Although we have investigated advancements of technology in the field of communications and media from a professional perspective, we have yet explored the impact that those advancements have on us at home. The growth of technology in the home has risen each year and continues to expose us to the numerous digital platforms on the internet. There is more to these advancements than meets the eye, which is why in this post we will discuss the potential impacts that digital advancements have on our growing generation.
The United States Census Bureau (2014) noted that from “1984 to 2012, households in the United States with a computer have risen from 8.2 to 78.9 %”and “households with internet access have risen from 18.0 % in 1997 to 74.8 % in 2012” (as cited by Berman, Cyr, & Smith, 2015, p. 80). Accessibility for this kind of technology grew and companies like Apple and Microsoft caught wind of the technological advancement, thus leading them to be the leaders in supply. By catching on with this technology, and seeing its value for people, companies (including service providers for internet) began marketing this to be a household product, a necessity if you will.
However, even with its great use and opportunities it provides, having this much access to digital content and media can lead to so devastating repercussions. One factor we must understand is the impact that this kind of technology advancement has on our adolescents, the next generation. This next generation has grown up with this kind of technology making Snapchat seem like what the telephone or email was for some of us back in the day. According to Berman, Cyr, and Smith (2015), “this constant and easy access may affect our youth in regards to formation of an identity because of the lack of in-person communication which allows for cues such as facial expressions, tone and prosody of voice as well as immediate reprisal or dismissal to become unavailable” (p. 87). Creating an environment where you don’t really need to leave your house to communicate has made the expectation of having a “social life” seem almost irrelevant.
A true “social life” means that you are interacting with people, making those connections. Watching videos on Snapchat or liking a post of Facebook does not mean you “talked” to that person or that you even really know them. You are not making a true connection with that person; you are connecting with the analytics of a platform. Looking back at the impact of technological advancements for youth today, I leave you with this question – Who is responsible for the exposure that these kids have? Is it the parents? Or should the platform itself, like Facebook, have some sort of responsibility for its users?
Check out the link above to further explore how technology advancements are truly changing our bodies, thus impacting how our culture expresses themselves.
Cyr, B., Berman, S. L., & Smith, M. L. (2015). The role of communication technology in adolescent relationships and identity development. Child & Youth Care Forum, 44(1), 79-92. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.snhu.edu/10.1007/s10566-014-9271-0