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  • Has the Internet Improved Society? Exploring an Argumentative Essay

Has the Internet Improved Society? Exploring an Argumentative Essay

In today's digital age, the internet has transformed the way we live, work, and learn. However, the impact of this technological revolution on society is a subject of ongoing debate. In this argumentative essay , we will explore the question: Has the internet made society better ? From improved access to information and communication to the rise of online education and remote work opportunities, the internet has undoubtedly brought about significant advancements. On the other hand, concerns about privacy, misinformation, and digital divide continue to challenge the notion of a better society. Join us as we delve into the complexities of this topic and critically examine the effects of the internet on our world .

Impact of Online Resources on Mathematics Learning

Collaboration and communication in virtual math communities, the role of online assessment tools in mathematics education, overcoming barriers to access to quality math education, fostering a growth mindset through online learning platforms, ethical considerations and digital literacy in online mathematics education, how has the internet impacted the way mathematics is taught in schools, what are the benefits of using online resources for learning mathematics, can the internet help bridge the achievement gap in mathematics education, are there any drawbacks to relying heavily on technology for teaching mathematics, how does the accessibility of online math tools affect student engagement and understanding.

Online resources have revolutionized the way students learn and practice mathematics. Platforms such as Khan Academy and Wolfram Alpha provide interactive lessons, step-by-step solutions, and practice problems that cater to individual student needs. This accessibility has greatly enhanced students' understanding of mathematical concepts and their ability to apply them in real-world scenarios.

The internet has facilitated collaboration among students and educators through virtual math communities and forums. Students can now connect with peers from around the world to discuss mathematical problems, share insights, and seek help when needed. This collaborative approach not only fosters a sense of community but also promotes a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts through diverse perspectives.

Online assessment tools have streamlined the process of evaluating students' mathematical proficiency. Adaptive quizzes and tests can provide instant feedback to students, allowing them to identify areas of improvement and track their progress over time. Furthermore, these tools enable educators to tailor their teaching strategies to address specific learning gaps and challenges faced by students.

The internet has played a crucial role in breaking down barriers to access quality math education. Students in remote areas or underserved communities now have the opportunity to access high-quality math resources and instruction online. This democratization of education has helped bridge the gap in educational opportunities and empower students from diverse backgrounds to excel in mathematics.

Online learning platforms promote a growth mindset by providing students with a personalized learning experience. With the abundance of resources available online, students are encouraged to embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, and view mistakes as opportunities for growth. This shift in mindset not only enhances students' mathematical skills but also nurtures their overall approach to learning and problem-solving.

As online education continues to proliferate, it is essential to address ethical considerations and promote digital literacy in mathematics education. Educators must teach students how to navigate online resources responsibly, critically evaluate information, and uphold academic integrity in their mathematical endeavors. By instilling these values, students can harness the full potential of the internet as a tool for learning and growth in mathematics.

frequently asked questions

The internet has revolutionized the way mathematics is taught in schools by providing access to online resources , interactive tools, and virtual classrooms that enhance learning experiences for students.

Online resources provide accessibility to a wide range of mathematical content , offer interactive learning experiences, and allow for individualized learning paths.

Yes , the internet can help bridge the achievement gap in mathematics education by providing access to resources , online tutoring, interactive tools, and personalized learning experiences for students of all backgrounds.

Yes , there are drawbacks to relying heavily on technology for teaching mathematics.

The accessibility of online math tools positively impacts student engagement and understanding in Mathematics education.

In conclusion, it is evident that the internet has brought about significant changes in society, including in the field of Mathematics education. While there are valid arguments on both sides of the debate, it is crucial to continue exploring how we can harness the potential of the internet to improve learning outcomes and access to mathematical resources for all individuals. As we navigate the digital age, it is essential to critically evaluate the impact of the internet on our educational systems and ensure that we are using technology to enhance, rather than hinder, the learning experience.

If you want to know other articles similar to Has the Internet Improved Society? Exploring an Argumentative Essay you can visit the category General Education .

Michaell Miller

Michaell Miller

Michael Miller is a passionate blog writer and advanced mathematics teacher with a deep understanding of mathematical physics. With years of teaching experience, Michael combines his love of mathematics with an exceptional ability to communicate complex concepts in an accessible way. His blog posts offer a unique and enriching perspective on mathematical and physical topics, making learning fascinating and understandable for all.

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The Internet is the decisive technology of the Information Age, as the electrical engine was the vector of technological transformation of the Industrial Age. This global network of computer networks, largely based nowadays on platforms of wireless communication, provides ubiquitous capacity of multimodal, interactive communication in chosen time, transcending space. The Internet is not really a new technology: its ancestor, the Arpanet, was first deployed in 1969 (Abbate 1999). But it was in the 1990s when it was privatized and released from the control of the U.S. Department of Commerce that it diffused around the world at extraordinary speed: in 1996 the first survey of Internet users counted about 40 million; in 2013 they are over 2.5 billion, with China accounting for the largest number of Internet users. Furthermore, for some time the spread of the Internet was limited by the difficulty to lay out land-based telecommunications infrastructure in the emerging countries. This has changed with the explosion of wireless communication in the early twenty-first century. Indeed, in 1991, there were about 16 million subscribers of wireless devices in the world, in 2013 they are close to 7 billion (in a planet of 7.7 billion human beings). Counting on the family and village uses of mobile phones, and taking into consideration the limited use of these devices among children under five years of age, we can say that humankind is now almost entirely connected, albeit with great levels of inequality in the bandwidth as well as in the efficiency and price of the service.

At the heart of these communication networks the Internet ensures the production, distribution, and use of digitized information in all formats. According to the study published by Martin Hilbert in Science (Hilbert and López 2011), 95 percent of all information existing in the planet is digitized and most of it is accessible on the Internet and other computer networks.

The speed and scope of the transformation of our communication environment by Internet and wireless communication has triggered all kind of utopian and dystopian perceptions around the world.

As in all moments of major technological change, people, companies, and institutions feel the depth of the change, but they are often overwhelmed by it, out of sheer ignorance of its effects.

The media aggravate the distorted perception by dwelling into scary reports on the basis of anecdotal observation and biased commentary. If there is a topic in which social sciences, in their diversity, should contribute to the full understanding of the world in which we live, it is precisely the area that has come to be named in academia as Internet Studies. Because, in fact, academic research knows a great deal on the interaction between Internet and society, on the basis of methodologically rigorous empirical research conducted in a plurality of cultural and institutional contexts. Any process of major technological change generates its own mythology. In part because it comes into practice before scientists can assess its effects and implications, so there is always a gap between social change and its understanding. For instance, media often report that intense use of the Internet increases the risk of alienation, isolation, depression, and withdrawal from society. In fact, available evidence shows that there is either no relationship or a positive cumulative relationship between the Internet use and the intensity of sociability. We observe that, overall, the more sociable people are, the more they use the Internet. And the more they use the Internet, the more they increase their sociability online and offline, their civic engagement, and the intensity of family and friendship relationships, in all cultures—with the exception of a couple of early studies of the Internet in the 1990s, corrected by their authors later (Castells 2001; Castells et al. 2007; Rainie and Wellman 2012; Center for the Digital Future 2012 et al.).

Thus, the purpose of this chapter will be to summarize some of the key research findings on the social effects of the Internet relying on the evidence provided by some of the major institutions specialized in the social study of the Internet. More specifically, I will be using the data from the world at large: the World Internet Survey conducted by the Center for the Digital Future, University of Southern California; the reports of the British Computer Society (BCS), using data from the World Values Survey of the University of Michigan; the Nielsen reports for a variety of countries; and the annual reports from the International Telecommunications Union. For data on the United States, I have used the Pew American Life and Internet Project of the Pew Institute. For the United Kingdom, the Oxford Internet Survey from the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, as well as the Virtual Society Project from the Economic and Social Science Research Council. For Spain, the Project Internet Catalonia of the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3) of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC); the various reports on the information society from Telefónica; and from the Orange Foundation. For Portugal, the Observatório de Sociedade da Informação e do Conhecimento (OSIC) in Lisbon. I would like to emphasize that most of the data in these reports converge toward similar trends. Thus I have selected for my analysis the findings that complement and reinforce each other, offering a consistent picture of the human experience on the Internet in spite of the human diversity.

Given the aim of this publication to reach a broad audience, I will not present in this text the data supporting the analysis presented here. Instead, I am referring the interested reader to the web sources of the research organizations mentioned above, as well as to selected bibliographic references discussing the empirical foundation of the social trends reported here.

Technologies of Freedom, the Network Society, and the Culture of Autonomy

In order to fully understand the effects of the Internet on society, we should remember that technology is material culture. It is produced in a social process in a given institutional environment on the basis of the ideas, values, interests, and knowledge of their producers, both their early producers and their subsequent producers. In this process we must include the users of the technology, who appropriate and adapt the technology rather than adopting it, and by so doing they modify it and produce it in an endless process of interaction between technological production and social use. So, to assess the relevance of Internet in society we must recall the specific characteristics of Internet as a technology. Then we must place it in the context of the transformation of the overall social structure, as well as in relationship to the culture characteristic of this social structure. Indeed, we live in a new social structure, the global network society, characterized by the rise of a new culture, the culture of autonomy.

Internet is a technology of freedom, in the terms coined by Ithiel de Sola Pool in 1973, coming from a libertarian culture, paradoxically financed by the Pentagon for the benefit of scientists, engineers, and their students, with no direct military application in mind (Castells 2001). The expansion of the Internet from the mid-1990s onward resulted from the combination of three main factors:

  • The technological discovery of the World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee and his willingness to distribute the source code to improve it by the open-source contribution of a global community of users, in continuity with the openness of the TCP/IP Internet protocols. The web keeps running under the same principle of open source. And two-thirds of web servers are operated by Apache, an open-source server program.
  • Institutional change in the management of the Internet, keeping it under the loose management of the global Internet community, privatizing it, and allowing both commercial uses and cooperative uses.
  • Major changes in social structure, culture, and social behavior: networking as a prevalent organizational form; individuation as the main orientation of social behavior; and the culture of autonomy as the culture of the network society.

