The Internet and technology devices are a big part of a modern teen’s life. From cell phones to tablets, the world of technology has never been more within a teen’s reach than now. In fact, a study by the Pew Institute found that 93 percent of all teens go online.
Teens and the Internet
One of the great benefits of the Internet is how easy it has made it for teens to access information about just about any subject. Because of this unparalleled access to information, the Internet can be used for schoolwork, and some high schools even require that teens take a class in Internet research.
Teens also often use the Internet for fun. Social networking sites are particularly popular with teens, and most teens have profiles on multiple sites. These can provide great benefits for teens by letting them keep in touch with friends and plan social gatherings quickly and easily. Social networks can also help teens find like-minded friends, so they are particularly useful for shy teens or teens with a specific hobby or interest that not many people in their own area or school share. Some teens also like to shop online, read magazines, watch videos, chat using instant messaging, listen to music, or check out celebrity gossip and movie reviews on the Internet. There are plenty of ways to use the Internet in a positive fashion (http://www.teenzeen.org/culture/style/), and teens are experts at finding new uses for it.
Teen Internet Safety
While the Internet can be fun, it can also be dangerous if you aren’t careful. If someone steals your passwords, they may be able to access your personal profile on websites and find out where you live or go to school. Predators also lurk on some sites that teens frequent, so you should be wary and not give out your personal information to people you don’t know. If you buy things online, be careful to keep your financial information private or your accounts could be compromised. Parents can teach teens about safe use of the Internet before problems occur.
Negative Influences on the Internet
Cyberbullying is a concern for most parents of teens who spend a lot of time on the Internet. Parents can teach teens about what is and isn’t appropriate behavior online and encourage teens to report any inappropriate activity.
Some teens become addicted to the Internet and start ignoring friend and family in favor of being online. An Internet addiction can even affect your grades and may interfere with your part-time job or social activities.
Video Games and Teens
Video games can be great outlets for teens, and they might even improve your coordination or memory. Some video games involve the use of an entirely separate system, while others are played directly on your home computer, laptop or tablet. Multiplayer games let teens enjoy social interaction with other gamers while they play.
Teen Use of Mobile Devices
Mobile devices, such as cell phones and data phones, let teens stay connected no matter where they are. In addition to making phone calls, some things teens can do with their phones include:
- Send text messages
- Take photographs
- Surf the Internet
- Share pictures instantly with friends or family
- Play music
- Play games
- Shop via the Internet
- Download applications to help them manage schoolwork, social activities and more
Future Technology and Teens
No one knows what the next popular thing for teens will be, and companies are working hard to find new gadgets and technological applications that teens will love. In the future, teens might enjoy wearing augmented reality glasses that let them interact with the world around them or playing games in a virtual reality setting. It’s no doubt that as time passes, technology will continue to improve, resulting in even more devices.