The basic needs of human beings are considered to be food, shelter and clothing. However, in the last few years, it has become apparent that the Internet and technological tools have been added to that list. It is evident from retrospective and current research that most teenagers and even children under 13 spend a significant amount of time online either chatting or browsing (Lewin par 2).
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While no direct connection has been established, studies speculatively suggest that high levels of Internet and technology usage are responsible for increased cases of childhood obesity, low grades, poor concentration and social skills, among other negative impacts. Today, children adopt more sedentary lifestyles than their parents did. Thus, they have more chances of developing obesity. It is true that children growing up today are at greater risk for obesity than their parents.
Technology devices, such as the iPhone and tablets, undoubtedly have a lasting impact on the modern youth. Many teenagers testify to being addicted to them in more or less the same way as alcoholics are to liquor. This has weakened their ability to stay focused on academics and other important issues. Modern parents appear to have abdicated their duty as caregivers with regard to their kids, and it has become common to have parents using the TV to babysit (Warner par 7).
As a result, these children will likely become addicted to the TV, and as they grow into young adults, they will have a harder time extracting themselves from TV or Internet addiction (Norrie par 4). In addition, many young people are addicted to the social media, and, in fact, a great number swear that they do not feel as if they can live a whole day without accessing their Facebook, Twitter, and/or MySpace accounts.
Thus, it is difficult to tell when teenagers find time for some activities due to their sedentary lifestyle. For example, an individual may have a thousand friends on Facebook, but no one in reality with whom he/she can go for a walk, for example.
Today, studies have shown that many American teenagers have Internet access in their bedrooms, which they rarely use for academic pursuits. Instead, most of the time they have is used in watching YouTube videos or reading online blogs and chatting, while only a few claim to use the Internet for studies (Williams par 6).
When teens are addicted to the Internet, they tend to neglect much of what goes on around them, including, albeit not limited to, going in for sports or playing active games with their peers (Norrie par 5). Inevitably, this has resulted in high rates of teen obesity since many teens spend their time online, possibly watching movies and playing computer games, at the same time consuming on copious quantities of sugary soft drinks and unhealthy snacks, which, in the long run, have a negative effect on their health (Norrie par 3).
In the end, a teenager is used to snacking while playing games or watching videos, so he/she appears to be unable to play without having a snack or a drink. Given that many of these sugary drinks have been found to be addictive, the teen gradually becomes enslaved to a combination of hazardous indulgences.
In conclusion, it is true that children growing up today are at greater risk for obesity than their parents that were not exposed to the same hazards and had more active lifestyle. It is apparent the children in the contemporary world are adopting lifestyles that make them more predisposed to obesity.
In fact, there is no doubt that the Internet and technology in general, while providing sources of entertainment for the youths, have posed major threats that must be quickly remedied by putting up control. Otherwise, the society will have to pay the price for a sedentary unhealthy lifestyle of young generation.
Lewin, Tamar. If Your Kids Are Awake, They’re Probably Online. 2010. Web.
Norrie, David. A healthy lifestyle can reduce fatigue, boost energy. 2007. Web.
Warner, Melanie. A jolt of caffeine, by the Can. 2005. Web.
Williams, David. At home and school, kids are sedentary. 2006. Web.