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It's Our Turn: Digitalized lifestyles have benefits

If you ask people today what one thing is they couldn’t live without, they would probably reply…“my phone.”

Smartphones have become people’s center of attention. They are small enough to fit in a pocket, but big enough to be someone’s entire life.

Individuals are constantly scrolling through millions of Web pages, checking the weather, getting directions to every corner of the world, or tweeting about what they had for lunch.

Teenagers especially are extremely involved with their technology and personal devices, which is concerning to many adults.

But that is the reality of the new generation. Teenagers’ lifestyles are revolving around technology, and it’s not a bad thing, in my opinion.

Yes, technology does have a downside. It can be abused and mistreated, just like everything else in this world. It can be used in the wrong way, but it can also be used in the right way.

What is the right way? Well, take high school education for example. Learning is going digital. We’ve already come a long way since chalkboard slates and carrying around multiple books, but education is still rapidly changing.

Eventually, textbooks will not be used at all and everything will be accessed using a laptop or other electronic device.

Eventually, with everything online, students will have access at their fingertips to millions of resources that will help better their education.

The number of resources that can be found online outnumber those in a library by millions. Each individual library can only house a certain number of books and resources, whereas online, there is no limit. Students can easily access more information than ever thought possible.

Parents and many other adults in today’s society worry about teenagers and their use of technology.

If used for the right reasons, however, electronics can extensively broaden opportunities for youth.

Another way technology can be used for good is through apps. There are millions of applications available for download on smartphones and other devices. Some, of course, are not necessary. But others are tools that can help individuals save time and money.

People can check their bank balance – anytime, anywhere. They can keep track of weight loss goals and get tips and advice, look up new recipes, check the news or translate words into several different languages.

Apps can be used for several purposes to better the lives of many people.

Technology is also a vital tool in connecting society.

Through the use of social media, individuals can easily connect with family and friends near and far.

Yes, snail mail is also an option, but by using technology, it’s possible to save paper, get information to others faster, and immediately hear from the people we miss most.

Electronic forms of communication are not meant to replace face-to-face conversation or physical interaction with people, but are rather a way to stay in touch with those who are too far away to meet up for coffee.

Technology and social media need to be respected in order to reach their full potential.

When people disrespect technology and use it for the wrong reasons, it can be harmful. If young people are taught how to respect the digital world, so much good can come from it.

Thanks to the Web and electronic devices, learning and education will eventually be easier and more extensive because all textbooks will be able to be accessed online. Social networking has allowed connections between family and friends who live apart and downloadable apps save time and money.

With our ever-changing world, the functions of technology will hopefully continue to amaze and teach us new things every day.

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“It’s Our Turn” is a weekly column that rotates among members of the Echo Press editorial staff.