Published on February 10th, 2020 | by Sunit Nandi0
Should students have greater access to technology?
The hazards of technology are the constant fear of the older generation. A century ago people considered that cinema and vinyl recorders were spoiling the youth, fifty years ago there were wide discussions about the harm of video games, now the Internet is seen as a dangerous field for kids… while some millennia ago an ancient Egyptian wrote an angry pamphlet about the young people who love drinking beer and playing strange modern music instruments under his window – which would lead to a collapse of the natural order and the whole generation being lost.
So, as we can see, the question about permitting or restricting young people’s access to modern technology exists almost as long as humanity itself. Let’s look through the main pros and cons of exposing students to the latest achievements of technology to help you make your own decision.
1. Internet and the quality of knowledge
Technology allows people to learn faster. No more need to go to the libraries (or to order books from the libraries that are far away) or to write texts by hand. Almost all the knowledge is available on the Internet in any form and for any level of expertise. One may find the basic astronomy course for kids as small as 5+, others can just look for the free source of essays or even a military pilot training simulator for teenagers. The same knowledge can be in the form of text, podcast, audiobook or a movie. All you need to tap into the wisdom of all humanity is to write some words in the search field.
But this, unquestionably awesome quality of the Internet, is the root of a big issue of modern humanity: lots of people lose the ability to actually search for knowledge. When everything is so easy to obtain it seems that it has always been that way. People start to think that if something isn’t found on Wiki, YouTube, Pubmed or other resources of the Internet – it doesn’t exist at all. Some books have to be rediscovered even by qualified scientists! This pattern of thinking is “contagious” even for those who got used to the books before.
2. Gadgets as helpers and distraction
Gadgets, obviously, can be both. They are simply an instrument for performing different actions – the goal of these actions is up to their owners. Gadgets can be useful for studying, as it’s easy to use them to find some sources like educational websites or free essays databases like Procollegeessays.com to help with assignments. Gadgets can allow us access to an infinity of different apps. But it can mean both the possibility to write down a creative idea, solve a mathematical problem right in the bush, design, say, a new house or edit an article – or to play games, watch memes or silly videos and entertain oneself until the battery runs out.
The main problem is that lots of apps are made deliberately to be a distraction and entertainment – people are more likely to buy programs that are created for fun. Lots of bright ads, music, interesting games or interactive attractions draw our attention away from the duller and more useful things. Gamifying the useful programs may be the solution – but we can return here to the paragraph one, where people lose the ability to use gadgets that aren’t gamified.
3. Sensoric overstimulation
One of the biggest dangers of technology is its perfection. There are lots of dystopias telling us about humanity hiding in various virtual realities from the bleak real life. Sadly, it looks possible. Modern technologies can provide us experience that is much more intense than in real life. 3D movies teleport us to the fantastic realms, impossible on Earth. Video games make dopamine pump into our bloodstream in the quantities compared with drug usage. Ads tap on our subconscious. Almost all the stimuli are different from the real-life ones and much brighter. This may cause the problem when natural events become dull, plain and colorless. Our brain adapts to the new level of stimulation and doesn’t consider anything lower interesting.
Youth is especially vulnerable to this. Young people have lesser experience of natural stimuli, so they don’t have much to compare with. There is no single solution presented until now, but lots of experts think that one should restrict the usage of gadgets to an hour or two a day (plain working environment on the screen is still okay if we are not talking about risks for sight and posture), similarly to restricting cigarettes, drinks or other unnatural and potentially harmful sources of pleasure.
There are a lot of other causes that may be topics of discussion, but these three are the most well-known, explored and important ones. We can’t give you the answer about whether the students should have more access to technology – no one has the right answer yet. All we can do is to provide you some information to think over, discuss with your friends and classmates and decide what is the right answer for you, personally. Just remember, that because of lack of experience and still forming neuro links young people are much more prone to all the side effects of technology, both good and bad.