I will elaborate on these major trends.

Our society is a network society; that is, a society constructed around personal and organizational networks powered by digital networks and communicated by the Internet. And because networks are global and know no boundaries, the network society is a global network society. This historically specific social structure resulted from the interaction between the emerging technological paradigm based on the digital revolution and some major sociocultural changes. A primary dimension of these changes is what has been labeled the rise of the Me-centered society, or, in sociological terms, the process of individuation, the decline of community understood in terms of space, work, family, and ascription in general. This is not the end of community, and not the end of place-based interaction, but there is a shift toward the reconstruction of social relationships, including strong cultural and personal ties that could be considered a form of community, on the basis of individual interests, values, and projects.

The process of individuation is not just a matter of cultural evolution, it is materially produced by the new forms of organizing economic activities, and social and political life, as I analyzed in my trilogy on the Information Age (Castells 1996–2003). It is based on the transformation of space (metropolitan life), work and economic activity (rise of the networked enterprise and networked work processes), culture and communication (shift from mass communication based on mass media to mass self-communication based on the Internet); on the crisis of the patriarchal family, with increasing autonomy of its individual members; the substitution of media politics for mass party politics; and globalization as the selective networking of places and processes throughout the planet.

But individuation does not mean isolation, or even less the end of community. Sociability is reconstructed as networked individualism and community through a quest for like-minded individuals in a process that combines online interaction with offline interaction, cyberspace and the local space. Individuation is the key process in constituting subjects (individual or collective), networking is the organizational form constructed by these subjects; this is the network society, and the form of sociability is what Rainie and Wellman (2012) conceptualized as networked individualism. Network technologies are of course the medium for this new social structure and this new culture (Papacharissi 2010).

As stated above, academic research has established that the Internet does not isolate people, nor does it reduce their sociability; it actually increases sociability, as shown by myself in my studies in Catalonia (Castells 2007), Rainie and Wellman in the United States (2012), Cardoso in Portugal (2010), and the World Internet Survey for the world at large (Center for the Digital Future 2012 et al.). Furthermore, a major study by Michael Willmott for the British Computer Society (Trajectory Partnership 2010) has shown a positive correlation, for individuals and for countries, between the frequency and intensity of the use of the Internet and the psychological indicators of personal happiness. He used global data for 35,000 people obtained from the World Wide Survey of the University of Michigan from 2005 to 2007. Controlling for other factors, the study showed that Internet use empowers people by increasing their feelings of security, personal freedom, and influence, all feelings that have a positive effect on happiness and personal well-being. The effect is particularly positive for people with lower income and who are less qualified, for people in the developing world, and for women. Age does not affect the positive relationship; it is significant for all ages. Why women? Because they are at the center of the network of their families, Internet helps them to organize their lives. Also, it helps them to overcome their isolation, particularly in patriarchal societies. The Internet also contributes to the rise of the culture of autonomy.

The key for the process of individuation is the construction of autonomy by social actors, who become subjects in the process. They do so by defining their specific projects in interaction with, but not submission to, the institutions of society. This is the case for a minority of individuals, but because of their capacity to lead and mobilize they introduce a new culture in every domain of social life: in work (entrepreneurship), in the media (the active audience), in the Internet (the creative user), in the market (the informed and proactive consumer), in education (students as informed critical thinkers, making possible the new frontier of e-learning and m-learning pedagogy), in health (the patient-centered health management system) in e-government (the informed, participatory citizen), in social movements (cultural change from the grassroots, as in feminism or environmentalism), and in politics (the independent-minded citizen able to participate in self-generated political networks).

There is increasing evidence of the direct relationship between the Internet and the rise of social autonomy. From 2002 to 2007 I directed in Catalonia one of the largest studies ever conducted in Europe on the Internet and society, based on 55,000 interviews, one-third of them face to face (IN3 2002–07). As part of this study, my collaborators and I compared the behavior of Internet users to non-Internet users in a sample of 3,000 people, representative of the population of Catalonia. Because in 2003 only about 40 percent of people were Internet users we could really compare the differences in social behavior for users and non-users, something that nowadays would be more difficult given the 79 percent penetration rate of the Internet in Catalonia. Although the data are relatively old, the findings are not, as more recent studies in other countries (particularly in Portugal) appear to confirm the observed trends. We constructed scales of autonomy in different dimensions. Only between 10 and 20 percent of the population, depending on dimensions, were in the high level of autonomy. But we focused on this active segment of the population to explore the role of the Internet in the construction of autonomy. Using factor analysis we identified six major types of autonomy based on projects of individuals according to their practices:

a) professional development b) communicative autonomy c) entrepreneurship d) autonomy of the body e) sociopolitical participation f) personal, individual autonomy

These six types of autonomous practices were statistically independent among themselves. But each one of them correlated positively with Internet use in statistically significant terms, in a self-reinforcing loop (time sequence): the more one person was autonomous, the more she/he used the web, and the more she/he used the web, the more autonomous she/he became (Castells et al. 2007). This is a major empirical finding. Because if the dominant cultural trend in our society is the search for autonomy, and if the Internet powers this search, then we are moving toward a society of assertive individuals and cultural freedom, regardless of the barriers of rigid social organizations inherited from the Industrial Age. From this Internet-based culture of autonomy have emerged a new kind of sociability, networked sociability, and a new kind of sociopolitical practice, networked social movements and networked democracy. I will now turn to the analysis of these two fundamental trends at the source of current processes of social change worldwide.

The Rise of Social Network Sites on the Internet

Since 2002 (creation of Friendster, prior to Facebook) a new socio-technical revolution has taken place on the Internet: the rise of social network sites where now all human activities are present, from personal interaction to business, to work, to culture, to communication, to social movements, and to politics.

Social Network Sites are web-based services that allow individuals to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system.

(Boyd and Ellison 2007, 2)

Social networking uses, in time globally spent, surpassed e-mail in November 2007. It surpassed e-mail in number of users in July 2009. In terms of users it reached 1 billion by September 2010, with Facebook accounting for about half of it. In 2013 it has almost doubled, particularly because of increasing use in China, India, and Latin America. There is indeed a great diversity of social networking sites (SNS) by countries and cultures. Facebook, started for Harvard-only members in 2004, is present in most of the world, but QQ, Cyworld, and Baidu dominate in China; Orkut in Brazil; Mixi in Japan; etc. In terms of demographics, age is the main differential factor in the use of SNS, with a drop of frequency of use after 50 years of age, and particularly 65. But this is not just a teenager’s activity. The main Facebook U.S. category is in the age group 35–44, whose frequency of use of the site is higher than for younger people. Nearly 60 percent of adults in the U.S. have at least one SNS profile, 30 percent two, and 15 percent three or more. Females are as present as males, except when in a society there is a general gender gap. We observe no differences in education and class, but there is some class specialization of SNS, such as Myspace being lower than FB; LinkedIn is for professionals.

Thus, the most important activity on the Internet at this point in time goes through social networking, and SNS have become the chosen platforms for all kind of activities, not just personal friendships or chatting, but for marketing, e-commerce, education, cultural creativity, media and entertainment distribution, health applications, and sociopolitical activism. This is a significant trend for society at large. Let me explore the meaning of this trend on the basis of the still scant evidence.

Social networking sites are constructed by users themselves building on specific criteria of grouping. There is entrepreneurship in the process of creating sites, then people choose according to their interests and projects. Networks are tailored by people themselves with different levels of profiling and privacy. The key to success is not anonymity, but on the contrary, self-presentation of a real person connecting to real people (in some cases people are excluded from the SNS when they fake their identity). So, it is a self-constructed society by networking connecting to other networks. But this is not a virtual society. There is a close connection between virtual networks and networks in life at large. This is a hybrid world, a real world, not a virtual world or a segregated world.

People build networks to be with others, and to be with others they want to be with on the basis of criteria that include those people who they already know (a selected sub-segment). Most users go on the site every day. It is permanent connectivity. If we needed an answer to what happened to sociability in the Internet world, here it is:

There is a dramatic increase in sociability, but a different kind of sociability, facilitated and dynamized by permanent connectivity and social networking on the web.

Based on the time when Facebook was still releasing data (this time is now gone) we know that in 2009 users spent 500 billion minutes per month. This is not just about friendship or interpersonal communication. People do things together, share, act, exactly as in society, although the personal dimension is always there. Thus, in the U.S. 38 percent of adults share content, 21 percent remix, 14 percent blog, and this is growing exponentially, with development of technology, software, and SNS entrepreneurial initiatives. On Facebook, in 2009 the average user was connected to 60 pages, groups, and events, people interacted per month to 160 million objects (pages, groups, events), the average user created 70 pieces of content per month, and there were 25 billion pieces of content shared per month (web links, news stories, blogs posts, notes, photos). SNS are living spaces connecting all dimensions of people’s experience. This transforms culture because people share experience with a low emotional cost, while saving energy and effort. They transcend time and space, yet they produce content, set up links, and connect practices. It is a constantly networked world in every dimension of human experience. They co-evolve in permanent, multiple interaction. But they choose the terms of their co-evolution.

Thus, people live their physical lives but increasingly connect on multiple dimensions in SNS.

Paradoxically, the virtual life is more social than the physical life, now individualized by the organization of work and urban living.

