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Essay 4


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  • 1. Moore1Skylar MooreEnglish 101Professor Alicia BoltonJuly 17 2012 Perspectives of the Digital World Maggie Cutler made it obvious in the 2001 article “Whodunit-The Media” that childrenare affected by the worldwide media, but mostly their lives at home in a positive or negative waydepending on position. Cutler uses examples of studies to prove her point, but testifies that saidstudies were not reliable as there are too many factors in real life that cannot be duplicated in thestudies. Like Cutler, Jonathan Gruber reviews several studies in the eBook, “Problems OfDisadvantaged Youth: An Economic Perspective” that define many factors in children’s livesthat do not involve technology as the base of the problem.Based on another study, the abstract of“Usual And Virtual Reality Video Game-based Physiotherapy For Children And Youth WithAcquired Brain Injuries” speaks of a VR video game that “motivate the children (with braininjuries) to challenge performance quality and optimize real-life functioning.” Cynical,StevenBarreto and Sue K. Adams’ “Digital Technology And Youth: A Developmental Approach”wrotea guide for parents on restricting the technological media. However,Craig Watkinsembraces technological media inThe Young &The Digital; he states the world as we know it isgoing digital with social-networking becoming more popular; and available along with othertechnology based media such as smart phones and video games.Wired for What? The Dividendsof Universal Accessis an informal video recorded in 1999 based on computer technologyentering an elementary school; however, this information is dated and this isn’t such a big thinganymore; compared to Craig Watkins The Young & The Digital. Despite what some say, there
  • 2. Moore2are positives for every negative influence the digital world shares with the real world; and eventhough both worlds are similar, we should find a perfect balance between the two. There are some positive outlooks on the technology based-media of today. A film-on-demand Wired For What? The Dividends of Universal Access produced in 1999, shows HooverElementary school’s200 computers on site and how affective they are with the childrenacademically and socially. The school provides their teaching skills to the low-wealth students,this is important because it was uncommon for low wealth schools to be able to afford 200computers and have them installed. Gary Dalton, principal of Hoover Elementary states, “I thinkcomputers havehelpedattendance, for the kids to come, because they love working withcomputers.” This shows my ideal that technology is beneficial for the youth because it entertainsthem and teaches them at once. An example given by a teacher talking about a student states thestudent had very low self-esteem, but he is good with computers, and would help other studentsthat didn’t understand this new expensive technology he would help that student; this raised hisself-esteem. This example shows computers are beneficial for social life as well. Anotherexample of beneficial technology is displayed in an abstract of the article “Usual and VirtualReality Video Game-based Physiotherapy for Children and Youth Acquired Brain Injuries”; itmentions a virtual reality video game based therapy that promotes children with acquired braininjuries learn functional motor skills. The abstract authors state, “Physiotherapists describe usinginterventions that motivatechildren to challenge performance quality and optimize real-lifefunctioning.” This is beneficial because in the future kids with brain injuries could be helped athome. The VR needs work for it cannot consider the unique characteristics of the child as woulda therapist. However, the example of VR game shows the possibilities for the digital world are
  • 3. Moore3endless once we perfect them. The examples show how the digital world can be helpful forpeople in the real world. On the other hand, technology based media has a dark side; therefore, evidence from TheYoung & the Digital and other sources for a negative perspective. For example, Craig S. Watkinsmentions Internet addiction which is something we can all obtain. It is caused by spending morehours on the computer; the digital native cannot do anything else. Internet addiction is a negativeinfluence on the real world caused by the digital world. Steven Barreto and Sue Adams statechildren are susceptible to digital dependence as well as cyber bullying behavior. The digitaldependence is much like addiction; it can consume a child’s life and make them into technologyaddicted adults that must have a piece of the digital world and will go through loops to get it.Cyber bullying is in the digital world from the influences of the real world, the abuse never stopsfor the children from bullies at school in the real world. Today’s digital world can allowbullies tomentally harm their victims through social-network websites. The relentless non-stopping abuseof the bullies has pushed his or her victims to therapy;and for the less fortunate to suicide.Theseexamples are just some of the negative influences that the digital world can promote.It is agreedthat these negative influences are from the technology around us but there is evidence of sourcesthat cause harm to kids that are real rather than digital. Yet, the fact remains technology based-media has negative influences in our lives. However, in the real and digital worlds there remains a likeness between them yet thislikeness should not matter in both worlds. Craig S. Watkins states “despite the utopian view thatthe Web provides a place and a way to escape the social burden and divisions of the off-lineworld, this has never been true” (76). Truth is both worlds are dependent on social inequalities.Watkins interprets the words of a blogger to explain this point more precisely:
