January 30, 2008

Technology – We All Need It

By Eric Yuan
4-H Youth Mentor

In today’s modern world the use of technology is simply unavoidable in our daily lives. Throughout our day we use technology in one form or another. Sometimes youth have an unhealthy obsession with technology and some have said it corrupts today’s youth with the violence in games and access to other negative influences available via the Internet. Although there are negatives of technology, positive aspects of technology are prevalent and need to be reinforced for its’ positive aspects. Sure, technology may be detrimental if used unwisely or in excess; however, technology can benefit youth in countless ways and is an integral part of their development as an individual.

Use of the Internet is not all simply for fun and games. Exploring the Internet can result in many positive benefits for today’s youth. Not only does the Internet allow youth to broaden their perspective of the world, it keeps youth informed on current events and allows for them to learn about events in our past, present, and what is possible in the future. macbook
Online competitions, such as LifeSmarts, allow youth to not only learn and compete about technology, but also reinforce the idea of tactful consumerism and emphasize the importance of health and environmental protection. The Internet is also an invaluable tool for networking. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Elluminate make it easy to organize any event – from parties, to meetings, to national conferences. The Internet is the ultimate tool for amalgamating resources and people in order to accomplish a goal.

Youth who familiarize themselves with technology at a young age are more likely to have an advantage academically. Today, most classes use the computer or Internet at some point during the course. Furthermore, throughout middle school and high school students often use Microsoft PowerPoint for a class presentation or Excel spreadsheet for vast mathematical calculations or to compile and sort information. Even basic research predominantly relies on Internet search engines such as Google or Yahoo. To highlight the importance of technology even more, colleges utilize computers for SAT registration, marketing colleges, and the application process. It is imperative that all of today’s youth familiarize themselves with computers and the multitude of applications and resources available through the Internet because the amount of technology used in every facet of our lives will only be augmented in the future. The use of computers and the Internet are not for youth alone. Adults are also encouraged to utilize the tools provided by computers and incorporate them into their daily lives. Everyone can benefit from incorporating technology into his or her lives.

Although the Internet certainly has the ability to be a powerful tool we must all keep in mind that the Internet can contain inaccurate and unreliable information causing adverse effects on those who rely on it. These days it is possible for anyone to start their own website and post information on the web. To learn more about the uses of the Internet and Internet safety please contact the Pinellas County Extension Office (727-582-2215) or

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