Get Off the Computer and Get Some Fresh Air – The Link Between Technology and Social Skills in Teens

Someone once said, “Too much of anything is not good.” Thus, everything should be done in moderation. With the advances in technology, however, particularly social networking, teens seem to have dived into deep waters and forgotten to come up for fresh air. This article takes a close look at the link between technology and social skills in teens focusing on both the advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages

  • Technology helps teens connect.

Youth struggle to discover who they are. An identity crisis causes teens to feel awkward and out of place; communicating with others becomes a real challenge for those who are shy or introverted. Nonetheless, technology creates an environment to help youth be themselves. In fact, teens connect faster and with more people online without worrying about how they look or come across.

  • Technology gets teens talking about current issues.

Twitter and Face Book, for example, have unique formats for social networking. They allow teens to voice their opinions about various topics. Youth can jump right into conversations, and their voices are heard by people around the world. It’s like being a part of history instead of reading about it.

  • Technology increases written communication.

Technology has taken written communication to another level. Youth use their cell phones to text nonstop. They probably send more texts and emails than they write in an entire school year. Teens also camp out on Face Book.

Disadvantages

  • Technology encourages misuse of the English language.

As a result of technology, another language appears to have been created. Words are shortened, misspelled, and letters are no longer capitalized, especially when writing emails or sending text messages. At the same time, technology increases the use of slang. Some teens believe that improper use of the English language is acceptable at all times. Because they misuse the language so often, they don’t know how to adapt to different social situations.

  • Technology takes away from recreation.

In short, people in the United States are overweight. Instead of getting some form of recreation, teens remain parked in front of a computer. Technology is no substitute for taking a walk, riding a bike, or sitting in the park.

  • Technology reduces quality face to face time.

Why go visit a family member when you can send an email or a text? What happened to reaching out and touching the other person? Being in the presence of another strengthens social skills. Teens learn non verbal cues, teens learn active listening, and teens practice making eye contact.

  • Technology opens the door to shady characters.

As you know, technology brings out the good and the bad. Youth can be reaching out to questionable people without knowing it. Shady characters use the Internet to prey on teens.

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What Are Digital Technologies?

Today’s digital world is concerned with creating, sharing, and using information in an electronic form. Digital information is data that is structured and manipulated, stored and networked, subsidized and sold. At the most fundamental level, digital technologies are an extension of the way we communicate with each other. The desire to communicate provides the motive and the ultimate rationale for the development of all sorts of technologies.

Companies are embracing digital technologies as the force that will literally save American business. Engaging in utilizing all different types of the medium is about being extremely open, creative and flexible. To stay competitive online, brands need to be investing in social media, and a strong online presence as a way to extend themselves to their customers.

While advertising and building brand awareness is important, the interaction generated by the use of digital technologies creates loyal customers. Digital technology allows customers to connect and interact with your brand as well offering them a chance to express their thoughts about your products and further develop your brand’s message.

I recently worked on a project for 10EQS where I analyzed organizations that had a strong online presence in order to understand how companies were communicating with their customers. I found that Starbucks, and Red Bull went to extensive lengths to connect with consumers using digital technologies from Facebook, cyber ads, and websites to the You Tube channel. Your digital presence is an extension of your brand and acts as an electronic store front; digital is about getting the customer to do more than just purchase, it’s all about engaging the consumer with the brand as demonstrated by the successful campaigns of companies such as Starbucks, and Red Bull.