Teen Style: Is every advance in technology a benefit?

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— During the past decade or so, something has become a huge part of our daily lives: the Internet.

Whether it is used for research or entertainment, we depend on this technology to be there whenever we need it. Each day, our society relies on new forms of communication and technology - cell phones, Internet, iPods, iPhones.

"When my dad was growing up, his cell phone was basically a huge brick, and Internet really didn't exist," said Molly Parsons, 15. "We're really the first generation to grow up with it."

We have become Generation Technology, a handy label that raises a question: Are the advances we rely on a sign of improvement in the world, or a crutch upon which future generations will lean too far often? And if the answer to that question is closer to the crutch option, what if that support breaks?

The Teen Style staff immediately saw the effects of increased technology in America.

"You'll see friends hanging out and instead of talking, they'll be texting," said Marilyn Harris, 15.

"If you can talk to someone over the Internet or texting it's good, but you won't be good in social situations," she added. "I just think we need to focus on other things, because it can be destructive."

Paula Ninger, 16, also noted the downside of our reliance on technology.

"If the power went out, most people would have nothing to do," Ninger said.

It wouldn't be bad if we just had a few pieces of technology to make our lives easier, but we feel that people nowadays have completely centered their lives on it.

"I had to buy a bigger purse so I could fit my electronics in it," Parsons said. "It just makes me think of how much excess it is."

Few would argue that advancements in technology have not made life, communication and advances in society a whole lot easier.

"Think of the medical advances we've made through technology," Parsons said. "Technology can better society, but it can also harm a community if your intentions aren't good."

The problems of entering the world of gadgets and electronics don't seem to measure up to the benefits and advantages in this new age.

"Technology has improved, and we've done so much over the past 20 years," Ninger said. "It really makes life a lot more convenient."

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