Society’s relationship with the internet has changed a lot since it went public less than 30 years ago.
From a barely functioning platform named the World Wide Web, to society’s total dependence on social interaction through the Internet in 2020, the changes are astounding.
I remember the moments of excitement in elementary school as the teacher would roll in the laptop carts — all the students, including myself, were ready to learn and play online, instead of in the classroom.
I mean, do you ‘90s and 2000s babies remember Kid Pix? I think this was the peak of my entire elementary school career because of the artistic and creative freedoms it granted.
I think many are concerned about how growing up on the internet and technology will affect the personality and future of children. But, as one of the first generations that grew up with a phone, laptop and iPod by my side, I think I turned out okay.
I’ve been using face-calling services like “Zoom,” since my days on the platform “Oovoo” in elementary school, when I called my friends after getting home. I had an email in 3rd grade and even friends I met online through my “Tumblr” phase. Yes, I know this is breaking all the stranger-danger rules.
My little brother, who is nine years old, is currently going through the same technology-driven childhood. What I’ve seen is that a child’s want and need to play will always be there, no matter the popularity of mobile devices.
While my brother does take to iPad and gaming devices to talk and play with his friends, he will always be the first one in the house to want to do something else, go outside or play a sport — that is, if my mom or I are in the mood to play.
Technology is currently reuniting families online, keeping college and school friends connected, and is providing an endless number of videos, shows and movies to keep the world entertained and connected.
The internet and technology as a whole will continue to promote socializing and connection until it is replaced.
Despite this, it is true that technology does not replace needed in-person social interaction, and it never will. Many medical professionals say that the simple idea of “loneliness” is not good for mental health. According to LiveScience, social isolation — especially in youth — “may wreak havoc on the brain by disrupting a protein crucial to the development of the nervous system’s support cells.”
In simple terms, we need face-to-face socializing to develop and maintain relationships to live, especially in ages of adolescence. But, in times like today with extraneous circumstances from the coronavirus where there is no other option, I think the Internet keeps a lot of us sane.
Let us thank the history of the Internet and its advancements that keep the world turning today. Day by day, we are conquering an epidemic that would have seen a higher death toll even 50 years ago.
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