But people do not live a virtual reality, indeed it is a real virtuality, since social practices, sharing, mixing, and living in society is facilitated in the virtuality, in what I called time ago the “space of flows” (Castells 1996).

Because people are increasingly at ease in the multi-textuality and multidimensionality of the web, marketers, work organizations, service agencies, government, and civil society are migrating massively to the Internet, less and less setting up alternative sites, more and more being present in the networks that people construct by themselves and for themselves, with the help of Internet social networking entrepreneurs, some of whom become billionaires in the process, actually selling freedom and the possibility of the autonomous construction of lives. This is the liberating potential of the Internet made material practice by these social networking sites. The largest of these social networking sites are usually bounded social spaces managed by a company. However, if the company tries to impede free communication it may lose many of its users, because the entry barriers in this industry are very low. A couple of technologically savvy youngsters with little capital can set up a site on the Internet and attract escapees from a more restricted Internet space, as happened to AOL and other networking sites of the first generation, and as could happen to Facebook or any other SNS if they are tempted to tinker with the rules of openness (Facebook tried to make users pay and retracted within days). So, SNS are often a business, but they are in the business of selling freedom, free expression, chosen sociability. When they tinker with this promise they risk their hollowing by net citizens migrating with their friends to more friendly virtual lands.

Perhaps the most telling expression of this new freedom is the transformation of sociopolitical practices on the Internet.

Communication Power: Mass-Self Communication and the Transformation of Politics

Power and counterpower, the foundational relationships of society, are constructed in the human mind, through the construction of meaning and the processing of information according to certain sets of values and interests (Castells 2009).

Ideological apparatuses and the mass media have been key tools of mediating communication and asserting power, and still are. But the rise of a new culture, the culture of autonomy, has found in Internet and mobile communication networks a major medium of mass self-communication and self-organization.

The key source for the social production of meaning is the process of socialized communication. I define communication as the process of sharing meaning through the exchange of information. Socialized communication is the one that exists in the public realm, that has the potential of reaching society at large. Therefore, the battle over the human mind is largely played out in the process of socialized communication. And this is particularly so in the network society, the social structure of the Information Age, which is characterized by the pervasiveness of communication networks in a multimodal hypertext.

The ongoing transformation of communication technology in the digital age extends the reach of communication media to all domains of social life in a network that is at the same time global and local, generic and customized, in an ever-changing pattern.

As a result, power relations, that is the relations that constitute the foundation of all societies, as well as the processes challenging institutionalized power relations, are increasingly shaped and decided in the communication field. Meaningful, conscious communication is what makes humans human. Thus, any major transformation in the technology and organization of communication is of utmost relevance for social change. Over the last four decades the advent of the Internet and of wireless communication has shifted the communication process in society at large from mass communication to mass self-communication. This is from a message sent from one to many with little interactivity to a system based on messages from many to many, multimodal, in chosen time, and with interactivity, so that senders are receivers and receivers are senders. And both have access to a multimodal hypertext in the web that constitutes the endlessly changing backbone of communication processes.

The transformation of communication from mass communication to mass self-communication has contributed decisively to alter the process of social change. As power relationships have always been based on the control of communication and information that feed the neural networks constitutive of the human mind, the rise of horizontal networks of communication has created a new landscape of social and political change by the process of disintermediation of the government and corporate controls over communication. This is the power of the network, as social actors build their own networks on the basis of their projects, values, and interests. The outcome of these processes is open ended and dependent on specific contexts. Freedom, in this case freedom of communicate, does not say anything on the uses of freedom in society. This is to be established by scholarly research. But we need to start from this major historical phenomenon: the building of a global communication network based on the Internet, a technology that embodies the culture of freedom that was at its source.

In the first decade of the twenty-first century there have been multiple social movements around the world that have used the Internet as their space of formation and permanent connectivity, among the movements and with society at large. These networked social movements, formed in the social networking sites on the Internet, have mobilized in the urban space and in the institutional space, inducing new forms of social movements that are the main actors of social change in the network society. Networked social movements have been particularly active since 2010, and especially in the Arab revolutions against dictatorships; in Europe and the U.S. as forms of protest against the management of the financial crisis; in Brazil; in Turkey; in Mexico; and in highly diverse institutional contexts and economic conditions. It is precisely the similarity of the movements in extremely different contexts that allows the formulation of the hypothesis that this is the pattern of social movements characteristic of the global network society. In all cases we observe the capacity of these movements for self-organization, without a central leadership, on the basis of a spontaneous emotional movement. In all cases there is a connection between Internet-based communication, mobile networks, and the mass media in different forms, feeding into each other and amplifying the movement locally and globally.

These movements take place in the context of exploitation and oppression, social tensions and social struggles; but struggles that were not able to successfully challenge the state in other instances of revolt are now powered by the tools of mass self-communication. It is not the technology that induces the movements, but without the technology (Internet and wireless communication) social movements would not take the present form of being a challenge to state power. The fact is that technology is material culture (ideas brought into the design) and the Internet materialized the culture of freedom that, as it has been documented, emerged on American campuses in the 1960s. This culture-made technology is at the source of the new wave of social movements that exemplify the depth of the global impact of the Internet in all spheres of social organization, affecting particularly power relationships, the foundation of the institutions of society. (See case studies and an analytical perspective on the interaction between Internet and networked social movements in Castells 2012.)

The Internet, as all technologies, does not produce effects by itself. Yet, it has specific effects in altering the capacity of the communication system to be organized around flows that are interactive, multimodal, asynchronous or synchronous, global or local, and from many to many, from people to people, from people to objects, and from objects to objects, increasingly relying on the semantic web. How these characteristics affect specific systems of social relationships has to be established by research, and this is what I tried to present in this text. What is clear is that without the Internet we would not have seen the large-scale development of networking as the fundamental mechanism of social structuring and social change in every domain of social life. The Internet, the World Wide Web, and a variety of networks increasingly based on wireless platforms constitute the technological infrastructure of the network society, as the electrical grid and the electrical engine were the support system for the form of social organization that we conceptualized as the industrial society. Thus, as a social construction, this technological system is open ended, as the network society is an open-ended form of social organization that conveys the best and the worse in humankind. Yet, the global network society is our society, and the understanding of its logic on the basis of the interaction between culture, organization, and technology in the formation and development of social and technological networks is a key field of research in the twenty-first century.

We can only make progress in our understanding through the cumulative effort of scholarly research. Only then we will be able to cut through the myths surrounding the key technology of our time. A digital communication technology that is already a second skin for young people, yet it continues to feed the fears and the fantasies of those who are still in charge of a society that they barely understand.

These references are in fact sources of more detailed references specific to each one of the topics analyzed in this text.

Abbate, Janet. A Social History of the Internet. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999.

Boyd, Danah M., and Nicole B. Ellison. “Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship.” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 13, no. 1 (2007).

Cardoso, Gustavo, Angus Cheong, and Jeffrey Cole (eds). World Wide Internet: Changing Societies, Economies and Cultures. Macau: University of Macau Press, 2009.

Castells, Manuel. The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture. 3 vols. Oxford: Blackwell, 1996–2003.

———. The Internet Galaxy: Reflections on the Internet, Business, and Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.

———. Communication Power. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

———. Networks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2012.

Castells, Manuel, Imma Tubella, Teresa Sancho, and Meritxell Roca.

La transición a la sociedad red. Barcelona: Ariel, 2007.

Hilbert, Martin, and Priscilla López. “The World’s Technological Capacity to Store, Communicate, and Compute Information.” Science 332, no. 6025 (April 1, 2011): pp. 60–65.

Papacharissi, Zizi, ed. The Networked Self: Identity, Community, and Culture on Social Networking Sites. Routledge, 2010.

Rainie. Lee, and Barry Wellman. Networked: The New Social Operating System. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012.

Trajectory Partnership (Michael Willmott and Paul Flatters). The Information Dividend: Why IT Makes You “Happier.” Swindon: British Informatics Society Limited, 2010.

Selected Web References.   Used as sources for analysis in the chapter

Agência para a Sociedade do Conhecimento. “Observatório de Sociedade da Informação e do Conhecimento (OSIC).”

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. “Features, Press and Policy.”

Center for the Digital Future. The World Internet Project International Report. 4th ed. Los Angeles: USC Annenberg School, Center for the Digital Future, 2012.

ESRC (Economic & Social Research Council). “Papers and Reports.” Virtual Society.

Fundación Orange. “Análisis y Prospectiva: Informe eEspaña.” Fundación Orange.

Fundación Telefónica. “Informes SI.” Fundación Telefónica.

IN3 (Internet Interdisciplinary Institute). UOC. “Project Internet Catalonia (PIC): An Overview.” Internet Interdisciplinary Institute, 2002–07.

International Telecommunication Union. “Annual Reports.”

Nielsen Company. “Reports.” 2013. and+Entertainment

Oxford Internet Surveys. “Publications.”

Pew Internet & American Life Project. “Social Networking.” Pew Internet.

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9.3: The Argumentative Essay

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Learning Objectives

  • Examine types of argumentative essays

Argumentative Essays

You may have heard it said that all writing is an argument of some kind. Even if you’re writing an informative essay, you still have the job of trying to convince your audience that the information is important. However, there are times you’ll be asked to write an essay that is specifically an argumentative piece.

An argumentative essay is one that makes a clear assertion or argument about some topic or issue. When you’re writing an argumentative essay, it’s important to remember that an academic argument is quite different from a regular, emotional argument. Note that sometimes students forget the academic aspect of an argumentative essay and write essays that are much too emotional for an academic audience. It’s important for you to choose a topic you feel passionately about (if you’re allowed to pick your topic), but you have to be sure you aren’t too emotionally attached to a topic. In an academic argument, you’ll have a lot more constraints you have to consider, and you’ll focus much more on logic and reasoning than emotions.

