Technology and Growth.
Technology and Growth
The role of technology in generating the necessary growth for human development has been a subject of interest to many researchers. According to Ellul (394), man is expected to live within a new specific technical environment in order to develop. As a result of this, all social phenomena, including physical human development, has been situated around this new technique. Every aspect of physical human development such as culture, politics, and economics has in one way or the other been modified or influenced by technology. Man’s beliefs, myths, ideas, judgments have also been greatly influenced by this technical milieu. Since the relationship between technology and growth is quite wide, this paper will focus on the relationship that exists between social media and physical human development. Human development is affected by a number of aspects that exist within the human environment. Technology, through its various forms such as social media, is one such aspect. This paper will discuss the relationship between technology and growth with a specific focus on documenting how physical human development is affected by social media.
Social media and physical human development
Research findings have documented that the use of social media tends to affect social, cognitive, emotional, and physical human development in a number of ways. The term social media is an umbrella word which covers all activities related to the use of multiple mediums of communication that combines videos, pictures, or words. This combination usually created a connection point for groups of people to share information. Social media brings crowds together in a collaborative way (Peck 1).
With regards to physical human development, excessive use of the common social media platforms by children, for example, tends to make them lead a sedentary lifestyle because most of their time is spent on the internet. Such children who are mostly introverts choose social media platforms such as social networking sites, video games, and chat rooms among others to communicate with other people. Since most of their time is spent on these platforms, they tend to become less physically active. They do not participate in many physical activities because they lack the time to do so. Lack of physical activity is known to have adverse effects on the health of any individual (Tisone and Goodell 33).
Another way in which social media is related to physical human development is through its effects on human interactions. Social media affects social relationships by changing the way human beings interact. Before the advent of social media, most social interactions between friends and family were face to face because there were no technological platforms that allowed groups of people to socially interact without meeting face to face. Social media today serves as a medium that connects people and the rest of the world without them having to meet physically.This means that physical activities are greatly reduced by this platform since people do not have to walk to meet others. They can do it from the comfort of their seats. As a result of this, social media has been known to promote a sedentary lifestyle among its users (Ruttan 12). The health effects of a sedentary lifestyle cannot be overstated.
Social media is referred to as part of technology based on the fact that technology is the supportive container that brings social media into the lives of human beings. Social media has been proved to have effects on the mental health of users, especially children, and young adults. According to current research studies, a strong correlation exists between the continued use of social media and deteriorated mental wellbeing. This is particularly true in young adults who are the most active users of social media. This puts this group of people at the highest risk of having a technologically influenced development that may be positive as well as negative effects. The popularity of smartphones and tablets has been increasing steadily as more and more people have access to these gadgets across the world. Internet connectivity is also readily available in many parts of the world. Social media platforms have taken advantage of this situation to popularize themselves (Peck 1). People have continued to accept social media as a modern method of social interaction. The social media interaction sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace have offered the developing youth and children the possibility of creating connections, relationships, and communications which are the three important components of a developing person’s life (Tisone 3). When mental health is affected, the physical development also gets affected. Therefore, there is a strong relationship between social media and physical human development.
With the increased presence of social media and technological devices, new forms of addictions have emerged. Internet addiction is one such form which has been proved to have adverse effects on physical human development. Personality patterns of people who are addicted to social media have also been changing. This addiction is as a result of excessive social media consumption. These effects are known to give rise to differential susceptibility and developmental deficiencies. For instance, social media has made many users become overly dependent on instant communication. When instant communication fails to occur, relationships are normally ruined or strained because expectations were not met(Tisone and Goodell 38).
Social media is everywhere today. It is part of human life. However, when people are excessively exposed to social media, especially children, and young adults, they learn through augmented reality as opposed to real life actions that would have taught them best. Their learning experiences and life encounters become virtual and lack the real life touch. This affects their cognitive development, thus affecting their physical growth.
