Are teenagers today getting too much tech? How is it effecting them?
This infographic from Onlineschools.com looks at the digital habits of teenagers today. All the research is based from Pew research.
Here are a few things that stand out:
1. Teens are not critical thinkers online. 10% of teenagers have considered the author credentials or expertise when looking at online content. A year ago I was talking with a teenager about what protein powder is the best, and he did a google search. The surprising thing was how the student used the information. He came back to me showing what was the best. The first thing I said was, “Who is this expert?”. This student though this author/blogger was legit because the content looked good, and his website looked great.
The first thing that struck me was that students today are not thinking critically when looking at articles online. One example of this is the constant barrage of articles being posted every day from teens on a variety of content.
We need to help students navigate the digital world, and decide what content is worth while. This could be very dangerous when looking at crazy content out there on Christianity. Help parents and students navigate what content is written by credentialed authors.
2. Technology is hurting teenagers grades, and isolating them. 47% of students who are heavy media users have Cs or below. 32% of those teens who are heavy media users are sad, and lonely. I have seen students become more connected in the past year. Students show up to youth group with cell phones out, and are constantly engaged in a social media world.
I have been thinking about how can I help the students I work with disconnect. These students I work with need real people in their lives investing into them. I always try to ask students what is the end goal of social media? The end goal should be to foster deeper relationships and more face to face time. It shouldn’t withdraw a teenager and isolate them. If that is the goal of a student we need to help him or her, and their parent.