A cartoon person with a heart in one hand and a brain in the other.

Argumentative essays are quite common in academic writing and are often an important part of writing in all disciplines. You may be asked to take a stand on a social issue in your introduction to writing course, but you could also be asked to take a stand on an issue related to health care in your nursing courses or make a case for solving a local environmental problem in your biology class. And, since argument is such a common essay assignment, it’s important to be aware of some basic elements of a good argumentative essay.

When your professor asks you to write an argumentative essay, you’ll often be given something specific to write about. For example, you may be asked to take a stand on an issue you have been discussing in class. Perhaps, in your education class, you would be asked to write about standardized testing in public schools. Or, in your literature class, you might be asked to argue the effects of protest literature on public policy in the United States.

However, there are times when you’ll be given a choice of topics. You might even be asked to write an argumentative essay on any topic related to your field of study or a topic you feel that is important personally.

Whatever the case, having some knowledge of some basic argumentative techniques or strategies will be helpful as you write. Below are some common types of arguments.

Causal Arguments

  • In this type of argument, you argue that something has caused something else. For example, you might explore the causes of the decline of large mammals in the world’s ocean and make a case for your cause.

Evaluation Arguments

  • In this type of argument, you make an argumentative evaluation of something as “good” or “bad,” but you need to establish the criteria for “good” or “bad.” For example, you might evaluate a children’s book for your education class, but you would need to establish clear criteria for your evaluation for your audience.

Proposal Arguments

  • In this type of argument, you must propose a solution to a problem. First, you must establish a clear problem and then propose a specific solution to that problem. For example, you might argue for a proposal that would increase retention rates at your college.

Narrative Arguments

  • In this type of argument, you make your case by telling a story with a clear point related to your argument. For example, you might write a narrative about your experiences with standardized testing in order to make a case for reform.

Rebuttal Arguments

  • In a rebuttal argument, you build your case around refuting an idea or ideas that have come before. In other words, your starting point is to challenge the ideas of the past.

Definition Arguments

  • In this type of argument, you use a definition as the starting point for making your case. For example, in a definition argument, you might argue that NCAA basketball players should be defined as professional players and, therefore, should be paid.

Essay Examples

  • Click here to read an argumentative essay on the consequences of fast fashion . Read it and look at the comments to recognize strategies and techniques the author uses to convey her ideas.
  • In this example, you’ll see a sample argumentative paper from a psychology class submitted in APA format. Key parts of the argumentative structure have been noted for you in the sample.

Link to Learning

For more examples of types of argumentative essays, visit the Argumentative Purposes section of the Excelsior OWL .

Contributors and Attributions

  • Argumentative Essay. Provided by : Excelsior OWL. Located at : . License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Image of a man with a heart and a brain. Authored by : Mohamed Hassan. Provided by : Pixabay. Located at : License : Other . License Terms :

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  • Internet Seen as Positive Influence on Education but Negative on Morality in Emerging and Developing Nations

Internet Usage More Common Among the Young, Well-Educated and English Speakers

Table of contents.

  • 1. Communications Technology in Emerging and Developing Nations
  • 2. Online Activities in Emerging and Developing Nations
  • 3. Influence of Internet in Emerging and Developing Nations
  • Methods in Detail

Internet Has Most Positive Influence on Education, Least Positive on Morality

As more people around the world gain access to all the tools of the digital age, the internet will play a greater role in everyday life. And so far, people in emerging and developing nations say that the increasing use of the internet has been a good influence in the realms of education, personal relationships and the economy. But despite all the benefits of these new technologies, on balance people are more likely to say that the internet is a negative rather than a positive influence on morality, and they are divided about its effect on politics.

Publics in emerging and developing nations are more convinced that the internet is having a negative effect on morality. A median of 42% say it is a bad influence on morality, while only 29% see the internet as a good influence. And in no country surveyed does a majority say that the internet’s influence on morality is a positive.

However, many in these emerging and developing nations are left out of the internet revolution entirely. A median of less than half across the 32 countries surveyed use the internet at least occasionally, through either smartphones or other devices, though usage rates vary considerably. Computer ownership also varies, from as little as 3% in Uganda to 78% in Russia.

Globally, Internet Access Varies Widely

But accessing the internet no longer requires a fixed line to a computer, and in many nations cell phones are nearly universal, while landlines are almost unheard of. In some countries, such as Chile and China, smartphone usage rates are comparable to that of the United States.

Internet access and smartphone ownership rates in these emerging and developing nations are greatest among the well-educated and the young, i.e. those 18- to 34-year-olds who came of age in an era of massive technological advancement. People who read or speak English are also more likely to access the internet, even when holding constant other key factors, such as age and education. 1 Overall, across the countries surveyed, internet access rates are higher in richer, more developed economies.

Online, Socializing and Getting Information Are Popular Activities in Emerging and Developing Nations

Once online, internet users in emerging and developing nations have embraced socializing as their most preferred type of digital activity. Majorities of internet users in all countries surveyed with large enough sample sizes to analyze say they stay in touch with friends and family online. Many also use cyberspace for getting information about politics, health care and government services. Less common are commercial and career activities, such as searching or applying for a job, making or receiving payments, buying products and taking online classes.

Social networkers in these countries share information on popular culture, such as music, movies and sports. To a lesser extent, they share views about commercial products, politics and religion. Regardless of what internet users choose to do online, most in these emerging and developing countries are doing it daily.

These are among the main findings of a Pew Research Center survey conducted among 36,619 people in 32 emerging and developing countries from March 17 to June 5, 2014. All interviews were conducted face-to-face. Comparison figures from the U.S. are from a Pew Research telephone survey conducted April 22 to May 11, 2014, among 1,002 people, unless otherwise noted.

Internet Influence Seen as Positive on Education, Negative on Morality

A clear majority of people in these emerging and developing countries see the internet as a positive influence on education. A median of 64% among the general population (including non-internet users) in the 32 emerging and developing nations surveyed say the internet is a good influence on education. People are also keen on the internet and its influence on personal relationships (53% good influence) and the economy (52%). Few people say that the internet has no influence on these aspects of life.

Internet Users More Likely to See Access to the Net as a Positive

Publics are less enthused about the internet’s effect on politics. A median of just 36% say it is a positive for their country’s political system, while three-in-ten say it is a bad influence.

Generally, people who have access to the internet are more positive about its societal influence. For example, 65% of internet users in these emerging and developing nations say the increasing use of the internet is a positive for personal relationships, while only 44% of non-internet users agree. Similar gaps appear on the positive influence of the internet on education, the economy and politics.

Highly educated respondents are also more likely to say the internet is a positive influence. Six-in-ten of those with a secondary education or more say the increasing use of the internet is a good influence on personal relationships, compared with 44% among people with less education.

Internet Access Lacking in Many Countries, but More Common in Wealthier Nations

Even as general publics see the influence of the internet increase in their everyday lives, there are still many people without access to the internet in these emerging and developing countries. Across the 32 nations surveyed, a median of 44% use the internet at least occasionally, either through smartphones or other devices. Comparatively, as of early 2014, 87% of adults in the U.S. use the internet, according to Pew Research Center studies .

Access rates vary considerably across the emerging and developing nations surveyed. Two-thirds or more in Chile (76%), Russia (73%) and Venezuela (67%) have access to the internet, as do six-in-ten or more in Poland, China, Lebanon and Argentina. Yet less than half in Vietnam (43%) and the Philippines (42%) have internet access. And in nations that are less economically developed, such as those in sub-Saharan Africa, internet access rates lag even further.

Toward the bottom in terms of access rates are some of the world’s most heavily populated nations in South and Southeast Asia. These include Indonesia, where only 24% of the population has access to the internet, India (20%), Bangladesh (11%) and Pakistan (8%). Combined, these countries account for approximately a quarter of the world’s population.

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For example, 70% of young Vietnamese (18-34 years old) use the internet, while only 21% of those age 35 and older do. And three-quarters of Vietnamese with a secondary education or higher have access to the net, while only two-in-ten with less than a secondary education do. A similar gap appears for Vietnamese who can speak or read at least some English (83%) versus those who cannot (20%).

In addition to these factors, having a higher income, being male and being employed have a significant, positive impact on internet use, though to a lesser degree.

Socializing Most Popular Form of Internet Activity

In Emerging and Developing Nations, Internet Users on Social Networks

Along with social networking, an equally popular use of the internet is staying in touch with friends and family. A median of 86% of internet users across the emerging and developing nations surveyed say they have used the internet this way in the past year.

While not as popular as socializing, many internet users also like to access digital information, whether it is political (a median of 54% among internet users), medical (46%) or governmental (42%). Getting online political news is particularly prevalent in Middle Eastern countries, like Tunisia (72%), Lebanon (70%) and Egypt (68%).

Utilizing the internet for career and commerce is a less popular activity. Among internet users, medians of less than four-in-ten say they look and apply for jobs (35%), make or receive payments (22%), buy products (16%) or take online classes (13%).

In certain countries, these professional and commercial online activities are more common. For example, 62% of internet users in Bangladesh and 55% in India say they have used the internet to look for or apply for a job. In China, home to internet commerce giants such as Baidu and Alibaba, 52% of internet users say they have purchased a product online in the last year.

Sharing Views about Music and Movies Popular Activity on Social Networks; about a Third Talk Religion and Politics

Sharing information about personal views regarding religion and politics and purchases is less common. Less than four-in-ten social networkers in emerging and developing nations say they share views about products (37%), politics (34%) and religion (30%). But there is a range of interest in debating these topics online, from the 8% among social networkers in Russia and Ukraine who discuss religion to the 64% in Jordan who say the same. Similar ranges can be found for sharing views about politics and products on social networks.

