EFFECTS OF TECHNOLOGY ON THE NiGERIAN YOUTH
Technology as a whole has good and bad effects on the Nigerian Youth of today. Technology has helped make the erstwhile impossible become possible. Otherwise difficult tasks have become faster and easier to accomplish. It’s both a boon and a bane. Things such as posting of letters, getting information (research), getting in touch with people within and outside the country have become as easy as pressing a button or click of the “mouse”.
The internet has also made it easier to see what’s happening in other parts of the world. We know what is happening everywhere- anything from current affairs, natural disasters, politics, latest treatments or innovation in medicine, invention of electronic gadgets, astronomical discovery etc.
Internet has helped people to connect– emails for one-to-one interaction, blogs for expressing & discussing, groups for specialized discussion.
it has helped to improve welfare of people in several ways. Medical research, new drugs, organ donors, infertility treatments, unusual surgeries..we now are aware where we can go for treatment.
These Days, business is totally dependent on internet. For any company, there are offices globally. Employees connect with each other, have video conferences, have meetings on internet.
Sales and marketing is highly efficient because the world is a global village.
Online shopping is the in-thing now. It saves time & energy.
Again, people from one part of the world can order anything from a distant place.
There are many more miscellaneous benefits–tracking courier,
online reservations, online examinations, online lecture classes.
While our culture heralds the Internet as a technological wonder, there are suggestions that Internet use has a negative influence on individuals and their social skills.
For the Nigerian Youth, the negative aspects of the Internet include Internet Addiction as well as Online Risks such as exposure to sexually explicit material and online victimization such as fraud, scams and sexual soliciting.
The Internet Has Succeeded In Intensifying The Negative Effect of The Television.
Excessive Internet use is emerging as one of the more negative aspects of young people’s online activities. Excessive Internet Use Can Said To be synonymous with terms such as ‘compulsive Internet use’, ‘problematic Internet use’, ‘pathological Internet use’, ‘Internet dependence’, ‘computer addiction’ and ‘net addiction’. Internet addiction, as used here involves the continued use of the Internet to escape from negative feelings, continued use of the Internet despite the desire to stop, experience of unpleasant emotions when Internet use is impossible, thinking about the Internet constantly, and the experience of any other conflicts or self-conflicts due to Internet use. There is evidence that Internet addiction has a negative effect on academics (a drop in grades), family relations (having to hide their excessive Internet use from parents), physical health (sleep deprivation due to long hours of Internet use), mental health (depression), and finance (cost of accrued Internet expenses). Social Networks & Interactive communication applications such as chat rooms, instant messaging, e-mail, and online games have most commonly been associated with Internet addiction among Nigerian Youth.
Identified symptoms of the Internet Addiction disorder include:
(a) using the computer for pleasure, gratification, or relief from stress;
(b) feeling irritable and out of control or depressed when not using it;
(c) spending increasing amounts of time and money on hardware, software and internet-related activities;
(d) neglecting work, school, or family obligations.
the Nigerian Youth use the computer “as a tool to evade, procrastinate and escape” .
among the most vulnerable are individuals who are lonely and bored or from families where nobody is at home to relate to after school.”
It has been hypothesized that, because adolescence and young adulthood is a time of identity and relationship exploration, those who have trouble navigating through these developmental challenges are particularly vulnerable to using the Internet as a coping mechanism.
Youth with deficiencies in the ability to read, express, and elicit desired emotions may be more prone to partake in online-addiction-behaviors.
A recent sample survey found out that people in the sample who used the Internet more reported keeping up with fewer friends. They also reported spending less time talking with their families, experiencing more daily stress, and feeling more lonely and depressed. These results occurred even though “Interpersonal Communication” was their most important reason for using the Internet.
Many respondents spoke of the sense of isolation inherent in this medium and the lack of face to face contact as a contributing factor to feelings of alienation and loneliness.
It is important to note that Social Networking, online gaming and Chatting can be enjoyable leisure activities for youth, however, the excessive use of the internet and social media for general entertainment purposes decreases the quality of friendships and romantic relationships.
Online risks facing young people include exposure to sexually explicit material as well as online harassment on the Internet.
The Internet is so easily accessible these days in a blink of an eye, a “mis-click” some where can lead anyone to website that “stream” pornographic videos on the internet thus exposing children to things way beyond their age.
Exposure to sexually explicit Internet material is an important concern as there is evidence that such exposure is related to greater sexual uncertainty and more positive attitudes towards uncommitted sexual exploration among the Nigerian Youth.
Websites which showcase pornography make up more than 70% of the internet. Pre marital Sex, rapes, sexual abuse has increased. Kids at a very young age get exposed to things which they shouldn’t be at their age.
One can have multiple email addresses. People make fake addresses and misuse this independence. Kids keep on chatting with anonymous people the whole night. Their eyes are badly affected. Carpel Tunnel Syndrome is becoming too common.
Medicine has now recognized “addiction to internet” as a disease
Online harassment is when ‘threats or other offensive behaviour (not sexual soliciting) sent online to the youth or posted online about the youth for others to see’. Sexual Soliciting is when ‘requests to engage in sexual activities or sexual talk or to give personal sexual information that were unwanted or, whether wanted or not, made by an adult to younger ones.
It must be pointed out that it is not the availability of identifying information (personal info posted on social networks etc) that increases the risk for sex crimes, but rather the willingness of certain youth to respond to or partake in relationships with online strangers. It was found that youth who engaged in potentially risky online behaviours and who freely interacted with strangers online experienced significantly higher numbers of aggressive soliciting. There is also evidence that online soliciting is heightened for youth who have experienced high parental conflict, physical abuse, and/or sexual abuse.
The case of Internet Fraud or “Yahoo Yahoo” Is Also A Major Issue These Days. Most young men these days would rather be on the internet looking for would-be victims instead getting gainful employment or studying. It appears to be a means of making fast money and young people venture into it not mindful of the consequences. The image of the Nigerians as a whole has been severely damaged as people from the country are seen generally as dishonest by the international media.
The Introduction & Proliferation of sophisticated devices which enable easier access to the internet, easier connectivity to social networks & social media as well has taken this issue to unprecedented levels. Devices such as blackberries, iphones, androids, tablets, ipads, even any phone with opera mini has virtually replaced the need for social interaction, reading and other past times that used to be norms in years gone by. Blackberry users get so engrossed that its a normal thing to see them pinging on the road, on the bus, on the bike, in the lecture room etc.
This has made students deviate their attention from their studies which is their primary responsibility of getting an education, learning and studying to get good grades or even gaining admission into tertiary institutions.
Also, the working class is not left out. The sight of people receiving calls while driving is now a normality. Jobs are abandoned while the “important” goings on in the day are being updated, tweeted, pinged, etc.
I’m Sure If you’re Reading This, You Probably Are Guilty of One If Not All of The Behaviours mentioned. In Time, This Will Blow Up To Be A Major Issue.
On a light note, younger job-seekers will have skills such typing as well as data presentation on the C.Vs
Moshood Abiola Polytechnic,
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