While social media has been associated with alterations in normal personality development, it has also been associated with increasing the environment risks where children and youth grow. Such an environment is one characterized by maltreatment and bullying that have also become a dominant aspect of social media. Cyberbullying is a good example of an increased environmental risk as promoted by social media, as the virtual element implies that people can hide behind their computers and subject others to bullying. People hide and bully others under the comfort of their technological devices such as computers, tablets, and smartphones. Because they cannot be seen physically, they tend to misuse social media by mistreating and bullying others who are vulnerable. The victims of such practices are usually affected psychologically. Most of them end up with self-esteem issues (Peck 1).
In a further analysis on how social media promotes an environment of increased risks, researchers conducted a study on the developmental outcomes of people bullied through the social media. A study by the American Journal of Psychiatry studied 7700 British children in the course of their lives and found that the effects of cyber-bullying can extend to the person’s middle age (Takizawa, Maughan, and Arseneault 777). Children bullied at a young age are at an increased risk of poor economic, health, and social outcomes up to four decades after their bullying. The fact that there is a linkage between children abuse and impaired cognitive function means that the physical and mental wellbeing of the individual is largely affected by these aspects of the social media. Studies have confirmed that cyber-bullying may be actually worse than physical bullying as the effects are likely to extend longer and lead to depression that also inhibits the healthy development of the individual. As such, the negative effects of social media through cyber-bullying affect the individual’s ability to exhibit optimal development as there are cognitive and psychosocial aspects that inhibit the ability to fully develop.
Another aspect that inhibits physical development is the fact that social media promotes the lack of interpersonal skills. The fact that individuals spend most of their time behind computers implies that they have limited time to engage in interpersonal aspects through social interactions. The lack of interpersonal skills implies that the individual finds a hard time interacting with other people physically and lacks social development attributes necessary for interpersonal communication. The continued use of social media by the individuals means that the individual’s interaction is largely virtual with limited physical aspects.
The positive aspects
It is important to note that social media also has positive effects on physical human growth. For instance, by providing people with the opportunity to remain in constant touch with their friends and family, social media helps in maintaining strong relationships with people who are not physically together. The peace of mind brought about by this contributes to positive physical human development. Social media also allows people to make new friends by providing a platform through which people can interact and build new friendships. This is definitely good for human development(Ruttan 12). Social media provides people with the opportunity to share ideas, pictures, videos, and other digital information without having to be physically together. Conclusion
The main aim of this essay has been to discuss the relationship between technology and growth, with a specific focus on the use of social media and its effects on physical human growth. The essay has discussed the relationship that exists between social media use and physical human development by outlining how one affects the other. Social media has been found to be very popular all over the world. Its use has become almost inevitable. For most people, it is a routine daily activity. The use of social media has also become the main form of communication for many people across the world. With this in mind, effects on physical human development are inevitable. Social media has been found to have both positive and negative effects on physical human development as discussed in the paper. For instance, the sedentary lifestyle encouraged by social media use has been a major cause of lifestyle diseases associated with inactivity. On the other hand, social media was also found to be good for physical human development by enabling people to keep in touch with their loved once, thus giving them the peace of mind necessary for proper development. This paper is significant to this field as it explains the relationship that exists between social media and physical human development, both positively and negatively.
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Jacques Ellul. Ideas of Technology: The Technological Order. Proceedings of the Encyclopedia Britannica Conference on the Technological Order, 3.4(1962): 394-421.
Peck, D. “Hanging Out and Growing up with Social Media.” Media Psychology Review. Vol. 1.1(2008). Print.
Ruttan, Vernon W. Technology, Growth, and Development: An Induced Innovation Perspective. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. Print.
Takizawa, Robert., Maughan, Bear., and Arseneault, Liam. “Adult health outcomes of childhood bullying victimization: evidence from a five-decade longitudinal British birth cohort.” Am J Psychiatry. 171,7 (2014):777-84.
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