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Film 136C

Meadow Rhodes, Author

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Technology and the Adolescent

Growing up in the 1990s, I did not have the technology kids do nowadays.  Of course it wasn’t nearly the same.  Back then you had to either choose to use the phone line or the Internet (something that is completely unheard of today).  We had one desktop computer, a chunky laptop and a giant box TV.  My sisters and I were not allowed to watch TV during the school week and I was not allowed to have an email address until about 6th grade.  Email was a brand new invention and even then I figured out how to work it before my mom knew.  My parents got cell phones later in my adolescent years but did not use them much.  They were mostly used as a device for me to play the game “Snake”.  I grew up in the country where technology was not very common.  I spent most of my childhood playing outdoors and in nature camps.  Technology was a treat used sparingly. 

However, once I became a preteen my family and I moved to a bigger city where technology was much more abundant. I received a cell phone at the end of junior high but was not allowed to use it until high school.  Even then it was rarely used.  Years later, when both my little sisters reached 6th grade, they each received a cell phone.  My mom explained that this was because “everyone else in their grade had one”.  I was furious.  It was not fair that they got a cell phone at such a young age while I wasn’t allowed to use mine until high school!  Later on in life I realized the dramatic shift in technology use when my sisters were at school.  Many people consider the 1990s to be the technology boom but I argue that within the past ten years technology has been more and more involved with this generation of up and coming adolescents.  In today’s society, technology is used to calm down babies and as a form of cheap babysitting.  Parents prop their children in front of the TV to keep them constantly entertained.  There are games specifically for babies, as well as shows you can stream.  With the help of technology children are not interacting with other children and could potentially develop a low attention span.  Since the effects of young children and the iPad generation will not have results for a few more years I want to focus on preteens and the attachment they have to their technological devices.  

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