Smartphones Have Not Yet Replaced Regular Mobile Phones

In several of the countries surveyed, sizeable percentages access the internet from devices other than a computer in their home. Across the 32 emerging and developing nations, a median of 38% have a working computer in their household. In 10 countries, computer ownership is roughly two-in-ten or less. By contrast, 80% in the U.S. and 78% in Russia have a computer in working order in their house.

Cell Phones Commonplace; Smartphone Ownership Varies

But smartphones – and the mobile access to the internet that they make possible in some locations – are not nearly as common as conventional cell phones. A median of only 24% say they own a cell phone that can access the internet and applications (See Appendix B for a full list of devices in each country). In the U.S., 58% owned a smartphone as of early 2014.

These cell phones and smartphones are critical as communication tools in most of the emerging and developing nations, mainly because the infrastructure for landline communications is sparse, and in many instances almost nonexistent. In these emerging and developing nations, only a median of 19% have a working landline telephone in their home. In fact, in many African and Asian countries, landline penetration is in the low single digits. This compares with 60% landline ownership in the U.S.

Cell phones also have the added benefit of being capable of more than just vocal communication. Among cell phone owners across the 32 countries, 76% use text messaging via their phones. This is similar to the 83% of cell owners in the U.S. who text. And an additional 55% of mobile owners in these emerging and developing nations use their phones for taking pictures or video.

  • For more on how these demographics influence internet use, see Appendix A. For a list of countries surveyed, including the smartphone devices and social networks specified in our questions in each country, see Appendix B. ↩

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Home — Essay Samples — Information Science and Technology — Internet — The Positive And Negative Effects Of Internet


The Positive and Negative Effects of Internet

  • Categories: Advantages of Technology Internet Negative Impact of Technology

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Words: 896 |

Published: Mar 18, 2021

Words: 896 | Pages: 2 | 5 min read

Works Cited

  • Brown, J. D., & Bobkowski, P. S. (2011). Older and newer media: Patterns of use and effects on adolescents' health and well-being. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21(1), 95-113.
  • Chen, W., & Lee, K. H. (2013). Sharing, liking, commenting, and distressed? The pathway between Facebook interaction and psychological distress. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 16(10), 728-734.
  • Greenfield, P. M., & Yan, Z. (2006). Children, adolescents, and the Internet: A new field of inquiry in developmental psychology. Developmental Psychology, 42(3), 391-394.
  • Kraut, R., Patterson, M., Lundmark, V., Kiesler, S., Mukopadhyay, T., & Scherlis, W. (1998). Internet paradox: A social technology that reduces social involvement and psychological well-being? American Psychologist, 53(9), 1017-1031.
  • Lenhart, A., Ling, R., Campbell, S., & Purcell, K. (2010). Teens and mobile phones. Pew Research Center.
  • Livingstone, S., Haddon, L., Görzig, A., & Ólafsson, K. (2011). Risks and safety on the Internet: The perspective of European children: Full findings and policy implications from the EU Kids Online survey of 9-16 year olds and their parents in 25 countries. EU Kids Online, London School of Economics and Political Science.
  • Rosen, L. D., Whaling, K., Rab, S., Carrier, L. M., & Cheever, N. A. (2013). Is Facebook creating “iDisorders”? The link between clinical symptoms of psychiatric disorders and excessive online social networking. Journal of Adolescent Health, 52(5), 630-636.
  • Shapira, N. A., Goldsmith, T. D., Keck Jr, P. E., Khosla, U. M., & McElroy, S. L. (2000). Psychiatric features of individuals with problematic internet use. Journal of Affective Disorders, 57(1-3), 267-272.
  • Valkenburg, P. M., Peter, J., & Schouten, A. P. (2006). Friend networking sites and their relationship to adolescents' well-being and social self-esteem. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 9(5), 584-590.
  • Ybarra, M. L., & Mitchell, K. J. (2004). Online aggressor/targets, aggressors, and targets: A comparison of associated youth characteristics. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45(7), 1308-1316.

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is the internet good or bad for society argumentative essay

The Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research

The Pros and Cons of Social Media for Youth

A new review article looks at how social media affects well-being in youth...

Posted October 16, 2021 | Reviewed by Lybi Ma

  • Social media has both positive and negative effects on well-being in youth.
  • Social media impacts four distinct areas for youth: connections, identity, learning, and emotions.

More than 90 percent of teenagers in the U.S. have a smartphone. Access to this type of technology and social networking changes the playing field for young people who are simultaneously developing a sense of identity and new social relationships.

Leszek Czerwonka/Adobe Stock

We have certainly heard about the downside of teens and smartphones: cyberbullying, anxiety , and a misrepresented sense of body image . Research demonstrates there are some benefits too, including the ability to keep in touch with friends and loved ones – especially when the COVID-19 pandemic limited in-person social interactions.

A new systematic review published in the journal Adolescent Research Review combines the evidence from qualitative studies that investigate adolescent social media use.

The authors found, in short, that the links between adolescent well-being and social media are complicated and depend on a broad range of factors.

“Adults have always been concerned about how the latest technology will harm children,” said Amanda Purington, director of evaluation and research for ACT for Youth in the BCTR and a doctoral candidate in Cornell’s Social Media Lab. “This goes back to radio programs, comic books, novels – you name it, adults were worried about it. The same is now true for social media. And yes, there are concerns – there are many potential risks and harms. But there are potential benefits, too.”

Reviewing 19 studies of young people ages 11 to 20, the authors identified four major themes related to social media and well-being that ultimately affected aspects of young people’s mental health and sense of self.

The first theme, connections, describes how social media either supports or hinders young people’s relationships with their peers, friends, and family. The studies in the review provided plenty of examples of ways that social media helped youth build connections with others. Participants reported that social media helped to create intimacy with friends and could improve popularity. Youth who said they were shy reported having an easier time making friends through social media. Studies also found social media was useful in keeping in touch with family and friends who live far away and allowing groups to communicate in masse. In seven papers, participants identified social media as a source of support and reassurance.

In 13 of the papers, youth reported that social media also harmed their connections with others. They provided examples of bullying and threats and an atmosphere of criticism and negativity during social media interactions. Youth cited the anonymity of social media as part of the problem, as well as miscommunication that can occur online.

Study participants also reported a feeling of disconnection associated with relationships on social media. Some youth felt rejected or left out when their social media posts did not receive the feedback they expected. Others reported feeling frustrated, lonely , or paranoid about being left out.

The second theme, identity, describes how adolescents are supported or frustrated on social media in trying to develop their identities.

Youth in many of the studies described how social media helped them to “come out of their shells” and express their true identities. They reported liking the ability to write and edit their thoughts and use images to express themselves. They reported that feedback they received on social media helped to bolster their self-confidence and they reported enjoying the ability to look back on memories to keep track of how their identity changed over time.

In eight studies, youth described ways that social media led to inauthentic representations of themselves. They felt suspicious that others would use photo editing to disguise their identities and complained about how easy it was to deliver communications slyly, rather than with the honesty required in face-to-face communication. They also felt self-conscious about posting selfies, and reported that the feedback they received would affect their feelings of self-worth .

The third theme, learning, describes how social media use supports or hinders education . In many studies, participants reported how social media helped to broaden their perspectives and expose them to new ideas and topics. Many youths specifically cited exposure to political and social movements, such as Black Lives Matter.

is the internet good or bad for society argumentative essay

On the flip side, youth in five studies reported that social media interfered with their education. They said that phone notifications and the pressure to constantly check in on social media distracted them from their studies. Participants reported that they found it difficult to spend quiet time alone without checking their phones. Others said the 24-7 nature of social media kept them up too late at night, making it difficult to get up for school the next day.

The fourth theme, emotions, describes the ways that social media impacts young people’s emotional experiences in both positive and negative ways. In 11 papers, participants reported that social media had a positive effect on their emotions. Some reported it improved their mood, helped them to feel excited, and often prompted laughter . (Think funny animal videos.) Others reported that social media helped to alleviate negative moods, including annoyance, anger , and boredom . They described logging onto social media as a form of stress management .

But in nearly all of the papers included in the review, participants said social media was a source of worry and pressure. Participants expressed concern about judgment from their peers. They often felt embarrassed about how they looked in images. Many participants expressed worry that they were addicted to social media. Others fretted about leaving a digital footprint that would affect them later in life. Many participants reported experiencing pressure to constantly respond and stay connected on social media. And a smaller number of participants reported feeling disturbed by encountering troubling content, such as self-harm and seeing former partners in new relationships.

“As this review article highlights, social media provides spaces for adolescents to work on some of the central developmental tasks of their age, such as forming deeper connections with peers and exploring identity,” Purington said. “I believe the key is to help youth maximize these benefits while minimizing risks, and we can do this by educating youth about how to use social media in ways that are positive, safe, and prosocial.”

The take-home message: The body of evidence on social media and well-being paints a complicated picture of how this new technology is affecting youth. While there are certainly benefits when young people use social media, there is also a broad range of pressures and negative consequences.

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Argumentative Essay

Argumentative Essay About Technology

Last updated on: Apr 25, 2024

Make Your Argumentative Essay About Technology Unbeatable: Examples and Tips

By: Barbara P.

15 min read

Reviewed By: Melisa C.

Published on: Mar 9, 2023

argumentative essay about technology

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the task of writing an argumentative essay about technology? Don't worry – you're not alone. 

Technology is a vast and rapidly evolving field, making it a challenging topic to tackle. But fear not!  With the right structure, examples, and tips, you'll be equipped to create a persuasive and captivating essay that will impress your readers.

