Some may describe technology today as being a double-edged sword. There are many different positive and negative influences associated with information technology in this day and age, and below we will explore several of these aspects regarding today’s youth.
Self-Identification in the Digital World
Nowadays everyone wants to be seen and heard. Wanting to be accepted, to be acknowledged, to contribute, to inspire, is a common desire shared by many. Technology can help form an intricate web of self-expression, analysis, and self-exploration. It can be a motivator and can cause you to question. It can help define who you are as well as who you want to be. In today's day and age, it is so easy to be able to communicate in real-time with one another. Breaking news can be found at the click of a button. Wanting to fact-check something? You hop online! Curious about what your friends are up to? Send them a text message or ping them via a social media application. It is this constant communication means and ability that some may find strangely addicting yet comforting, and it is a movement that has certainly shaped today’s youth.
Getting Creative Socially & Professionally
The ease and availability of technology have also inadvertently provided today’s youth the means to multitask and process various sources of information quickly. One can think about all the currently popular social media platforms and how they are used so prevalently and expeditiously by youth. This opens the door for networking, both socially as well as job-wise. Today’s youth are well equipped and able to adapt to today's ever-changing world & job market, and this is not limited to just technical fields either. High school students, as well as college students, have taken to various online platforms to connect with others in fields they are interested in pursuing, as well as for seeking out job opportunities.
Technology provides the means for today’s youth to be creative and explore avenues they may not have been able to readily explore before. Virtual shops where you can design gear and apparel to sell online are proving to be popular and a terrific way to incorporate friends as they excitedly post about their clothing creations, for example. If there is an interest and passion in a particular field, technology provides the means to market oneself and the product, as well as broadly advertise. The sky is the limit. Today’s youth can easily get exposure to the entrepreneurial world and may even find it is their calling
The same holds for goods and services. Many may think of specific online retailers that they commonly use to purchase everyday items. Youth no longer necessarily have to rely on others to take them to the store if something is needed, for example. Depending on the nature of the good, it can be easily ordered online and delivered right to your door. Information technology has simplified shopping logistics in ways that, going back in time, would seem almost impossible before!
With the events of COVID-19, reality has shifted for so many. Suddenly our day-to-day took a turn, and individuals found themselves thrust into a world of working and learning remotely. While certainly an adjustment, today’s youth were able to leverage technology to aid in their remote learning, stay in touch with peers virtually, stay informed and up to date with the news and current events, and help with entertainment (online video games!). Technology proved to be a glue somewhat during these difficult times.
Technology can also help with simplifying common life processes of today’s youth, such as college applications, school communications, and sports team communications, to name a few. Information technology can provide a centralized means to keep track of these items and events for scheduling and organizational purposes, and can even take some things off your plate (the days of mailing in a college application may be gone for example – it can be submitted online!).
Mindfulness & Health: Decompressing the Digital
Something to be mindful of is that at a time when social media is more in play than ever, it is also important to carve some quiet time out. Today’s youth can find their brains getting over-saturated with information, so taking a breather can do wonders from time to time. It is easy and understandable to feel overwhelmed and sometimes even frustrated with technology. Additionally, especially with social media platforms, it is important to be mindful of online etiquette and remind yourself that you are still interacting with human beings even in a virtual world. Taking some time to disconnect allows for you to re-center yourself, reflect, and redefine priorities. You can always catch back up on what is important. You may determine areas in which you can improve your experience. You may also find that what you placed importance on before may not be a necessity after all.
Speaking of wellness, we have the ability to utilize the internet for health and wellness purposes. One can book a doctor’s appointment online, access a plethora of health-related information, keep track of fitness goals, even order healthy food online! For today’s youth who have a wellness-focused mindset, we can use information technology to better us and our surroundings, and sometimes we may even do this without fully realizing it - it has become so much more commonplace.
An interesting general topic of conversation is what are the pros and cons of technology and how has it helped, or hindered today’s youth? You may hear some honest, thought-provoking answers in response to this. When used responsibly, information technology provides a wealth of information at your fingertips and can help bridge the gap for today’s youth. It provides the means to better stay in touch, more easily be aware of world events taking place, educate yourself, virtually explore, and learn and grow.
Contact us if you want to discuss further the impact technology has on today’s youth.