The only place to read about Harper College from Harper College students VOLUME 50, ISSUE 2 – MAY 2018

Technology: Use and Overuse by Mohammed Farooqui

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Technology is the technical means people use to improve their surroundings. People use technology to improve their ability to do work. Classrooms around the world have applied forms of technology to enhance student interest and achievement. It also presents with some unfortunate consequences for many students at harper or other colleges. Many students in today’s generation are always constantly on their smartphones—almost 24/7. Technology, in my opinion, has a negative effect on studies, sleep, and the way we communicate.

One of the biggest factors why technology has a negative effect on students is our curriculum. Technology causes a huge distraction with video games, smartphones, and tablets. Many students will tell themselves they will spend an hour max on their devices and that hour becomes two or three hours. One of the biggest problems I have noticed is with texting. While students will study for an exam, they will get a text; they will be anxiously desperate to read that text, and by texting back and forth with that friend, an hour will fly be just like that. I have been through those experiences and they have negatively impacted me. The first two years of high school my grades were really good, but during my junior year of high school, iPads were presented, and it negatively affected my grades. Now I have become older and mature, so I know when to put the device down and when to use that device.

Another way technology impacts students involves sleep. Many students, including myself, have a bad habit of going to sleep very late at night from being on their smartphones. At times I will be up at night on my phone until 1 a.m., and I know others even stay up even later than that even though they have class the next morning. When exposed to stimulating electronics, your brain revs up; its electrical activity increases and neurons start to race, which is the exact opposite of what should be happening before you sleep. The physical act of responding to a game alert or even an email makes your body tense. As you get stressed, it makes it a lot more difficult to sleep.

Lastly, technology has an impact on social relationships. Many of us enjoy social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media outlets, but there is a major difference between social media interaction and “real life” interactions. A lot of students find themselves subsequently attached to electronic relationships for physical ones or mistaking our electronic relationships for traditional, face-to-face relationships.  Many feel they are connecting effectively with others on the Internet, but too much interaction in electronic relationships causes isolation. I myself have noticed a vast number of students are too uncomfortable to have “face to face” conversations. Electronic media communicates emotion poorly compared to in-person interaction. Many view electronic messaging as the perfect way to send difficult messages, but it blocks us from registering the negative emotional responses that we would be able to perceive in person, which provides us the illusion we’re not really doing harm. Unfortunately, this also usually means we don’t transmit these messages with as much empathy, and often find ourselves sending a different message than we intended and are causing more anxiety and confusion than we realize.

Overall, technology may have a positive impact in some cases such as being able to access information quickly, but, in my opinion, it has a more negative effect on students due to overuse. Studies have proven that technology has negatively impacted students by poor grades, less sleep, and strain in social relationships. I am unsure what the solution maybe other than to promote that users stop abusing technology. There is a time and place for everything, and all devices should be used in moderation.

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