Holmes 1Rachael HolmesProfessor Alicia BoltonEnglish 101March 7, 2012 What happened to our generation? In “What’s the Matter with Kids Today?” Amy Goldwasser’s main argument is shouldteens be on the internet locating educational and social sites, or putting their heads in the books.Within this article, it describes the different thoughts and surveys regarding this common topic,and displays the effect the internet has on teens. This article points out very important facts andopinions especially from the variety of surveys they included in the article. I agree and disagreewith Goldwasser’s claim that teens spend too much time on the internet. I agree because teens donot get enough educational needs from internet sources I disagree because the internet is justanother method that teens choose in order to learn. In addition when Doris Lessing presented her speech, she stated, “Young men andwomen…have read nothing, knowing only some specialty or other, for instance, computers”(qtd. in Goldwasser 666). Lessing is basically saying that teens rarely read and get all of theirinformation from the internet, not taking out enough time to read. How would Lessing know ifkids read or not? She should remember that she lived the same lifestyle as a teenager. I totallydisagree with her statement, mainly because she is only stating her opinion and not looking atthis situation from a teen’s point of view. I think the internet is a fundamental tool which helpsteens gather information at a faster and easier pace. Lessing should remember that she was oncea teen herself and that the internet can become very addictive but helpful. For example, I use theinternet all the time but I use it to socialize with my friends and to look up certain homework
assignments for my classes, which is what most teens do. Using the internet also depends on themindset of the teen what I mean by that is every teen has an intention for why they want to usethe internet. Not all teens sit in front of a computer and stay on Facebook or Twitter; some teensuse the internet for educational purposes. Prime examples are searching for college applications,or just to do homework for school like an essay or project. The internet is not all about games,social websites, and fun; some kids actually want to learn. The internet is a helpful source andwe should be appreciative of it not badgering it. In addition Goldwasser decides to bring up the older generation and their new ways,Goldwasser says, “Or is it the older generation that the Internet has seduced” (Goldwasser 667). Iagree with this statement because the older generation is set in their ways, and they believe indoing things old-fashioned. The fact that they do not know how to work the internet makes themfeel insecure about letting their children use it. Goldwasser states, “Our kids know things wedon’t” (Goldwasser 667). Personally, my mother does not know how to use the internet, and shewas skeptical about getting it for years, until I persuaded her I needed it mainly for educationalreasons. Maybe if the adults knew the exact purpose of the internet, then their opinions regardingthe internet would not be so harsh. Then the internet would not be badgered or considered so badfor teen’s education. It takes experience to know the value, or purpose of something and ifparents don’t know the value then why would they give the internet a chance? This is exactlyhow some adults think and it makes it seem like the internet is useless. Another reason why I disagree with some of the opinions in this article is because I am ateenager who uses the internet a lot. Goldwasser states, “One in four teens could not identifyAdolf Hitler’s role in world history ” (Goldwasser 668). Teens can easily research on the internetabout Adolf Hitler and what he did, therefore the internet is really not as bad as adults make it
Holmes 3seem. Goldwasser also states, “The internet has turned teenagers into honest documentarians oftheir own lives” (Goldwasser 667). Teens will remember more from an internet source than theywill from a book in class. Certain information that teenagers take in becomes very progressive intheir minds and results in great future references. Adults today do not realize the good effect theinternet has on teens, they only know what they hear or see from outside sources, primeexamples are these surveys that the article includes in its text. This is why there should have been a variety of surveys displaying the good effect andcauses of how teens use the internet for educational purposes. Rather than only displaying howteens make social networks popular and worth a lot of money. An example of this is whenGoldwasser states that, “they essentially made MySpace worth $580 million and Juno an Oscarwinner.”(Goldwasser 668). Adults should also realize that teens are taught differently than theywere years ago, and teens of today learn quicker from the internet than they would from anyother method. Of course a teen will use some of their quality time on Facebook and Twitter but itdoesn’t mean that this is the only thing they will use their time for. The internet helps teens witheducational purposes and helps keep them updated with what is going on in the world today.Everything we use or have to learn is displayed on the internet. A prime example is how collegestudents who attend HGTC do most of their homework and quizzes through D2L. The internet is so important and useful and we should take advantage of it. At theconclusion of the article Goldwasser states, “Stop presenting it as the enemy of history andliterature…teenagers have the potential to become the next great voices of America.”(Goldwasser 669). I totally agree with this statement because the internet is a main source thathelps teens learn more about history and events occurring today. I also disagree because beingtaught by an instructor will help the teen understand history better than by staring at a computer
all day eventually getting bored. The internet is basically just a different method of learning andit should be viewed as a helpful source rather than a barrier of learning for teens.
Holmes 5 Works CitedGoldwasser, Amy. “What’s the Matter with Kids Today?”. The Norton Field Guide to Writing with Readings and Handbook.2nd eds. Richard Bullock, Maureen Daly Goggin, and Francine Weinberg. New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2010.666- 669. Print.