In this blog, we're here to guide you through the process, providing you with engaging examples and essential guidelines. With our help, you'll be able to create an argument that is both persuasive and well-supported by evidence.

So read on and make sure your argumentative essay about technology is unbeatable! 

argumentative essay about technology

On this Page

How to Write an Argumentative Essay About Technology?

Now you know what argumentative essays about technology are and why they're important? 

Let's look at how to write a compelling argument. 

Pick a Title

The title of your essay should capture the attention of your reader and summarize the main points of your argument. 

Think carefully about how you want to frame your argument in order to create an effective title. It should be short and catchy, but also accurately reflect the main arguments or ideas in your essay. 

Form an Outline 

After deciding on a title for your essay, it’s important to form an outline of the key points and arguments you will make in each paragraph. This will help keep you organized during the writing process and ensure that all of your ideas are connected. 

Make sure there is good flow between each section so that readers can follow along easily. 

Here is an outline template for argumentative essay about technology:

Write an Introduction 

Your introduction is where you set up the context for your essay and explain what it is that you will be arguing throughout the rest of the text. 

Include relevant background information, as well as any interesting facts or anecdotes that could help engage readers from the beginning. 

Be sure to end with a thesis statement that clearly lays out which side you are taking in this debate and what evidence will be used to support it.

Write Body Paragraphs 

Your body paragraphs are where most of your research comes into play! 

Ensure these paragraphs contain detailed evidence from reliable sources that supports each point being made in each paragraph. 

Additionally, be sure to use transition words throughout these sections so that readers can follow along easily from one point to another.  

Write a Conclusion

Your conclusion should briefly outline the key points and evidence used throughout your paper. While reiterating why this particular topic is so important and relevant today. 

Your conclusion should leave readers with something thought-provoking! 

Perhaps something they hadn’t considered before rather than just summarizing everything they have already read in previous paragraphs.

Looking for guidance on crafting powerful arguments? Look no further than our argumentative essay guide! 

Check out this informative video to learn how to construct a persuasive argumentative essay!

Examples of Argumentative Essay About Technology

Now that you know how to write an argumentative essay about technology, let's look at some examples.

These examples will help you get a better understanding of the argumentative essay structure and what types of arguments you can make. 

Argumentative Essay About Advantages and Disadvantages of Technology

Let’s take a look:

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Argumentative Essay On Technology And Society

Here is a short argumentative essay on technology and society: 

Example of a Research-Based Argumentative Essay About Technology

Argumentative essay examples are a great way to gain a better understanding of how technology is affecting our lives - both positively and negatively. 

To help illustrate this argument, this essay will look at the evidence for an argumentative essay about technology.

Here are some additional examples for you to get inspired!

Argumentative Essay About Technology And Social Media

Argumentative Essay About Technology In Education

Argumentative Essay About Technology A Friend Or A Foe

Argumentative Essay About Technology Make Us Alone

Is Technology Good Or Bad Argumentative Essay

5 Paragraph Argumentative Essay About Technology

If you're searching for the determination to create a persuasive essay, our blog of argumentative essay examples is just what you need!

Good Argumentative Essay About Technology Topics

When writing argumentative essays about technology, it's important to identify a topic that is relevant and argumentative.

Argumentative Essay About Technology Topics -

The following are some good argumentative essay topics related to technology: 

  • Will AI bring more benefits or risks to society?
  • Is social media a positive or negative influence on society?
  • How can individuals and organizations better protect themselves from cyber threats?
  • Should individuals have more control over their personal data online?
  • Will automation lead to mass unemployment or create new job opportunities?
  • Is VR technology more beneficial for entertainment or educational purposes?
  • Should governments have the authority to regulate and censor online content?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of widespread 5G implementation?
  • Is the use of biometric data for identification and security purposes ethical?
  • How can technology be effectively integrated into classrooms to enhance learning outcomes?

Want to write an essay that will grab your readers' attention? Explore our blog for more thrilling argumentative essay topics !

Summarizing it all,  argumentative essay examples about technology can help to illustrate the argument for or against its use in our lives. By exploring various argumentative essay topics related to technology, you can gain a better understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of its use. 

So, take a look at the argumentative essay topics provided above and create your argumentative essay today! 

And if you are still seeking help with your argumentative essay, contact our essay writer today!

Our argumentative essay writer has the knowledge and experience to write the best argumentative essay for you. 

So request “ write my paper ” today and we guarantee that your essay will be well-structured, argumentative, and insightful. 

So don't hesitate - to contact our argumentative essay writing service today! 

Take your writing to the next level with our essay writer AI . It's simple, it's easy, and it'll help you write better essays.

Barbara P.

Literature, Marketing

Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.

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Technology pros and cons: is technology good or bad for society?

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Find out what are the main the pros and cons of technology. We discuss the history, importance and role of technology, as well as its impact on society. Is technological progress good or is it becoming a threat to us? Vote in our poll and debate (see below)

Is technology good for society? A brief history

The impact of technology on society is undeniable. Technology and science have played a central role in human history and help shape entire civilizations. Technological progress was key for the emergence and downfall of empires. The development of hunting and farming tools allowed our ancestors to dominate other hominid species. The invention of the wheel and writing, as well as the introduction of metal tools and weapons were other landmarks in the history of technology . Many successive civilizations have contributed to the world's advancement. Often the development of technology also helped these societies to dominate militarily , politically, and economically their neighbors, as well as increase the welfare of their citizens.

The Egyptians invented many farming, medical and construction technologies. The Mesopotamians are credited for introducing irrigation and drainage systems, as well as sophisticated mud-brick and stone architecture techniques. Greeks were responsible for many inventions, such as the watermill, and the improvement on many existing technologies. Still today Greek mathematicians, engeneers and philosophers are recognised as fundamental to the history of human thought and technology. The Romans brought technology to a new level, and their monumental amphitheatres, aqueducts, bridges, harbours, dams and public baths help them dominate the Western world for centuries. Ancient Indian civilizations are credited for developing good understanding of seafaring, sanitation and hydrological technologies.  Chinese discoveries include paper, matches, the cross-bow, seismological detectors, the wheelbarrow, the suspension bridge and the compass, among others. 

During the Middle Ages architecture, navigation, papermaking and military technologies were developed. The Arab conquest of the Iberian Peninsula helped to introduce Europe to many technological advances developed in the east. The Renaissance and the Age of Explorations also demonstrated how innovation shaped societies. Research and inventions were put into practice. The use of artillery, new cranes and medical techniques marked a beginning of a scientific revolution. The Portuguese and Spanish discoveries, were enabled by technological progress but also help connecting different civilization which accelerated the spread of innovation. The industrial revolution brought the steam engine and developments in mining, metalurgy, manufacturing and transport. Since the 19th century, science and technology have evolved even faster. The 20th century brought the expansion of electrification and communication technologies, mass industrial production, electronic computing, nuclear technology and space exploration among others. It also demonstrated the devastating power of some of the technologies developed by humans. The weapons developed during that century, including the weapons of mass destruction, caused the deaths of millions.

The 21st century seems to have accelerated even faster these processes and intensified the impact of technology on society. Technology colleges such as MIT and Stanford have help accelerate scientific discovery. Genetic engineering, nanotechnology, 3D printing, wireless powered devices, augmented reality, articifical intelligence, drones , quantum computers and superconductivity are among the many new technologies we are witnessing today. But what come next? Can technology continue to help our lives or is it becoming a real threat to us? Can we keep scientific progress under control or will technology control our lives? Let's discuss the advantages and disadvantages or technology.

Pros and cons of technology

Pros of technological progress

  • Thanks to technological progress humans live longer and much more comfortable lives. The medical advancements have helped us develop vaccines and treatment for diseases which were previously lethal. Giving birth is not as dangerous as it used to be. Technological progress has allowed develop new techniques for diagnosis and mitigation of diseases and other conditions. Scientific research has improved our understanding of nutrition and contributed to healthier lifestyles. 
  • Technology has allowed humans to travel faster and trade goods all over the world. Crossing the Atlantic was historically an adventure that would take weeks. Now in just a few hours you can travel from New York to London or Paris . Thanks to technology we can have holidays in remote locations and capture these moments through pictures. We can now buy and consume goods produced far away. In the same supermarket you can find French cheeses, South African wines, Spanish olive oils, Brazilian coffees, and Japanese fish. 
  • Without technology we would still be nomads hunting and gathering fruits and vegetables.  Industrial societies heavily rely on technological progress. We can feed a fast growing world population thanks to the continuous innovation in production techniques. New inventions help foster the production, storage, treatment and transportation of goods. Societies which invest in research and development have a competitive edge and thrive. The people in technologically advanced societies live more comfortable lives. 
  • Genetically modified foods  (GMO) may help fight hunger and ensure that world population continues to be fed. Genetic modification techniques contribute to produce more food and to maintain agricultural production at affordable prices. 
  • The Internet, computers and mobile phones illustrate the role of technology in improving society. Efficiency has skyrocketed thanks to these inventions. Our work and social lives have been transformed. People can now work from home and collaborate with teams located in other towns, countries or even continents. We can keep a fluid communication and relationship with friends and family living abroad. News of events cross the globe in seconds. Social netwoks such as facebook and twitter are extremely useful. Thanks to technology grandparents get to see and chat with their grandchildren much more often. People today get to meet others sharing similar hobbies or interests.
  • Thanks to new technologies, alternative forms of entertainment and art have developed during the last century. Photography, radio, movies, television shows, music and video games occupy a central spot in people's lives. There are new forms of entertainment at our doorstep, such as virtual reality . Additionally, IT is facilitating the work of creators and help increase the quality of entertainment.
  • The importance of technology in the delopment of renewable energies  is evident. Without technological progress it would be difficult to envisage a green future in which the problem of climate change could be kept under control. Scientific advancements are making electric cars more affordable and enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of solar and eolic energy, as well as that hydropower .

