Dangers of Communication Technology What can a parent do when they have a teenage son or daughter who texts while driving at 87mph? Or they were talking to an online predator? What could a parent do to prevent something from happening? Many people have cell phones and internet and there are positives but there are also dangers and because of that there are prevention strategies to protect people. There are many positives to having communication technology but at times the disadvantages are too severe to cope with.
Before being capable of coming to a decision people must first learn the background of were something is coming from.
According to Steinhauer and Holson text messaging first took off in Japan because it was much cheaper than making a phone call and since then the usage of cell phones to text message has increased. Text messaging may have first taken off in Japan for money reasons but in the United States it’s just more convenient.
In 1999, about one in three people had cell phone subscriptions compared to 91% of people in 2008 (Wilson and Stimpsonn). In a span of about nine years the use of cell phones has increased to about 9 in 10 people having cell phones which can only mean that their needed for whatever reason or its popular to have one .
In “Internet World Stats”, the population of the United States was 310,232,863 in 2010 and 77. 3% of the people had internet meaning 239,893,600 people. Although the world may not revolve around internet it is still a part of a lot of peoples’ lives.
Although this paper is about the dangers of communication technology people cannot deny that there are positives. In “Advantages and Disadvantages of the Internet” the top two advantages of the internet is communication and information.
The ability to being abled to communicate with anyone who has internet has made the earth a “global village” and it is also a “treasure trove of information” (Pakhare). More advantages to the internet are entertainment, services such as online banking, and E-commerce to handle business deals (Pakhare). People having internet can watch movies, play video games, or watch videos as well as being abled to take care of important matters such as business, pay bills, and go shopping where you can do it in the comfort of your own home which just makes peoples’ lives easier.
According to “Cell Phones and their Positive Effects on Youth” by Lisa C. Baker the positives to cell phones is communication, safety, engagement and education. Cell phones give people the ability to communicate with people over a distance like if a student needs help with homework he/she can ask a friend or say there’s an emergency, the person can just call whoever they need which just leads to helping people communicate better, education, and being safe under whatever circumstance. Now that positives are done the next thing up is the dangers of communication technology or more specifically in this paragraph, the dangers of texting.
According to “As Text Messages Fly, Danger Lurks” by Jennifer Steinhauer and Laura M. Holson in June of 2008 in the U. S. 75 billion texts were sent compared to 7. 2 billion texts in 2005. This just goes to show that people texting has increased drastically over a two year period and can lead to numerous problems like people multitasking to text while driving or while walking across the street. The problem with texting while driving is that it is a visual distraction, a manual distraction, and a cognitive distraction according to Sandy Spavone the executive director of the National Organization for Youth Safety (Elmasry).
The thing is that when driving while texting the person glances down even if they’re not going to respond, takes their hands off the wheel to text, and their taking their mind off what they are doing which could easily lead to an accident. Texting while driving has led to deaths increasing from 10. 9% to15. 8% from 1999 to 2008 but injuries have decreased from 26% to 22% and people texting while driving are twenty-three times more likely to crash( Wilson and Stimpson). An injury decrease involving accidents caused by cell phones can only mean that the accidents have become more fatal which resulted in the increase of deaths.
Texting has led to numerous deaths and why? Because it’s dangerous to text. Aside from the dangers of texting there are also dangers involving the internet, primarily child predators. Kids don’t think of the internet as something everyone sees and they write things they would never tell their parents and that’s aside from being completely trusting too (Cohen). Since online predators hunt in places like Facebook and MySpace the most vulnerable kids are easily found with their problems out there for everyone to see and they’re just too trusting in believing people are who they say they are.
First predators compliment you, they get your trust, but it’s not sexual at first but over time they push a little bit, and then fall back, then they push until it’s completely sexual and after that comes the final push: a suggestion to meet (Cohen). Predators are clever in choosing the most vulnerable kids and using what they posted to become their friend and what more could an insecure kid want, although they should know better from parents drumming it into kids’ heads about never talking to strangers, than a person who’s nice and wants to be their friend online?
To hide their identity the most common thing is lying about their age, claiming to be younger than they actually are and to hide their locations they use other peoples’ Wi-Fi connections or use proxy servers (Hoover). To hinder predators from hiding their locations people need to make sure that they have a password for their Wi-Fi connection and there’s just no way to verify someone’s the age they claim to be short of meeting the person so people need to be wary of who they meet online. Child predators are dangerous people and their choice of weapon is the internet.
Child predators are not the only people who use the internet as a weapon and they are called cyber bullies. On the internet victims of cyber bullying has no idea who the bully is and because of that they look at everyone as if they’re the enemy (Hahn). Bullies use the internet to stay anonymous and to play mind games with their victim which will ultimately lead the victims to become sick. The physical effects of cyber bullying is developing eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia, having a tendency to harm themselves, attempted suicide, and a mental state of hating who they are (Tanith).
Most people have insecurities and the bullies pick, pick, picked at their victims’ knowing full well that they were hurting their feelings. The mental effects of cyber bullying is a low self esteem, give up seeking higher appraisal, think of themselves lowly, treat others the way the bullies treat them, depression, and their anti-social (Tanith). Not only have the bullies made the victims hurt themselves physically but they also hurt the victims’ mental state which will take longer to heal than any physical wound would.
Since the internet and cell phones aren’t that safe people have come up with prevention strategies. According to Fernando Wilson and Jim Stimpson the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers has called for a ban on handheld cell phones while driving. Obviously the problem of texting while driving has attracted the notice of company owners and they’re trying to help by discouraging people from texting while driving and building cars with Bluetooth wireless technology.
To prevent a distraction while driving people need to start using hands-free devices, always focus on driving, and expect the unexpected (“Driver”). All people have to do is pay attention to what you are doing like it’s your favorite subject in the world and to just not get distracted because the consequence is an accident. According to “How to Stop Internet Predators” to protect children from child predators people need to know how internet predators work, install parental control software in all computers, teach children how to avoid them, and to create awareness.
If these things go undone children are unsafe in their own homes while being on the internet because their parents don’t know a thing about how to protect them. Samantha Hahn states in her Congressional testimony that bullying experiences used to be swept under the rug but now there’s state laws on bullying that require all the schools to have an anti-bullying policy and consequences for bullies. Now that schools have consequences for bullies hopefully that will discourage other people from becoming bullies and mentally scarring their victims.
What a parent can do when they have a teenage son or daughter who texts while driving is talk to them, tell them what could happen, and buy him/her a Bluetooth device. If their kid is talking to an online predator alert the police and hopefully they’ll be abled to catch him/her. What a parent can do to prevent something from happening is learn about what you’re dealing with and create awareness while their kids but it’s not always going to be enough.
Communication technology has its ups and downs but it would seem that the disadvantages have too many consequences that hit a little too close to home. The best possible way to help is to create awareness and report things that may be suspicious and who knows maybe soon after child predators will give up because no one falls for their tricks, bullies have no victims because people ignore them, and everyone has a Bluetooth device to avoid accidents.