  • 4. Moore4 Drawing from some of the more familiar social cliques among young people, Boyd equates the “preps” and the “jocks” with Facebook. MySpace kids, in contrast, come from the other side of the cultural divide. According to Boyd, they are the “kids whose parents didn’t go to college, who are expected to get a job when they finish high school. (76)Watkins prove that the social inequalities of the rich and poor in real-life matter in the digitalworld by using the words of a peer amongst all digital users. Watkins asked college students,“Which social-network site do you visit most often?” 84 percent of white students preferredFacebook; while Latino students preferred MySpace. With my own eyes, I have seen classroomssplit apart by races; however the students picked their own seats and sat accordingly with theirfriends. Social inequalities happen generally happen because it is human nature to cling on towhat you know. These social inequalities are in the real world as well as the digital and they areboth negative influences; but the fact of social inequalities is they will be infinite because it ishuman nature and no one is equal. This is the ugly similarity of real-life and the digital. Not all agree the digital world is the best for the future of generations to come, but thosewho object the digital world miss the fact that it is not technology causing the problems; it’s abad life. As I mentioned previously The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letterclearly has a negative outlook on the digital world, and created a parental guide for thistechnology use amongst children. Remember the negative perspectives of the digital world; nowhow can children become addicted to the internet or becoming a cyber-bully or becoming avictim? Answer: Only if we let them. The Brown University states “Internet access was availablein 84% of subjects (children) homes” (4) and played ona computer for an hour and half, but theauthors do not say that the parents bought the computer and let the kids play on this technology
  • 5. Moore5unsupervised. Jonathan Gruber author of “Problems of Disadvantaged Youth: An EconomicPerspective” speaks of a study with two teams. One team mission was to prove “there is little tosuggest that changing the school environment will improve the outcomes of these disadvantagedchildren” (4).Meanwhile, another teams study was to prove “better school quality leads to betteroutcomes” (4). However, the outcome of this study was no change in the disadvantaged children.The reason why is because the real world means more to kids than the digital world and are notaffected by technology negatively unless allowed to. Even the Brown University Child andAdolescent Behavior Letter stated a question “Do your parents know about all the things you doon the Internet?” This very question shows proof that some parents do not take the responsibilityof the limiting the digital world from children. So it is true that technology can negativelyinfluence our entire live but less likely if we put a foot down on the situation. My proposal is for those seeking a balance between the digital and real world are likethose in the Brown University letter but with a difference. Take my 8 year-old cousin forexample; she says she has only played on the computer for an hour to an hour and half, but shereally means 3 hours. She plays on the computer under supervision, so instead of blockingeverything off the computer; we advise he on what sites she is allowed to use and ones that arenot safe. With me sitting next to her or just glancing by at the screen when I walk by keeps hersafe from cyber bullies. Including trip to the park never hurts, kids love to play with the onesthey love most, this keeps them safe from addiction and dependence on the digital world. Thisbalance of real-life events and surveyed digital use can help the kids find balance the worlds ofreal and digital. The positive, negative and similar effects the digital world has on the real world thanks tomy sources; which inspired my proposal for balance between both worlds. The digital world
  • 6. Moore6much like real-life is exciting and dangerous for us all. Balance between the real worldand digitalworld is possible; we just have to find it.
  • 7. Moore7 Works CitedBarreto, Steven, and Sue K. Adams. “Digital Technology And Youth: A Developmental Approach.” Brown University Child & Adolescent Behavior Letter 27.6 (2011): 1-6. Academic Search Premier.Web. 15 July 2012.Cutler, Maggie. “Whodunit- The Media?”.The Norton Field Guide of Writing with Readings and Handbook.2nd ed. Richard Bullock, Maureen Daly Goggin, and Francine Weinberg. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2010. 684-689. Print.Gruber, Jonathan. Problems Of Disadvantaged Youth : An Economic Perspective.University of Chicago Press, 2009.eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 15 July 2012.Levac Danielle, Patricia Miller, and Cheryl Missiuna. “Usual And Virtual Reality Video Game- Based Physiotherapy For Children And Youth With Acquired Brain Injuries.” Physical & Occupational Therapy In Pediatrics 32.2 (2012): npag. Academic Search Premier. Web. 15 July 2012.Watkins, S. Craig. The Young & The Digital What the Migration to Social-Network Sites,Games, and Anytime, Anywhere Media Means for Our Future. Boston: Beacon Press, 2009. Print.Wired for What? The Dividends of Universal Access. Films Media Group, 1999. Films On Demand. Web.15 July 2012. <>.