Cons and risks of technology

  • Technology is altering our lifestyle and will alter the cognitive and social development of current and future generations. There are many different ways in which the evolution of technology and society are connected. Technological innovation has changed our lives. Computers , smartphones and the internet have strongly affected how we interact with other people. Many claim that they are dehumanizing our lives and making us more solitary people. Technology may be also facilitating cultural colonialism and reducing diversity. Today, children play less with other children and spend much of their time watching videos in their tablets and playing video games. People are doing less physical exercise than their ancestors. We are becoming increasingly detached from nature and attached to technological gadgets. 
  • Human cloning technology is a reality and in addition to some obvious advantages, human cloning brings some risks. For instance it could create worrisome divides in society between those genetically divided to be smarter or physically more attractive and the rest. Human cloning will be difficult to regulate and will bring concerns regarding its interference with nature and religious beliefs. 
  • Weaponization of viruses . For instance, viruses such as Ebola or AIDS could be transformed into a virus that could be transmitted through the air. This could endanger or even cause the extinction of the the human race . Lifeforms can be created through genetic manipulation. With techonological progress the techniques to create or manipulate lifeforms will be increasingly accessible to us. Potentially even high school children will be able to create life in science experiments. Genomes of infectious diseases will be available to download from the internet. Terrorists, psychopaths and other criminals will have the capacity to use genetic manipulation to harm or threaten others. 
  • Similarly, scientific experimentation might create enormous dangers for society. Risky experiments may go wrong . Researchers are currently mutating microorganism in order to find cures to diseases. By accident these diseases could escape the laboratory and spread. Experiments with particle accelerators, such as the Large Hadron Collider , entail some serious risks. Some scientists even claimed that humans could create a black hole that could destroy Earth. 
  • Enrichment of uranium is becoming an increasingly cheaper process. Traditionally the infrastructure required to produce nuclear power  and build nuclear bombs was extremely expensive. Thanks to technological progress and the use of laser beams to separate U-235 and U-238, in the not so distant future, people might be able to enrich uranium home. Nuclear weapons in the hands of the wrong organizations or individuals could create enormous unrest in the world population and a serious security threat. 
  • Technological progress is to be blamed for the negative effects of global warming and climate change . The role of technology fostering economic progress is difficult to deny. However, at the same time the generation of enegy necessary to the increased production and transportation of goods, for instance through combustion engines and thermoelectric generators, has produced an increased in the emission and concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
  • Technology can be also used as an undesirable tool of control . For instance, scientists are working to develop brain scanning machines which could allow read a person's thoughts. This would have great benefits as could allow people with disabilities or people having suffered brain damage to communicate. Moreover if through a magnetic resoncance we could enquire criminals and terrorist we could also prevent harm for society. Similarly, thanks to advanced IT, it is possible to analyse the communications of millions of people and identify potential crimes and wrongdoers. Unfortunately, there is a very real possibility that technology will end up used by some governments in a draconian way. A dystopian future where people are constantly inquisitorially surveilled by a Big Brother as in Orwell's science fiction classic 1984.

What do you think, is technology good or bad? Is technological progress out of control? Will the rest of the 21st century see the importance of technology reduced?

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The Internet: Good or Bad for Society?

Approximately 70 percent of us adults now characterize the web as good for society, but that's down six points from 2014, according to the pew research center..

Pcmag Staff

For some younger adults, the internet has been in their lives since the beginning, but others can remember a time before Google, Netflix, Facebook, and Amazon. The internet enhances our lives every day but, as with many technological breakthroughs, there are downsides, including malware , fake news, and cyberbullying.

Pew Research Center

Those who viewed societal impacts as positive pointed to easy access to information and the ability to stay in touch with friends and family.

Results were more positive when respondents were asked if the internet had been good for them personally; 88 percent agreed, down 2 percent from 2014.

One redeeming data point for the global network is that consumers who decry the internet are about evenly split as to whether it's a mixed blessing or a bad thing. That's actually a relative improvement versus 2014. Consumers were less likely to report seeing both the good and bad of the online world back then.

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is the internet good or bad for society argumentative essay

Social Media: Beneficial or Harmful? Essay

It is important to note that social media is a core element of the internet, and it reshaped how a modern human perceives information, communicates, socializes, and learns about the outside world. It became a primary lens through which one interacts with others, and thus, it is critical to properly evaluate whether or not such a state of affairs is beneficial or harmful to human wellbeing. The given assessment argues that social media, not the internet, is harmful to society and humanity in general because it reshapes the social fabric, causes loss of reason, logic, attentiveness, and memory, violates individual rights of all people as well as proliferates misinformation, which means that social media’s harms heavily outweigh its benefits.

Firstly, in order to fairly and properly assess the benefits or harms of social media, the latter should be distinguished from the internet. For example, it is stated that “the notion that the Internet is bad for you seems premised on the idea that the Internet is one thing—a monolith” (Goldsmith 597). In other words, the internet is not one thing but rather a collection of vastly different forms of communication, presentation, information exchange, entertainment, interactions, and other functions. Therefore, the internet is a source of many positive aspects of modernity because it not only brings more informational democracy but also prevents restriction and control of the free exchange of knowledge. However, the question is not about the internet as a whole but rather social media. Unlike the internet, which brings a number of benefits, which far outweigh the harms, social media does not bring a similar imbalance in favor of good. Social media was designed to simplify socialization and communication online, but the outcome is unchecked control of the flow of conversation in favor of a specific agenda, profit, and violation of individual rights.

Secondly, not all internet elements utilize artificial intelligence as extensively as social media platforms. The use of AI allows such companies to fine-tune one typology of information consumed, which means that it is social media that makes decisions for its users. While the internet is a library of knowledge, where a person makes a clear choice on what to read, watch, listen to, or interact with, social media uses AI and complex algorithms to influence its user. The underlying business model of all social media platforms is to learn about its user as much as possible and profit from them in a targeted manner. Such a design is not an inherent feature of the internet, which is not constrained to be profitable in this manner since many websites operate through subscriptions, direct sales, or other means. When it comes to such dangers, AI itself can also be a problem. It is stated that “there are indeed concerns about the near-term future of AI —algorithmic traders crashing the economy, or sensitive power grids overreacting to fluctuations and shutting down electricity for large swaths of the population” (Littman 314). In other words, social media’s extensive use of AI in combination with its problematic business model creates a host of issues that are not attributable to the internet.

Thirdly, in addition to social media-specific problems, they are also linked to harms associated with both devices and the internet in general. As stated before, the internet has its harms and benefits, but the latter usually outweighs the former. Similarly, devices come with harms as well as benefits, where the balance is tilted towards the positive aspects. However, not only social media has its inherent design flaws, but it also has problems with devices and the internet in general, which makes their harms far more abundant than benefits. For example, it is stated that “while our phones offer convenience and diversion, they also breed anxiety” (Carr 582). In addition, “as the brain grows dependent on the technology, the research suggests, the intellect weakens,” and “the division of attention impedes reasoning and performance” (Carr 583). Therefore, these device-related problems are multiplied a hundredfold by the fact that social media amplifies distraction and attention division through notifications. Social media is not a highly intellect-strengthening medium either, which further complicates the dependence factor.

Fourthly, social media companies are not properly regulated, and the nature of the business heavily favors oligopoly rather than a proper competitive environment because people want to have a unified platform for communication and audience-building. Therefore, the industry generates highly powerful companies with unchecked capabilities, where the national and even international discourse takes place exclusively on such mediums. For example, one cannot deny the influence of Twitter or Facebook as drivers of political or social discourse. Therefore, there is a conflict of interest among such big tech companies in regards to providing an open and fair platform versus making a profit, and the decision is clearly made in favor of the latter. The very structure of the business model of social media is to influence users to buy the advertisers’ products or services, and thus, it cannot be a just and fair place for discussion on important subjects by definition. Such a state of affairs threatens the fabric of society whether or not these companies intend to do so.

Fifthly, the conflict of interest described in the previous section brings its biggest harm when it comes to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, where private enterprises are not obliged to protect the freedom of speech and expression. Since the national and international discourse and communication are taking the place of social media, where the First Amendment is mandatory to have, these platforms are unable, unwilling, and not obliged to provide it. One can easily observe how such companies can become politically tilted towards one agenda over the other, where accounts of even the most influential individuals can be banned because they violated the terms of service of the company. In other words, a company’s rules override the Constitutional rules. It is important to note that only a better speech can be an answer to a bad speech and not a removal of that voice.

Sixthly, social media platforms are heavily engaged in data collection and privacy violations, which was demonstrated by well-known scandals and criticisms. Once again, the business model of social media companies is structured in such a manner that their primary customers are not users but advertisers. A former group is a form of product or service being sold to advertisers, which means that social media advances surveillance capitalism at its core. In a century where the right to privacy is constantly becoming a problem due to governmental antiterrorism interests, social media further threatens these fundamental rights. The problem is even more dangerous when one considers the ever-increasing cyber threat proliferation, which means a breach of security in a social media company endangers all of its users.

Seventhly, social media does not have a well-structured method of combatting misinformation since its primary incentive is to promote engagement and grab attention. Social media companies are conflicted between ensuring the accuracy of the information on their platform and boosting the interactivity with their users. Such companies want to have interesting pieces of information, which are better provided by misinformation since the truth is always more complex and intricate. Therefore, one can see how social media can become a breeding ground for people with agenda of public deception. In addition, these platforms would not have the capability to ensure the accuracy of information even if they were incentivized somehow. Public panic and political polarization are other phenomena that accompany social networks, and the catalyst for these occurrences is information received both directly by the subject and disseminated using modern social communication technologies.

