Over the ultimate decade, the online world has changed dramatically thanks to the invention of the internet and the evolution of the way human beings create relationships. A notable milestone in the technological advances and the rapid technological changes that have been witnessed was once the invention of the social media for networking with others. The social media has changed the manner in which young men and girls interact and share ideas and feelings and has became out to be an indispensable tool of communication in the twenty-first century. Overall, it is indicated that seventy three percent of the wired American have integrated their connection in the form of social media websites. The typical impression is that social media is having a significant effect in connecting people of diverse age group. While the gaining of new knowledge can be perceived to be important, the reality is that the subject of technology often attracts varied viewpoints as people differ in the manner in which they perceive technology. Thus, there has been a growing concern over the way the population has received social media considering the countless number of hours that the groups spend on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Sim City and Warcraft. The rapid advancement of technology and the growth of social media as an indispensable tool of communication has had adverse effects on people as it is a distractor to learning process though it enables people to research faster and engage in long-distance relations.
One of the adverse effects of social media is that it is associated with low grades from the fact that people tend to spend most of their time on it. It is plausible to think that the grades would be affected when a student spends more time on the internet networking and engaging their social circles than reading. Many institutions of learning require that the students participate in widespread research and studying to keep up with the curriculum before they can realize excellent results and overall, pass the examinations (Wang 58). The trend has changed over the past few years because students are finding it less relevant to engage in extended study hours but instead prefer to chat with their social networks on the social platforms. The observation has been confirmed by many researchers with a particular case involving a study at Ohio State University. It was indicated that those who spend more time in the social networking sites tend to have lower grades than the students who do not use social networking sites (Wang 62). It was further found that college students who have a higher following had lower grade-point averages (GPAs) than those who were not registered on any social media platforms. The results are relevant in the analysis of the subject from the perspective of social media acting as a source of distraction because it can be inferred that with the wide following, many students waste a lot of their time and they do not get enough of it to study and improve their grades.
Apart from the fact that students exhibit poor grades, it has also been found that engaging on social media is associated with the adverse effect of time wastage for all ages. The widespread impact of technology advancement has created a sense of urgency where it is turning into a priority for some people unaware of how much time they waste on the newer platforms. The time spent on the internet engaging in irrelevant conversations and other activities could be channeled to benefit the person improve in various aspects of their life. Instead, the trend is that many users continue to waste time on the online platforms. For example, research has indicated that 93 percent of children between the ages of 12 and 17 visit online platforms on a regular basis with a majority of the group being obsessed already (Smith). The most engaging activities that the teens get involved in include updating their accounts, following friends’ statuses, and checking up on each other’s account updates. The effect is that in the process of engaging in these networks, there is a lot of time that is lost that could be channeled to other constructive academic-related and co-curricular activities.
A growing concern has also been raised related to the finding that technological advancement is destroying people’s social skills and making it appear that real relations are insignificant. It is becoming a trend to engage in television and mobile phone connectivity and from the findings of several studies, it is not only a preferred but also an indispensable tool. Both the online and the offline electronic devices are currently witnessing a period where there is the dominance of over-sharing online. People across all divides are finding it a norm to communicate with friends and their families through the electronic devices than face-to-face communication (Fowlkes). It is thus confirmed that the technological influence is adverse and is destroying the social skills of many people. Research has shown that one in four people tend to spend more of their time chatting online that they are likely to engage in a real conversation (Fowlkes). The effect is that people find it more appropriate to converse online through the newer technologies than they are likely to engage in face-to-face discussions. It is common to find students, especially those in college, attached to their phones tweeting and texting than they do in person. The problem has since been translated to how people perceive their environment as it is increasingly becoming less relevant to meet as social media appears more relevant to their lives.
Meanwhile, there have been notable positive effects that can be described from the idea of embracing technology in this generation with the most apparent being enabling ease of access to communication. Research is undoubtedly one of the areas of people’s lives where the positive effect of technology is felt because it is not easier to extract information than ever before. An investigation done in the US described as the Opportunity for All was set to examine the way in which people use computers for research purposes in public libraries supposed to how it was before the invention of the technology (Internet Society 3). It was established that it is now easier to conduct studies for diseases and access the treatment options that can be considered. In other cases, the underemployed and unemployed groups often use the internet to search for job opportunities that are in line with what they are trained in based on the skills that they possess.
The final aspect of the positive impact of technology is that is has enabled people to manage long-distance relationships with ease. In the earlier periods, it was only possible to keep in touch with one another through the use of letter which was not only unreliable but also less convenient as they were slow. However, in the modern era, the speed and ease of communication have been boosted significantly as people can now stay in touch with each other regardless of the distance separating them. In fact, research indicates that women have particularly found the internet handy because of this factor which indicates that technological advancements have positive effects on the lives of those who use it. The available options including email, video, conferencing, and texting have all ensured that technology proves it is possible to stay in touch with their loved ones miles away through embracing the options at one’s disposal (Internet Society 4).
In summary, it is worth emphasizing that while technology could be argued to have had an adverse effect on people’s ways of life, the reality is that other people have found it to be helpful. The arguments against the idea of technology have primarily been focused on the fact that people tend to spend more time on the newer systems and thus waste time that they could have used productively. Furthermore, the advances in the internet usage have made people lose value in building real relationships, and social skills have lowered significantly. However, there are notable positive implications with the most relevant being the ease with which people can now access information for research purposes. Furthermore, the technological options have ensured that people can now manage long-distance relationships with much ease as there are many options of keeping in touch. Thus, the overall verdict is that technology is indispensable with both positive and adverse effects.
Fowlkes, Jasmine. “Viewpoint: Why Social Media Is Destroying Our Social Skills.” USA Today (2012): n. pag. Web.
Internet Society. “Internet Society Global Internet Report 2015: Mobile Evolution and Development of the Internet.” Internet Society (2015): 1–142. Web.
Smith, Bailey. “Students Waste Too Much Time On Social Media.” The Mirror Online (2013): n. pag. Web.
Wang, Y. “Social Media in Schools: A Treasure Trove or Hot Potato?” Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership 16.1 (2013): 56–64. Web.