Technology-EnabledCommunication Distract Students
Thecontemporary world is witnessing an evolution of technologicalsolutions that keep changing the way people interact, communicate,and share ideas. Access to the World Wide Web and social media isvery high among Americans since 93 percent use computers, multimediadevices, and personal cell phones (Holladay 4). Acquisition ofpersonal devices has increased access to information. However,constant connection to virtual activities results in detrimentalbehaviors like cyberbullying that infringes on privacy rights,isolation from communities, and distractions from reality. The essayargues that technology-enabled communication is intrusive as itdistracts students from participating in real-time classroom eventsand that leads to poor academic performance.
Studentsexposed to cyberbulling experience anxiety that affects their levelof concentration and reduces academic performance. Cyberbullying iseither texting a mean message or sending a derogatory image throughthe electronic media. Technology-enabled communications have createdan equal platform for accessing online interactions. Today, manystudent own devices to access interactive websites that provideanonymous tools they use to victimize unsuspecting peers. Holladaystates that 66 percent of youth own personal cell phones and 76% usemultimedia devices to text, chat, and share ideas (Holladay 4).Moreover, at least every child has a Facebook, Twitter, or any otherinteractive website profile for social interactions. Hence, manychildren are exposed to derogatory comments and images shared online.A victim is likely to develop stress and emotional anxiety afterexperiencing an episode of online harassment. Phoebe is an example ofan adolescent who would not handle stress associated with receivingmultiple disparaging messages from schoolmates and she decided to endher life (Holladay 2). Besides, cyberbulling takes placeinstantaneously with many peers’ using mean language. Holladayclaims that 37% of students are perpetrators whereas only 18% ofparents know that their children engage in cyberbullying (Holladay6). Perpetrators exploit anonymous identity to hide cyberbullyingactivities, but a target is likely to undergo extreme anxiety thatdistracts their academic performance. Equally, perpetrators who arehooked to cyberbulling waste time online replying or reading newposts. Hence, they lose time and reduce their academic performance.Children should be informed of the repercussions of cyberbullyingsince the Library of Congress started a program of archiving allsocial media messages for future reference in determining personalbehavior.
Virtualinteractions hinder students from learning socializing skills, asituation that undermines their capacity to communicate effectivelyin and outside of their classroom. Face-to-face communication buildsbetter interpersonal relationships and guarantees trust (Turkle 3). Aphysical attachment grows through constant face-to-face interactionsas students learn to accommodate their differences. The bond thatgrows after holding face-to-face communication instills empathicfeelings that inhibit expression of antisocial remarks that may causeconflicts. Teachers complain that students prefer to zone out intoseparate online groups where they find meaning for theirrelationships, instead of engaging each other within a physicalenvironment like a classroom (Turkle 1). The failure to buildlong-lasting physical attachment through conversations isolates youthand undermines their communication skills. Turkle argues that youthstop valuing face-to-face relationships because of being hooked up toonline virtual communications (1). Communication is suffering inschools since everyone is trying to perform multiple tasks such asparticipating in social media arguments while at the same timelearning. The unnecessary huge physical distance between students inthe classroom prohibits sharing of values that are essential forbuilding a classroom community. Lack of direct communication amongstudents undermines their capacity to share classroom ideas, which ineffect derail their learning outcomes. Furthermore, modern studentslack soft communications skills because they avoid participating inface-to-face conversations with each other.
Teamworkamong student has drastically reduced in schools since students nolonger value interpersonal interactions that would encourage exchangeof ideas and sharing of knowledge. Contemporary teachers find itdifficult to convince students to stop undermining people aroundthem, as they get addicted to virtual relationships (Turkle 3).Face-to-face interactions develop slowly and require patience for ameaningful interpersonal exchange to happen. However, the kind ofspeed associated with digital texting molds youth to value thefastest answers, which lack creativity or self-reflection. Talkingwithout much self-reflection about differences in personality orbackground is weakening friendship. Thus, students find it hard towork in groups. An individual hurt by an impulsive comment wouldrather work alone than focusing on developing strong ties with theteammates. Moreover, students using technology-enabled communicationprefer virtual chatting that allows them to engage in many tasks atonce, but they avoid a real conversation that would guaranteesbonding to develop teamwork.
Consistentmultitasking is an intrusive activity associated with the usage ofmultimedia devices and the trend is diminishing academic achievementamong youth and children in schools. A research shows thatmultitasking reduces the depth of concentration and decreasesperformance output. Simpson claims that multitasking undermines thelevel of concentration and distracts the attention (470). Studentstrying to switch between learning and texting on social media areusually distracted in class. Technology-enabled communications allowstudents to reply to messages and contribute to social mediadiscussions even while in their classrooms. Intrusive activities fromsocial media and other interactive sites remains the chief cause ofdistraction in classrooms, which hinders students from learningwithout divided attention (Turkle 1). Seemingly, fragmentedconsciousness distracts students from participating fully in anycurrent classroom activity. Students tend to overuse multimediadevices during lessons instead of listening to a class lecture.Hence, learners report low grades because of valuing their electroniccommunication and chats to grasping knowledge from a teacher. Simpsonstates that professors have observed a decreased academic performanceof students attributed to distractions from cellphone calls, onlinechats, and social media activities (469). Students engaging in taskssimultaneously pay little attention to classroom activities. Hence,youth who are preoccupied with screens while in the classroomundermine their performance. Apparently, students are always usingtheir multimedia devises to text and catch up on social news andtrends.
Inconclusion, the advent of technology-enabled communication hasreduced academic performance of students in most schools. Besidesopening up interactive websites that support virtual communities andcommunication, online activities cause cyberbullying, which is aconsequence of using multiple anonymous online identities. Studentsaffected by cyberbulling experience anxiety that derail theircapacity to pay attention to classroom matters and that diminishtheir academic performance. Online interactions hinder thedevelopment of socializing and communication skills among students,as they have no time to engage in face-to-face conversations.Furthermore, schools report poor teamwork among students who areunwilling to engage directly to share ideas and knowledge. Studentseasily give in to multitasking when using multimedia devices withoutfocusing on academic goals. Technology-enabled communicationsdistracts students from paying attention to their academic grades andencourage virtual relationships that reduce interpersonalsocialization to share ideas.
Holladay,Jennifer. “Cyberbullying.” TeachingTolerance,no. 38, 2010.
Simpson,Joanne Cavabaugh. “Multitasking state of mind.” JohnHopkins Magazine,vol. 58, no. 4, 2006.
Turkle,Shelly. “The fight from conversation.” TheNew York Time,21 Apr. 2012.