1st PLACE : TEENS CAN BLOG SHORT STORY COMPETITION

Ekene Emekalam

Entry code : 071

desktop computer / cartoon vector and illustration, black and white, hand drawn, sketch style, isolated on white background.

THESE TEENS AND TECH!

Understanding teenagers and technology can seem a little overwhelming. It sometimes seems like teenagers’ lives revolve around their phones and technology. From the internet and social media, to phones, apps, games, television and other types of technology, technology is increasingly becoming an essential part of our lives. Many young people – often referred to as ‘digital natives’ – haven’t known it any other way.

Young people use the internet and social media to:

• Connect with, comment on and discuss things with others, through social networking, emailing and online messaging.

• Find, create or share interesting photos, videos and articles.

• Join or follow interest groups
play online games

• Learn more about topics that interest them
• As a study tool for school.

Technology over the years has proven to be a highly potential source of relevance and productivity for these teenagers.

In some of these ways;

• Easily access information to inform and educate themselves.

• Maintain and develop supportive relationships

• Form their identities (through self-expression, learning and talking)

• Promote a sense of belonging and self-esteem through staying connected with friends and being involved in diverse communities.

Research shows that the things that help young people have a positive experience online are:

• Having a good understanding of the internet and how online media work (including things like privacy settings)

• Having the skills to critically understand, analyse and create content that adds value for themselves and others.

If young people understand what it means to be a good ‘digital citizen’, you have every reason to trust them with managing their own internet use, just as you trust them to act responsibly when they’re at school and out with friends.

More so It’s important to remember that, just as teenagers need to have good boundaries and rules for offline behaviour, and the guidance and morals to make good decisions, they also need these things to protect them when online.

Some risks associated with being online are:

Cyberbullying: This is when people use technology to embarrass, harass or bully someone. Cyberbullying can include posting mean or untrue statements, making fake online profiles intended to embarrass people, sharing embarrassing photos, and more.

Trolling: This is when people deliberately try to start arguments or to upset people on the internet, often causing considerable distress.

Isolation: Too much time spent online and using technology is time not spent face-to-face with family and friends, which can create barriers and contribute to a sense of isolation.

A 2017 study by The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne found that young people aged 13 to 18 spend on average, 43.6 hours a week on screen-based activity at home (6.2 hours a day). The vast majority of Australian teenagers aged 13 to 18 were reported to own a smartphone and/or tablet.

A strong relationship was found between parental screen time and that of their children – parents who reported high levels of screen-based use themselves were more likely to report having children with high levels of screen-based use. Undertaking a screen audit for the whole family can be a useful way to figure out everyone’s technology use.

Amidst all been said, Technology can outrun the wrongs and help young people stay away from vices.

It’s all about balance!

All of us, especially young people, need to learn how to exercise moderation in the things we spend time on. Technology for teens is fun and allows them to stay connected to their friends and family, which is important. Some teenagers will do this by spending a lot of time connecting with their friends on social media, or by hanging out with other ‘gamers’ when playing multi-player games online. That’s okay!

But it’s important to support them to balance that with physical exercise, learning, and other types of play, and to make sure they leave enough time in their week for face-to-face time with people…Your teen is never too old to go for a screen-free walk with you, or have screen-free dinners around a table!

This work outrightly belongs to Ekene Emekelam, reuse of this content without permission invites a copyright violation impact.