Media has played a central part in the liberalization of communication across the global village. Through the media, exchange of information has not only become easier, but also efficient.
By a click of a button, an interested party may be in a position to pass important information to as many recipients as possible. As the world steadily embraces the use of internet, teenagers are not left behind. These teenagers communicate and use internet to interact with peers. Often, internet use among teenagers is addictive and robs them of the physical interaction and association with family members as they dedicate excessive time blogging with those they perceive as equals and members of the teenage culture. Thus, this reflective treatise attempts to openly analyze the connection between teenagers’ internet use and their interaction with the society. Besides, the paper attempts to establish an existing association between internet as a tool of communication and loss of desire for face-to-face communication society.
In addition, the paper looks into the high risk of social networks. Reflectively, to enable a clear understanding of the above concept, the source of media reference in this paper dwells on the internet use among teenagers which has surpassed other means of communication. Scholars in the field of communication media are still fully glued to the well distributed channel of communication known as internet to predict and explain the underlying factors that enabled certain cultural influences to be more popular than others and how these cultural influences were integrated into the society as part of society alongside the pre set norms and regulations. Moreover, still up to date, internet remains to be the most popular central element of information transference landscape (Burton 31). In the last decade, many scholars and media consultants have come up with the open idiom ‘internet communication ‘to represent the substantially declining use of face-to-face model of communication assumed to be traditional among teenagers.
With the modern technology, consumer of information has comprehensively redirected their interests on the content, reliability, comfort and privacy rather than just means of conveying information. The target audience and their response are explored after which a conclusion is made depending on the derived results. In addition market position is steadily undergoing transformation posing a threat to the usual face to face communication (Ott & Mack 34). Due to the entry of technological advancement in the world today, internet has been the most common means of social media communication among teenagers. In fact, more than 89% of American families’ teenagers have access to the internet and are literate in its use, whether positive or negative (Shaffer 49). It’s been statistically established that teenagers spend more time in the internet watching news, commercial advertisements, blogging, and getting entertained than any activity, averagely taking a quarter of teenager’s daily time. Internet communication has become affordable and very efficient in teenager group interaction.
The positive effects are vital for the teenager’s growth and development as the teenager is basically at the developmental process in life (Ott & Mack 24). Exposure is the main positive effect since the teenager is in a position to express him or herself with confidence and freely speak his or her mind without the fear of drawing controversy or jeopardizing family relationship. Through the internet, teenagers get exposed to the current issues that happen regionally and the world at large without having to engage in continuous face-to-face communication with people around them. Despite technological breakthrough in internet media communication, face-to-face communication remains the most reliable means of expressing cultural attachment and affirming family and friends bond. Family being a unit and an institution, face-to-face communication remains the most trusted and sufficient means of expressing views, strengthening union, and creating mutual understanding among members of this unit.
People’s understanding of the dynamics of society is represented in details by the trusted family and society face-to-face interaction. During these interactive discussions, an open free atmosphere enables people to express their independent opinion on issues touching social realities. In relating to the above argument, it is in order to state that excessive preference of internet to interact will negatively and substantively put stress on existing society bonds. Same as face-to-face communication, internet media can reverse a group’s view of life either positively or negatively. If the content directed to an audience is demystifying, the final effect over a period of time is the same. On the other hand if the content is inspirational, the audience may end up being an inspired lot. Often, teenagers prefer internet to face-to-face communication to express their teenage culture.
However, this results in strains in relationship among family members as time and attention allocated for family interaction is limited. Too much involvement with internet produces passive teenager. Passivity in most of these cases leads to development of persons with inadequate creativity as the individuals do not have time to exploit their talents in other fields such as creativity in expressing opinion and confidence in speaking. Such passive teenagers might also find it difficult to creatively come up with solutions for problem solving in real life situations involving direct interaction with another party, friend, or even family member.
In addition, internet addiction might undermine family life and create commercial hostility among teenagers. These can be attributed to the fact that most teenagers take their time on the internet neglecting their social responsibility at the family level, have limited time interacting with their family members and are in most cases tempted to practice content borrowed from the internet in full during interaction characterized by vulgarity, slangs, and excessive informality (Preiss 17). In the process, the result forms part of strain in relationships and creation of rebellious attitude. Generally, internet among teenagers provides a fertile ground for argumentative discussions on political, social, and religious aspects as the parties involved share very unique ideas. In fact, their thoughts are well articulated to create the desirable views independent from societal conformity parameter. However, interpretation of messages discussed is not inclusive of the interface between the audience, the message, and the existing culture. This is due to the fact that the decoder may not have substantive information to make out since they fall in the same age group and may lack knowledge on the topic. With the audience consisting of mostly people of the same age group, there is a connector between the audience and message.
However, this connection lacks the aspect of cultural behavior practiced by this audience who don’t have time to acquire the same from the family or society. Unless the message is integrated to factor in differences existing among the audience, the message is prone to misinterpretation or at worst rejection by the society who will feel sidelined (Burton 24). From my findings, it is apparent that addition to the internet has also been blamed on poor academic performance which translates into strain in family relationships as the family will develop perception that excessive time is spent on internet than in studies. As a result, the face to face interaction will be greatly affected as the teenager is likely to develop a rebellious attitude. excess in this area compromises the time that teenagers take consulting and doing assignments. In fact, most parents have faced a rough time in their quest to instill good studying habits among teenagers, as some are prone to studying while blogging despite protest from parents (Preiss 27).
Violence and aggression has also been identified as another negative effect of excessive dependence on internet as a means of communication. Since most of teenagers who spend excessive time lack social etiquette and negotiation skills, they are easily angered and response may lead to abusive language and physical confrontation. This generally makes most teenagers to grow up with violent and aggressive behavior. Furthermore, these teenagers are often forced to emulate such characters and attitudes they obtain from the internet rather than seek guidance on the reality form family and the society (Shaffer 67). Conclusively, from the above study, it is apparent that over reliance on internet as a means of communication negatively affect face-to-face interaction among family members, friends, and society for teenagers. It is apparent that expression of culture and affirmation of relationships are greatly compromised by internet communication as limited time is allocated on the same.
Therefore, the family should discuss differences between desire and reality to tell the teenagers on facts about actuality and offer other alternative sources of information other than relying on internet. This is achievable through creation of a general face to face interactive discussion among family members that include views of their teenage members.
Burton, Graeme. Media and Society: Critical Perspectives, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009.
Print. Ott, Brian, and Mack Leverette. Critical Media Studies: An Introduction, London: John Wiley and Sons, 2009. Print.
Preiss, Raymond. Mass media effects research: advances through meta-analysis, New York: Routledge, 2007. Print. Shaffer, David. Social and Personality Development, Florence: Cengage Learning, 2008. Print.