Posted on November 15, 2007
Filed Under Culture & Technology |
An Associated Press-AOL poll released today seems to confirm something that has been discussed previously on The Drama 2.0 Show: communications technologies such as IM are negatively impacting the communications skills of their users. This latest poll reveals that:
- 43% of teens who use IM use it to say things they wouldn’t say in person.
- 22% of teens who use IM use it to ask for dates or to respond to date requests.
- 13% of teens who use IM use it to break up.
A couple of quotes from teen IM users are even more telling:
- “If they freak out or something, you don’t see it. And if I freak out, they don’t have to see it.”
- “Fear of rejection — if you’re face to face, you can’t close out the window and disappear if you’ve been rejected.”
The Associated Press-AOL poll reflects a disturbing trend: youth are increasingly retreating from the real world and becoming disassociated from reality. Even though they technically may be more “connected” in some fashion, technology is a “crutch” that enables them to avoid having to deal with human interactions that might be awkward, challenging and even downright unpleasant. Of course, developing the ability to deal with these types of human interactions, which are a part of the real world, is, in my opinion, a crucial part of not only becoming an adult, but surviving as an adult. The fact that a non-negligible number of teens appear to be circumventing this development does not seem to be a positive development.
The long-term impact of “soft” teens remains to be seen, but I fear that it will be noticeable and it won’t be good for the health of our society. recently focused in on my generation - the “Millennials” - and it was disturbing to watch. I can only imagine that the increasing use of technology to avoid having to deal with others in real life will only continue to produce soft “adults” who act more like adolescents. Concepts like personal responsibility, self-sufficiency, courage, criticism and even “life isn’t fair” seem to be getting lost among the flurry of IM exchanges that traverse the Internets everyday.
I still hold out hope, however. When the dollar collapses, gas reaches $5 and global warming spirals out of control, maybe these underdeveloped teens and Millennials will decide to completely remove themselves from reality altogether and move into Habbo Hotel instead. They won’t need to find a job because the furniture is free.
Drama 2.0’s IM Conversation with Teens
Drama 2.0: Hello.
Teens: yo sup?
Drama 2.0: Grow the fuck up!