In conclusion, social media is not the internet, and its harms are far more extensive than the latter because it affects memory, attention, and reason and violates individual rights for privacy, free expression, and fairness in discourse, as well as proliferates misinformation. In addition, social media inherits inherent problems associated with modern devices and the internet in general, which further compounds its harm. Therefore, the effects of social media hurt the social fabric by pretending that it serves its users while its actual customers are advertisers. It also pretends to provide an open and free platform for communication while its very business model implies targeted influence on the user’s preferences. The use of AI also adds to all of the concerns related to artificial intelligence safety.

Works Cited

Carr, Nicholas. “How Smartphones Hijack Our Minds.” They Say/I Say , edited by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein, W.W. Norton & Norton Company, 2021, pp. 582-596.

Goldsmith, Kenneth. “Go Ahead: Waste Time on the Internet.” They Say/I Say , edited by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein, W.W. Norton & Norton Company, 2021, pp. 597-602.

Littman, Michael. “Rise of the Machines” Is Not a Likely Future.” They Say/I Say , edited by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein, W.W. Norton & Norton Company, 2021, pp. 311-314.

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IvyPanda. (2022, July 2). Social Media: Beneficial or Harmful?

"Social Media: Beneficial or Harmful?" IvyPanda , 2 July 2022,

IvyPanda . (2022) 'Social Media: Beneficial or Harmful'. 2 July.

IvyPanda . 2022. "Social Media: Beneficial or Harmful?" July 2, 2022.

1. IvyPanda . "Social Media: Beneficial or Harmful?" July 2, 2022.


IvyPanda . "Social Media: Beneficial or Harmful?" July 2, 2022.

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What Students Are Saying About Tech in the Classroom

Does technology help students be more organized, efficient and prepared for the future? Or is it just a distraction?

An illustration of a large open laptop computer with many teeth, biting down on a small schoolhouse.

By The Learning Network

Is there a problem with screens in schools?

We invited students to weigh in on that question in our Picture Prompt Tech in the Classroom , which was based on an Opinion essay arguing that we should “get tech out of the classroom before it’s too late.”

Is there too much tech in your school day? — we asked students. Would you prefer more screen-free time while you are learning, or even during lunch or free periods?

Below, they share the good, the bad and the ugly about technology use in school.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the conversation on our writing prompts this week!

Please note: Student comments have been lightly edited for length.

Some students saw the value of technology in schools, including its ability to prepare students for the future.

I believe that technology in the classroom is a good thing when it is properly moderated. I think completely taking away screens from a student will not help them develop computer skills which they will most likely need in a world like ours, where most of everything is online. Sometimes phones cannot get the job done, and computers will be needed. If schools completely remove devices from the curriculum, then students will be completely clueless when they take classes involving a computer. Too much screen time can be bad for the student, but if it is well moderated, then screen time won’t be an issue.

— Saheed, GMS

I personally do not mind the amount of technology in the classroom. I personally find typing to be a lot easier instead of writing. On top of that, this amount of technology is used in adults’ day to day lives, too. Writing has become less and less relevant for everyone, because most jobs require a computer nowadays. So I think it’s actually better to have the amount of technology we do in the classroom.

— Timothy, Greenbelt Middle

They said, even though there might be down sides, the good outweighs the bad.

Screens in the classroom allows students to complete work in a more organized manner and use online resources to help them learn. It helps teachers to be able to make sure students turn work in before a certain time. However, having screens in the classroom raises students overall screen time which is bad for their eye health and sleep.

— Emily, Greenbelt Middle

I believe that computers should definitely be used at school because it has more pros than cons. They help with everything. The only problem with them is the people using them. The people using them are often misusing them and not charging them.

— Deegan, California

And they argued that tech is so entrenched in the student experience that taking it away would cause a lot of disruption.

There are no problems with screens in school. I believe without screens, school would be much less productive, produce so much waste of paper, and assignments would be lost a lot. Also when I have paper homework, which is almost never, almost every time I get it I forget because everything is on the iPad. This is important because if there is any change in the iPads we use, it’ll affect everyone drastically. Also it would just be really annoying to get used to a whole new thing.

— August, GBW

But another contingent of students said, “There is definitely a problem with screens in school.” They called them a distraction.

There is definitely a problem with screens in school. While regular technology use in school is highly efficient and much more convenient than using textbooks and paper, I still feel like using technology as the main method for learning is detrimental. There are plenty of students in my classes who are hiding behind their iPads to play games or go on their phones rather than utilizing their technology to enhance their learning experience. So in turn, I think we need to minimize (but not completely take away) the prominence of tech in our classrooms. This matters because it’s so important for students to learn how to completely pay attention and focus in on one task so that they are prepared for the moments in life where they don’t get the opportunity to look at their phone if they’re bored or to text their friends. Trust me, this may seem like I’m one hundred percent anti-phones but the truth is I love my phone and am somewhat addicted to it, so I realize that it’s a major distraction for myself in the classroom. Moreover, staring at an iPad screen for 7 hours a day puts significant strain on our eyes, so for the sake of our health and our attention spans, we need to minimize tech use in school.

— Mary, Glenbard West High School

Tech inside classrooms has had many positive effects and many negative effects. Without technology, it would take forever to find sources/information and it would also take ages to do complex things. With technology, people can easily find information and they can easily do many things but the big downside is that they can easily just search up games and get distracted. On one side, it has provided many different changes to students so they can learn in a fun and entertaining way but in another, people are mostly on their phones scrolling through YouTube or Instagram. Many people don’t have control over their body and have a big urge to go on their cellphones.

— Srikanth, Greenbelt Middle School

In my opinion, yes there is a problem with screens in schools. It distracts kids from focusing on their work. Many students are always on their phone during class, and it is disrespectful as well as sad for them. They will not be able to learn the material that is being taught. Personally, I think that screens should be reduced in class, but I do not think that is possible. Whenever a teacher takes away someone’s phone, they get very mad and say that it is their right to have their phone. In these cases it is very confusing on how to act for the teacher!

— Kadambari, gms

Some reported that their peers use technology to cheat.

It might be a problem depending on what people are doing. If it is used for school, like typing an essay, working on homework, or checking your grades it’s okay, but I know people who abuse this privilege. They go onto YouTube and watch things, listen to music when they aren’t supposed to, and play games. Many people cheat to the point where it takes forever to start a test because people don’t close out their tabs. It helps to be able to do these ‘Quick Writes’ as we call them in my ELA class because I can write faster (I know it’s called typing). It’s harder to access things because of the restriction because people mess around so they block so many useful websites and words from our computer. I like to type on the computer, but I feel people abuse this privilege too much.

— Nina, California

When the teachers assign tests on computers, sometimes teachers have to lock students’ screens to make sure they’re not cheating. Sometimes they do it on paper and they try to cheat while hiding their phones in their laps. And then if another student sees them doing that, they will tell and the student who would have the phone out could start a big argument.

— Taylor, Huntington Beach

Several lamented the sheer number of hours teenagers spend in front of screens.

I feel that we have become too comfortable with using screens for nearly every lesson in school, because it has gotten to the point where we are spending upwards of 4 hours on our laptops in school alone. I understand that it would be hard to switch back to using journals and worksheets, but it would be very beneficial for kids if we did.

— Chase, school

I think we should reduce the tech a little just because most students are going straight to screens when they get home, after a full day of screens … Although I know this would be very difficult to do because everything in the world now seems to go online.

— Jaydin, California

And they even worried about their handwriting in a world full of typing.

I think technology in a class is very helpful, but I think that we should incorporate more writing. Since the pandemic, most of the work has been online and it never gave students the opportunity to write as much. When we came back from lockdown, I almost forgot how to write with a pencil. My handwriting was very different. And now we don’t get much time to write with our hands so I think we should have fewer screens.

— Eric, Greenbelt

Some students said that less time spent on screens in school would give them a break from the always-on digital culture they live in.

Although typing is useful and using the internet is very useful, I think we should go back to how it was about 20-40 years ago when all people used the computer for was to type an essay. Drama didn’t get spread in a millisecond, we didn’t have to worry as much about stereotypes. Now all kids want to do is text each other and watch videos. I’m well aware that I have fallen into this trap and I want out, but our lives revolve around technology. You can’t get away from it. I know this is about schools not using technology, which the world without it would be impossible now, but life would be so much simpler again.

— Ivy, Huntington Beach, CA

I will say that my phone is usually always with me during school hours, but I don’t use it all the time. I may check the time or play a short game as a brain break. But I do see some people absolutely glued to their phones during class time, and it’s honestly embarrassing. You really can’t go without your phone for an hour?? It’s almost like an addiction at this point. I understand using your phone to quickly distract yourself; I do it too. And I also think it’s okay to have your phone/electronic during lunch time or free periods. But using it to the point that you can’t properly pay attention in class is just embarrassing. So, in summary, I do think that schools are having a problem with screens.

— Allison, Greenbelt Middle School

And they named classes in which they think screens do and do not have a place.

I feel like for classes for younger kids, technology is definitely not good. Kids should be playing, using their hands, and actually experiencing things instead of being on tablets in kindergarten. I think using computers in school is good though. It’s a lot more efficient, and we live in a society where fast and efficient things are the trend.

— sarah, maryland

I think screens have their place, and will always have their place, in schools and education. The capabilities of computers will always surpass anything else, and they should not be banned from school environments. Still, I have one exception: English class. Other than final drafts of essays, everything in English should be on paper. You can formulate ideas better and minimize outside influence on your thinking.

— Addie, The Potomac School

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