The Impact of Technology and Social Environments Upon Adolescents

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The Impact of Technology and Social Environments Upon Adolescents

Introduction

Undoubtedly, adolescence is one of life's most challenging and complex transitions in life. A combination of rapid physical, cognitive, and psychosocial growth represents a period of significant change. These changes bridge the transition from childhood to adulthood. Teenagers today live in a media-saturated society and they deal with a bouquet of formidable issues like sex, drugs, divorce, and gun violence. These conditions can become significant factors in an emerging personality (Doherty, 1997). How do these circumstances influence young people who are searching for the roles and values that will guide them all their lives?

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While acknowledging the step marking the passage of toddler into adolescence is triggered partially by physical changes, Pipher says two sociological changes, ?gthe rapid entry of mothers of young children into the work place and the large number of broken families have catapulted elementary-schoolaged children out of childhood and into adolescence.?h ?gChild care was once home-based; now children are placed in institutionalized care while still infants,?h she says. When children are deemed old enough, they are often left alone and told to play their video game or watch the television. ?gAlso, many children of single parents are exposed to dating or cohabiting parents. This close view of inappropriate supervision and intimacy erodes childhood?fs innocence.?h (Pipher, 1999).
     Even time itself -- or the lack of it -- has proved to be an enemy of childhood, as children return to empty homes and family dinners fall victim to overscheduling. Sociologist Arlie Hochschild points out how, for many people, home and office have changed places. Home has become a frantic exercise in ?gbeat the clock,?h with family members having fifteen minutes to eat before rushing off to a soccer game, and trying to bond in the half hour before bed so they don?ft waste time. To get away from the hustle of family life Hochschild suggests that parents welcome the refuge in the workplace, where they can socialize and relax. She writes, ?gIn this new

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