In today’s world, it is not surprising to find teenagers, even young children, using the latest gadgets on buses, trains or even in restaurants. If you ever try to think about the last day you went without the Internet or cell phone, chances are you would have a hard time coming up with the answer. Youths, also, eventually have developed a dependency on the Internet to socialize with their friends or search for information to an extent that they lack interaction skills.
Actually, the Internet’s not too bad. It’s usually the number one thing youths use because of all its possibilities – to download homework, research, chat with friends and make plans. The Internet has also made it much easier to stay in touch and make new friends. Furthermore, teachers have also taken advantage of the advancements to develop some sense of responsibility in the students by moving away from some pen-and-paper to more interactive online assignments.
However, with the fact that the web is accessible almost everywhere, through data roaming on smartphones or connecting the laptop to free Wi-Fi at shopping malls, a research showed that teens spend an average of 20 hours a week in front of a computer or television. With so many distractions around us, when are teens supposed to make time to hang out with friends or relax with their families? Many youths are also unaware of the kind of personal information they put online for the world to see.
For instance, some youths will post about when they are leaving for their vacation for a period of time on social network sites Facebook and Twitter, without thinking of the consequences such as strangers emptying their house when they are away. One of the biggest problems for children is not that they are vulnerable but that their parents don’t know what they’re doing. Furthermore, a recent survey concluded that 75% of those aged between 16 to 24 years old couldn’t live without the Internet. It is undeniable that the chance for danger exists when using the Internet, specially for youths. There is definitely a high chance that future generations of young people will only increase their dependence on computers and as long as the Internet exits, there will be risks. The best thing for youths to do is educate themselves regarding the Internet, to know what not to do and understand how to protect themselves. In a world where technology is becoming more and more prevalent, everyone must learn to cope with the risks if they are to continue enjoying the benefits.