fingertips. However that does not stop those very same manufacturers using these new “Smart Appliances” to gather information and Data about how you live, how many tonnes of clothes you wash each year or how many cups of tea you pour everyday.

At this stage you may be swamped with the colossal negativities but lets zoom in on the positives. Teenagers are likely the most physically active version of man-kind but research has shown that obesity is high among this age group also. Fitness apps and Health  wearables were probably the biggest hit of last year in the world of technology. A Wearable is any device which can measure or gather data about your physical activities. Many companies have explored this market and have found success, turns out teenagers are also quite self-conscious! The introduction of fitness apps to analyse and give dietary or fitness tips are by my own admission motivating and effective. This is definitely a big positive!

Technology may be construed as a distraction from the important things in life, in general terms education is positively one of the important things however technology does not have to hinder education. Over 30,000 Teenagers across Ireland use iPads in particular in their secondary education to replace the heavy school bags and dogged-eared books. Believe it or not, Several hundred grams versus tens of kilograms is a welcome weight saving when it comes to the daily struggles of an already pressurised child. Whats more everyday businesses are looking into the use of fully interactive textbook substitutes, in app or ebook format. This is an exciting space of technology!

The positive impact doesn’t end there technology can be used to over come barriers and obstacles such as a teenagers learning difficulties or disabilities. Whether it is audio books for the blind or be it the use of hearing aids to the legally deaf, technology is changing the lives of people especially when it comes to a teens education.

Dublin is exploding with future tech prospects and the so-called Silicon Docks is the place to be for employment in this area. As a result,  Many Irish teenagers set their sights on Computer Science at third level. Its not all bad, technology is setting Ireland apart from many other Massive Countries with respect to the number of Multinationals in operation. That translates to growth, low un-employment and a national reputation which is respected on an international stage


One thought on “Thoughts on the Impact of Technology on Youth

  1. You are quite right. Good and bad in everything. Its all about making things work to your advantage and being smart enough to recognise the bigger picture!

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