Calgarians are concerned about the amount of time young people spend engaged with technology, but admit that technology is necessary.
According to a report from the Pew Research Center as of 2018, 95 per cent of teens have access to a smartphone and 45 per cent of teens say they are online at a near constant basis.
Farhan Pervez, a sales associate at The Source, said people have become too reliant on technology because anything they need can be found on the phone or on the computer.
“I’m obsessed with it, I think everyone is,” admitted Pervez.
Rebecca Coram, a Grade 3 teacher at Crossing Park School, echoed the sentiments of Pervez by saying people had become too reliant on technology.
Another Calgarian, Dorian Brown, said it depended on the person as to whether or not his or her use of technology had gotten out of hand.
“Anybody can take anything and make it negative,” asserted Brown, who is a sales associate at Virgin Mobility.
All three of the Calgarians thought that technology is a distraction for students, and the challenge for the modern student is finding a way to turn off their technology in order to focus on their studies.
“If you know how to turn it off, that’s ideal,” said Pervez.
Pervez conceded that many people don’t know how to turn off technology and that they needed to come up with strategies to become less reliant on their technology.
Coram and Brown had more of an optimistic outlook when it came to students and their use of technology.
Despite believing that technology was a distraction, Brown said the benefits of technology outweighed the negatives.
Coram believes students need to learn about modern technology in order to be properly equipped to make it out in the world. She said students need to be taught how to use technology properly because it can be a valuable resource when used appropriately.
On social media
One particular area of technology that raised red flags for all three Calgarians was social media.
“Social media is the worst part of the internet,” said Brown.
In the same Pew Research Center report, a majority of teens polled admitted they used four major social media platforms. In particular, 85 per cent of teens said they used YouTube, 72 per cent said they used Instagram, 69 percent said they used Snapchat, and 51 per cent said they used Facebook.
Coram said the issue with social media is people become so connected and know so much about other people without limit.
Pervez and Brown said the main issue with social media is the lack of context that social media postings have which can get individuals into trouble.
“There are no consequences to what you say on social media,” said Pervez.
He said the anonymity that social media provides means that no one will come after someone for something he or she has said online. Pervez said this leads to people being able to call others names and say terrible things about others.
Brown believes that people are quick to react to things these days, so the inability to gather meaning from social media posts is problematic.
Brown concluded that it was an individual responsibility to restrict what one puts on social media. He also believes that social media can be a kind of addiction, so setting up help centres could be beneficial to people who are hooked.
“People can be addicted to social media and technology, but it’s not looked at in that way,” admitted Brown.
Article written by @humansofyyc.