By: Nicole Yu, Grade 10
Did you hear that bell? Hey! That means school’s out! Alright then, let’s go home. But, ooh, what’s that sound? Is it your brand new smartphone saying that you have a new text message from your friend?! If so, might as well check your Facebook while you’re at it… … (Time speeds forward.) You’re now at home, walking through the door and sitting down at your laptop. You routinely log onto MSN and Skype on the left side of the computer screen, going on to check Facebook again in case of any new updates. Meanwhile, your Formspring, Twitter, and Tumblr are running on the right side of the screen. But, wait! What about your homework? Oh, forget it! That can wait until you’re finished with updating your Myspace and Xanga… … (The clock’s hour hand spins in circles several times.) Bed time! Wait! Wait! Wait! Wasn’t there homework to do? Well, you can always google all the answers and let the printer spew them out. Done!
Does this sound familiar? It just might be a little exaggerated, but this scenario is a mixture of many statistics connecting teenagers and their apparent addiction to technology. According to a study by the Cranfield School of Management, over half of all teenagers (59.2%) admitted to taking information straight from the internet and using it for schoolwork without reading it, nor changing it. Also, almost a third of the teenagers (28.5%) think that this is an acceptable thing to do, even if it indeed is plagiarism. Although plagiarism is not illegal, it is against the rules in all schools.
Although the internet is a useful thing, it’s also full of social networking sites that are known to be addicting. Websites like Facebook, Twitter and Formspring are rising in popularity that doesn’t seem likely to decrease anytime soon. The same study shows that students dedicate 1-2 hours on average to these social networking sites; 73% of the teenagers and young adults each have at least one social networking profile.
With cell phone technology growing and improving endlessly, smartphones have been launched into the world. A smartphone is any type of cell phone that has additional features such as access to the internet, email, and instant messengers. Since a miniature of a computer is now always ready in your hand, it’s no wonder our generation is considered desperately addicted. However, even regular cell phones can cause an addiction. Over 71% of the teenagers in North America own a cell phone; an average teenager sends and receives almost 3000 text messages per month and spends more than 600 minutes in voice calls. Considering these statistics, you would see what people mean when they say that we are addicted to technology, wouldn’t you?
Not only teenagers are becoming good friends with their cell phones, though. Have you noticed the alarming amount of elementary school kids with cell phones in their hands, texting back and forth? While volunteering at the Cooking Club of an elementary school one day, I suddenly heard the snap of a phone sliding open; and I could see a light of the screen of glass a little girl attempted to hide under the table. The girl held the device, looking down to check her text messages, and I told her that it would be taken away if I saw it again. Then, I thought, why am I asking a 9-year-old to put her cell phone away? Thus, sadly, it’s more than high school students that are becoming good buddies with mobile devices. According to a study by the C&R Research, 22% of young children aged 6 to 9 own cell phones; with 60% of older children aged 10 to 14 in the same situation. Also, producers of cell phones are now creating ‘child-friendly’ cell phones: bright, attractive colours, easy-to-access features that are overall more appealing to children have been added. It is estimated that 54% of children aged 8 to 12 years will own a cell phone within the next three years. In addition, most teenagers at a driving age or an age near (specifically, 84% of teenagers aged 15 to 18) will come to own a cell phone. Did you know, though, that accidents caused by cell phone use during driving have contributed to approximately 20% of all fatal car accidents?
So, are you convinced yet? Are we really addicted to technology? Who’s at fault? Is it the consumers that are inflicting harm upon themselves? Or, is it the producers of devices? Who knows? People think today’s young generation is addicted to technology, but the fact is even they are the same. Still, there is always someone more or less attached to these electrical machines. Overall, we may not be as addicted as others say, but with the technological world growing faster than we can ever imagine it to be, it’s without a doubt that these numbers will increase rapidly. I’m scared of thinking about what the world will become then. Will it be an amazing world full of advanced technology that saves lives and aides the population? Or will it be a wasteland, filled with ruins of electric devices that were once thought to be saviours of everyone’s daily life? Perhaps, I think, it will be somewhere in between the two – an amazing world full of advanced technology that runs everyone’s life, making us slaves to technology. Don’t think about it too much, though. Instead, why don’t you put down your cell phone, or get off the computer, and go outside with your friends to get some fresh air?
By: Jenny Ho, Grade 12
On August 9th, flight attendant of JetBlue Airlines, Steven Slater, was engaged in a conflict with a female passenger. Slater claims that she was trying to remove her belongings from the overhead compartment. He asked her to remain in her seat for safety reasons. However, as she continued to remove the bag, it struck him in the head. When he asked for an apology, the passenger rudely swore at Slater. Soon after, Slater spoke over the plane’s public address system with profanity. Soon after, he activated the aircraft’s emergency inflatable slide. Before sliding down and reportedly running into his car and driving home, he grabbed two beers from the plane.
Overnight, he became an internet phenomenon. He was on the top of many search engines, and has a dedicated Facebook fan page with over 200,000 people who “liked” the page (myself included). Many of those fans fantasize how they wish they could walk out on their employer like Slater. Also, Slater has been offered a reality TV series, and a free one-year gym membership. Despite his newfound fame, he still faces criminal charges. He was arrested at his home in Belle Harbour, Queens, with charges of criminal mischief and reckless endangerment. Many fans on the Facebook page will raise money, in the case of a lawsuit.
How did the public react to this bizarre incident? To many, he is seen as a working class hero, standing up to ungrateful and rude customers. In a time where unemployment levels are so high, some people will take on any job they can find. However, some employers believe that all employees are desperate, and overwork them for very little pay. To make matters worse, the ideology that the “customer is always right” has taken its toll on many people. Workers can totally relate to this; particularly those employed in the customer service industry. All that stress builds up over time, and is what lead to this blow up on JetBlue. The minority of people see him as an ungrateful, rude employee. Some passengers claim that he was already drunk before the incident, and was the one initiating the argument.
What do I think? He was doing his job, protecting the wellbeing of other passengers. The female passenger, who remains unnamed the entire time, should be arrested. She was engaged in risky activities, which could potentially injure other customers. We might not know until later if Slater will have any post-injury issues. We should all be grateful that he took a less disastrous exit out of his job, than to take a gun to work and shoot people, as seen in many other cases.
In a time where jobs are sacred, I’m glad that someone finally had the guts to take a stand. He represents millions of people, who are fed up with rude customers and less than ideal working conditions, and all they dream about is to have an emergency slide somewhere at work.
by Courtenay Stankovic
Are we really safe? Using Facebook and updating profiles regularly could be making us targets for burglars and sexual predators. We all forget to think about our security when entering information. However, it’s actually quite silly for worry to not cross our minds. We are entering our personal information on world-wide based website, in which anyone could have access to. I think it’s time we all open our eyes to the danger that comes with posting our lives on the internet. The things which we think are harmless are actually posing risks to our lives.