Is Generation Y a lost cause?

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Generation Y has been born into the digital age- cell phones, computers, iPads you name it. But can all this time spent fooling around with technology on a, let’s face it, 24/7 basis effect the development of these millennials’ minds? That’s something Sunyoung Cho, a young ‘Pittsburgher,’ dug a little deeper to find out.

Reading this article (http://http://publicsource.org/investigations/technology-changing-millennial-brain#.V9wLWEs09aA) opened my eyes to this growing problem.

It is a well known scientific fact that the human brain does not fully develop until the age of 25. So what can technology do to that development? Let’s see.

There are several parts of the human brain. You have your lobes (parietal, occipital, temporal, frontal), your gyruses (precentral and post central), your Sylvian fissure, Olfactory bulb, cerebellum, and finally your central sulcus. Each of these areas serves a different function. A study conducted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing found that with technology added to the mix, your entire prefrontal cortex, parietal lobe, and cerebellum develop differently.

Your prefrontal cortex is what controls how you act and your ability to acquire new knowledge. Your parietal lobe controls your ability to understand language, and your cerebellum is what controls muscle movement. Each of these areas is effected by the constant use of technology. We just don’t know by how much.

Being glued, so to speak, to your devices inhibits people’s natural ability to communicate with others. This loss of real social interaction for Generation Y is what I think will set millennials back. Yes, innovations in technology are what pushes our society forward; however, the lack of face-to-face communication between people is not helping our brains’ development. Talking directly with someone, looking them in the eyes, and not having a device grasped in your hand is the cause of social anxiety for many people in today’s world. Nowadays, some people can’t even walk down the street, stand in line, or even eat by themselves- all simple everyday life tasks- without having a device to cling to for dear life.

God forbid somebody came up to you to say hello…or even WORSE…LOOKED AT YOU. AH! The horror!…

Have you ever heard of IAD? Well, psychologist and professor at St. Bonaventure University Kimberly Young, has diagnosed some of her patients- patients suffering from blood clots just from staring at a screen all day- with Internet Addiction Disorder. She finds this disorder to be just as addictive for people as drugs. Living through your phones and computers is not living in the moment and experiencing life. Technology, while it does come with many advantages, is what’s causing people to become disengaged with reality. Depression and even over eating can be linked to not having enough or any in-person interaction.

Our bodies need personal social interaction to release endorphins and other chemicals in the brain so that we feel happy. At the end of the day, a screen is a screen and it will not give you the feeling another person can by just interacting with them face-to-face. While there are several other factors that contribute to the development of your brain, researchers are currently trying to figure out just how much technology effects us.

1 thought on “Is Generation Y a lost cause?

  1. Connor Edward Opalisky

    This post caught my attention because of how relevant it is. We grew up surrounded by more technology than any other generation. We are the guinea pigs when it comes to the effects of technology on the human brain. One thing that is noticeable is the lack of social skills some kids possess. It is apparent now more than ever as we interact with new people every day. Here is an article explaining the social effects of technology http://www.humankinetics.com/excerpts/excerpts/technology-can-have-positive-and-negative-impact-on-social-interactions

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