Technology has captured the attention of many people in the world especially the young generation and this has affected their lifestyle. They use electronic devices such as phones, laptops, iPods, tablets, computers and many others. The electronic devices are so addictive that they don’t use it because they need it or it is necessary for them to use but they use it for enjoyment. Due to this addictiveness, it has resulted in negative effects on people’s life and their mental health.
Technology has a negative and positive impact on people’s lives; it just depends on how the person uses the electronic gadget. Technology has made it easier to access information which is very helpful for businesses or even a student. But not all technology was made for positive purpose as due to technology, there was a development of weapons which is a threat to the society.
We can say that addiction refers to a situation when you like a particular thing so much that you lose control over your mind, and this is what is happening to today’s world especially the young generation. The young generation became so addicted to the technology gadgets that all they think about is that, it has control over their mind. They spend most of their time on electronic devices that they don’t even realize.
According to Kimberly Young (1998), “addiction to technology is a habitual compulsion to engage in using technology instead of using it to address life’s problems.” As due to technology, the young generations specially, try to avoid their real life problems by using the gadgets. And also due to the technology and the internet addiction, the teenager’s attitude changes, the way they talk, their behavior, the way they face the problem of not being able to study, they face sudden depression, and they face a loss of self-esteem. According to (Young, 2004), “teens are particularly vulnerable to technology addiction.” They get so addicted to it that their whole life depends on the social media, even when they are stressed, they use the technology gadgets or any application that would relieve their stress which this has affected their mental health like depression, headaches, anxiety and logical thinking, and even their behavior. It has affected their mental health by making them more desperate, for example, from what I have heard from a colleague, if she is watching a movie of 2 hours, she would finish the movie in 1 hour by increasing the speed or by skipping some parts as it makes her desperate of what is going to happen, she will be using the technology gadget but even though she will feel she has no time to do anything as it has control over her mind. According to (Reed, 2013), Professor of Psychology in Swansea University’s College of Human and Health Sciences claims “the net addiction as the cause of the depression, social isolation, and disrupted sleep of the present generation” and she even compares “online addiction to drugs or alcohol” showing that how addicted it is that the people find it normal to consume it and if they are not consuming it, they will end up being in depression and get mood swings like being mad.
Also, according to Boothroyd in 2014, “Countries like US, China, Australia, Singapore, Japan, and South Korea have sounded the warnings that internet addiction represents a significant health threat” showing how dangerous it is as they get into deep depression if they are not consuming or using the technology gadgets, and when they are not with their electronic gadgets, they start to get worried for it as they are losing their life. By using the electronic gadgets, they might expert in the technical issues but it is possible that they might lack information of what is happening around them.
In fact, technological gadgets also have positive impact on the present generation as it helps the person in the investigation skills and it even increases the creativity of a person. The technology provides services such as internet and this can be a source of learning for the students and at the same time a source of entertainment and fun. The use of internet has been increasing throughout the year. There has been a research which says that “About 32.7% of the world’s population has access to the social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, YouTube, Flicker, blogs, wikis, and many more which let people of all ages rapidly share their interests of the moment with others everywhere.” (Janikian, 2013), So due to the use of the internet, the connection between the world has been growing through the services provided by technology.
The digital divide is the inequality between groups to access knowledge and use of information and communication technology. Through the studies of the digital divide, shows that there is a significant difference in the economic development between developed and developing countries. And we can also say that technological progress is what makes the difference between fast-growing developing economies and slow-growing ones. Technology does not spread rapidly in all countries, it depends on the country whether if it’s a developed one or not. It is not a surprise that richer countries have greater access to technology compared to the poorer countries because they can afford it. And due to this information, it shows that technology plays a key role in the economic and industrial development in any country in the world.
After some research, I found out the purpose of use of the technology gadgets between the female and male. I found that most of the boys use the electronic gadgets for entertainment and few for studying and the female use it more for studying and communication than entertainment. But both use a very great amount of their time on the electronic gadgets mostly for entertainment. And there has been a questionnaire in India at NIT campus Rourkela, with 150 participants which 90 of them were male and 60 were female, regarding the use of technology and time spent. The students were around 18 to 26 years old. The first question was about the number of gadgets they have, the responds were “up to 99% of them are having at least two gadgets. Among them 45.7% respondents have two gadgets, 37% have three and 16.3% of them have more than three gadgets” showing the possession towards the tech-devices and this also shows that only 1% of them have less than one gadget. By having more than 1 gadget, means that they will spend more of their time with them, clearly showing the fondness and addiction. And then, they were asked about the time spent, “Their percentage is 67.4% i.e. nearly 68% of the total respondents are spending more than 6 hours per day with their technological devices and enjoy the services out of them.” And “Where 20% participants are using the gadgets for 4-6 hours per day and 7% of them are using these for 2-4 hours.” Showing how it has been a habit for them as most of them use the tech-devices and services ¼ of their time per day on them and very few use it for 1-2 hours per day. And they were asked for the purpose of use between the males and females, “The male respondents are giving 70% of time for entertainment purpose, 17% for study purpose and 13% for communication purpose where in case of female respondents; it is 55%, 25% and 20% respectively” showing and proving of what I said earlier, the females use the tech-devices more for studying compared to the males, but it also shows how both of the genders use most of their time for entertainment compared to any other use (Young, 2004).
Access to technology in school can improve the quality of a student education, especially with the technology that is specially designed to promote the level of engagement with data and information in different forms. Technology in the classroom benefits the student to be more creative and become responsible digital citizens with competitive skills which lead them to achievement. Nowadays, there is access to technology in schools, or they ask for the students to bring their electronic devices from home or they provide it. Students who learn with laptops, tablets and other electronic devices adopt specific skills which have to do with emotion, which changes the way they interact with other which eventually becomes the new normal. We just have to show the students how they should use the technology as way creativity, productivity, learning and not a way of pass time or enjoyment. But through this, there is an issue which is the technology implementation, which is when a school chooses between Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policies or providing the electronic devices themselves, (Dotterer, 2016). If they choose BYOD, it saves the school from costs but it affects the students because it will depend on the student’s family if it can afford it or not. If it is a student from a low-income family, he may not be able to afford it which could affect his studies. According to a research , “95 percent of teachers and 90 percent of parents believe that home access to high-speed Internet gives students an advantage when it comes to classroom performance.” (2012), Showing having access to technology gadgets and services increases the class performance of a student as they get productive and get access to information through the internet. But not all students get access to the internet, wealthier students have more access to the technology gadgets and services and through this way, they learn to think, behave and make them successful in the future. And it becomes difficult for those students who can’t afford it, as they don’t learn the same thing as the other students.
Differences in home life create a gap, such as in inequality, access to child care and health. And due to this gap, it affects their education as many schools have access to technology gadgets to assist teaching and learning. So due to this the lower income students are unlucky as there would be an achievement gap between the lower income students and higher income students as they have access to technology at home also and the lower income students lack access to technology at home.
We can see that technology has positive and negative effects. It just depends on how the individual is using it or consuming it. The individual should be thought of how to use the electronic gadgets before buying it and they should know their limits of using it. After all if a parent gives an electronic device to its kids and does not teach him or her of how to use or for what to use it for and the time limit so it is like giving its kid a drug which is an unhealthy lifestyle. Because technology has many negative effects on people especially the young generation as they are the ones who use it the most and it affects them in the long run due to the addiction. The user should set its priorities of life which makes it easier for them to manage the time they are using electronic devices. The user should also see for what is she or he using the technology devices, if it is for entertainment or for necessity. If it is for entertainment, it should try to avoid it or use it along the limit time.