Eric, my 12-year-old nephew, turns on the internet on his computer as soon as he comes back home every day. He checks his homework by computer, clicks on Facbook to connect with his classmates, watches TV on You Tube, and reads books on Ipad. Teenagers have grown up with the Internet developing so that they are used to doing almost everything by means of the Internet. They can make friends from different countries, such as French, Australia, on Facebook, purchase clothes and shoes on Amazon at home, search new terminologies by google picture, and watch missed TV shows on You Tube. The Internet does expands teenagers' social circles, connects each other more frequently, and searches information conveniently and effectively. However, more and more parents begin to limit their children using the Internet. Because of using the Internet a lot, many negative consequences of that may appear on our teenagers, such as poor social skills, fewer real friends, hard concentration and superficial thought.
The first point is that teenagers are poor social skills. Using Internet a lot makes teenagers hard to raise their communication skills, because they get used to little sips, that are abbreviations of words and widely used in online chat, such as "asap" standing for "as soon as possible", but abbreviations cannot be worked in a real talk. In Turkle's speech (2012), she answered "no" to a question, "whether little sips can be add up to one big gulp of real conversation?", raised by Stephen Colbert,an American political satirist, writer, television host, and actor. That is to say, little sips young people used in online communication cannot work for making conversations with others. It is true. When we make a real conversations, we need to say the whole words because little sips are meaningless and may confuse listeners. However, young people are more likely to use those little sips so that they feel difficult in a real conversation. A survey about youth's social skills was conducted by China Youth & Children Research Center in 2011. According to the survey, 65.2% young responders thought they had poor social skills. By contrast, these young people could communicate with their friends or strangers smoothly in Internet. The responders said they feel more freely in online chat because they get used to using little sips and typing. When they make a real conversation, they were worried about hearing their voice. Also they often cannot find exact words that the little sips stand for. As a result, the young people's social skills get worse.
The second point is that teenagers are lack of real friends. The Internet expands teenagers’ social circle, but young people do not have more real friends if they use the Internet a lot. In her article "Does Technology Reduce Social Isolation?" Stefanie Olsen (2009) confirmed the idea." That study found that from 1985 to 2004, the number of intimate friendships people reported dropped from three to two." In other words, when teenagers communicate all their friends in the Internet, they’re not really paying attention to their friends whom they connect online. Take Renren.net, a Chinese social network, for example. Renren. net used to be a great place for students to find their old classmates. It wasn’t so long ago that there were few enough people on Renren. net that were you classmates. It became social network so that young people found more people they interested on Renren. net. Then, they began making hundreds of friends, and reading all those comments became impossible because they may have thousands of comments. In this case, teenagers are likely to miss some important news of their intimate friends, such as changing telephone numbers .When young people call their friends, they will find the number cannot be used. Then teenagers begin to search their friends comments, and wish to get them. So, the more frequently adolescents miss their real friends comments, the more likely they will lose their intimate friends. This also points to a third consequence caused by the Internet: hard concentration.
The third point is that teenagers are hard to concentrate. Young people tend to be online even though they do homework by computers. But constantly distracted by the Internet make them hard to pay deep attention to their work. According to "Does the Internet Make You Dumber?", Nicholas Carr (2010) writes a study shows students who allowed to use Internet-connected laptop in class performed worse in lecture than students who did not use. In other words, using Internet- connected laptop, young people may browse website as they listen a lecture. They shift their focus between the images on screen and PPT on blackboard so that they just become signal-processing units with short-term memories. Because teenagers memories depend on their ability to sustain concentration. This also points to a fourth consequence caused by the Internet: superficial thought .
The fourth point is that teenagers turn to superficial thinkers. Nowadays, the Internet allow teenagers access to huge amounts of information, but they are taking themselves into shallower. In her article "Does the Internet Make You Dumber?", Nicholas Carr (2010) says "people become shallower because growing use of screen-based media improves people visual-spatial intelligence at the cost of other cognitive skills such as critical thinking." In other words, the increasing use of Internet-connected computer, screen-based media, enhances teenagers 'ability in keep differently tasks at the same time, but distracts them and weakens their ability in analysis, critical thinking and creation. Because sustain focus is the key to rich thought. A research conducted by University of London in 2011, showed teenagers average spend less than 10 seconds looking at a page. Even they doing academic research online tend to jump rapidly between different documents, rarely reading more than a page or two. So rapid shifts in focus can teenagers analyze the contents of documents, and think critically about the ideas, then create their own opinions? So short times in reading can young people get exact meanings of pages ? Obviously, teenagers can't do those as they can't keep sustain focus. Therefore, teenagers develops more automatic thinking.
In conclusion, the Internet is useful not only for teenager lives but also for teenager studies. However, there are several negative consequences that may appear on adolescents, as teenagers use the Internet a lot. So, teenagers should widely use the Internet.
Carr, N. (2012, June 5). Does the Internet make you dumber?
Wall Street Journal
Olsen, S. (2009, November 5). Does technology reduce social isolation? The New York Times
Turkle, S. (2012). Connected, but alone. Retrieved from