Monday, July 25, 2016

Technology and Adolescents. Its a New World.

As students embark on their academic and professional careers, one thing that will have been well established is their digital footprint.  From baby photos posted on Facebook and Flickr, to pictures and videos on Snapchats, Instagram, Pinterest, and others, young people today are creating a record of themselves from the day they are born.  And while there is fun in that, it can also be quite dangerous if not managed well.

For those of us from the baby boomer generation, technology has played a very different role in our lives than it has for the generations following.  We have had to learn to use apps and games in ways that is more organic to younger people, and they live with the expectation by their peers that they use the technology as part of their social network.  As a result, not only do they trust it more, but their constant use of it has given them the facility to manipulate it in ways that we don’t.  

But because our learning curve is steeper, we also appreciate, respect, and fear, the technology more.  This level of conflicted emotion is needed with young people, so that they understand how much harm the technology can cause them when they are careless, and mindless in how they use it.  The good news is that it is learned behavior, and therefore, good habits can be learned. Clara Galan wrote an article, Students Are The New Digital Influencers, that speaks to the issue of adolescents and technology, and the importance of teaching them how to use their technology. 

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