The world has drastically changed ever since the advent of technology. It is no secret that technology has become an integral component of daily life and the crucial role it plays in a developing society like Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. Digital technology according to yourdictionary.com is a digital device, method, system, etc., created by using this knowledge: the invention of internet and other digital technologies. It has become rare to see young adults and even teens without a digital device in hand wherever they go: restaurants, waiting rooms, parks and more. Some popular examples of digital technologies are: social media, online games, multimedia and mobile phones.
Digital technology is majorly synonymous with making our lives better and convenient, but nevertheless, there are negative sides to digital technology on young people which includes that it can be addicting and can even hurt our communication skills. Spending extended periods of time focusing on screen devices can result in health complications like eye strain, insomnia, reduced physical activities, depression and anxiety. With digital gadgets, nearly permanently attached to people’s hands, it is quite important to look at some of the ways it impacts the lives of young adults, especially.
This article discusses some of the positive and negative impacts of digital technology on the lives of young adult girls.
Positive Impacts of Digital Technology
- Digital technology enhances learning
Digital technology has become integrated into the classroom and learning environment over the years, in other to enhance the learning experience of willing persons and young people are no exception. Digital technologies such as document cameras, smart boards, and even 3D printers are now incorporated into educational tutorials and lessons to boost and engage students in the learning process and also to make academic instruction more meaningful. In addition, at-home educational technologies have also assisted young girls, for example, who are interested in learning skills like catering, bead making, braiding and home decoration from the comfort of their homes.
- Fosters problem-solving skills
Several digital technologies, most notably games on devices, help improve and foster reasoning and problem solving skills as the player must work independently to achieve a specific goal. In the process, they are posed with different types of roadblocks and challenges, which they must learn to navigate and overcome. In turn, they’ll be encouraged to come up with their own problem-solving solutions when facing real-life issues such as school homework, disagreements with friends, or personal hardship, as well as technology-based obstacles.
- Develops future technological leaders
Our future lies in many of today’s emerging technologies and in the years to come, technological skills will be more valuable in the workplace, as well as the growing impact it will have on day-to-day life. One of the greatest benefits of exposing the 21st century youth to technology is the fact that they will be well-prepared to jump into a pool of available, high-paying tech jobs. Tech jobs are here today and there will be even more advanced tech jobs in future. Who’s going to be best equipped to fill those positions? The one who start learning now.
Negative Impacts of Digital Technology
- Diminishes relationships and social skills
As young people use digital technologies more often, they are more apt to be virtually connected with family and friends, rather than physically spending time together; they are more likely to text, chat on social media, or connect through online gaming than actually meeting them in person.
According to Lisa Rai Mabry-Price, the associate director of school services from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) in an interview with the Inquirer, “Social communication skills are also in jeopardy due to tech overuse. These skills are developed and honed through daily interaction and include knowing how to take turns during a conversation, using facial expressions, changing the way you speak based on the listener—such as how you talk to a baby versus an adult—and making appropriate eye contact. Such personal interactions are limited as children passively view a screen.”
- Digital technology stimulates health issues
Excessive use of digital technologies can be harmful to the health of young adults and children alike, as the more they use it, the less physical activities they do. Also, as they spend more time in front of those screens, the less time they spend outside playing, running, and burning off calories. Over time, those unhealthy habits can lead to significant weight gain and other associated health problems.
- Digital technology reduces sleep quality
Young people who use media before bed are more likely to not get enough sleep at night. Even further, having access to a media device in their sleeping environment, even if the device was not being actively used near bedtime, is also associated with an inadequate amount of sleep. An average human requires about 6-8 hours of sleep, depending on their age. Sleep is immensely important for young adult girls, as it helps the heart, promotes growth, affects weight, increases concentration and attention span, and even boosts learning. However, when young people don’t get the proper amount of sleep each night, these ever-important qualities can suffer.
Digital technology usage is becoming more prominent every day and this has made it easier to pass more information in a shorter time than was traditionally possible. Although, digital technology through media and electronic gadgets are able to help the 21st youth to gain vast amounts of knowledge, teach them how to be independent and has given them access to educational resources; there are some negative impacts that are accompanied with the positive ones which should not be neglected. This negative impact can lead to social isolation and give rise to other serious physical and mental diseases. In other to reap the positive impacts of digital technology, young people should be encouraged and enlightened on how to regulate and limit their usage of the technology as the time they spend using digital technologies could well be spent in other more creative and productive ways.
Anna Nguyen (2018) “Is Technology Impacting my Child’s Social and Communications Skills” The Philadelphia Inquirer, 400 N. Broad St., Box 8263, Philadelphia 19130, USA.
Janna Anderson and Lee Raine (2018) “Stories from the Experts about the Impact of Digital Life” Pew Research Centre, 1615 L St. NW, Suite 800 Washington, DC 20036, USA
This article was written by Priscilla Akila