Toxic Technology: the Physical and Mental Effect on Generation 2.0Social media technology was invented to make life easier and simpler, but too much of the media can reduce some of the qualities that make a person a human being. One of the best human qualities is being able to have face-to-face interaction. This kind of interaction allows people to have eye contact, which reveals more sensory emotions. When one has a person physically there, that opportunity gives him or her the chance to read body language. Today, people are using innovative ways to communicate when they cannot be face-to-face. Both sociologist, Charles Horton Cooley and philosopher-sociologist George Herbert Mead claim that face-to-face interaction is extremely important for all individuals’ physical and mental growth. Socialization is a process through which individuals develop knowledge and values that aid that individual in acting properly as he or she is part of that culture. Socialization is important in human development because it is the way individuals develop awareness, feelings, and principles. Both biological factors as well as environmental factors play a major role in the socialization process. In the 1900s, Charles Horton Cooley stressed his idea that we learn who we are as individuals by socializing with others. Cooley called this the looking-glass self. In other words the self is the identity the person creates to differentiate him or her self from others and is influenced by social interactions. The development of self has three levels: how one presents oneself, how others perceive the person, and lastly the person’s feelings about the self. This all plays a significant role in shaping the self by real face-to-face socialization.Following Cooley’s ideas, George Herbert Mead expressed his ideas on how the self develops by dividing it into three stages. The first stage is called the preparatory stage, this is where a child starts to copy people around them unconsciously—for example the child’s parents. Children who are constantly exposed to opportunities to interact with peers and siblings, as well as are exposed to books and pictures can grow a sense of understanding others and of nonverbal and verbal symbols. In the second stage, the children then become aware of social relationships in the play stage as children pretend to act the roles of other people—such as doctors. Mead used the term role-taking, to describe the ability to see situations from a different perspective and reenact the situations from that perspective. This role taking creates awareness of other people’s emotions, which helps them understand the differences in reactions between emotional situations. In the game stage, the third and last stage, children develop the ability to understand their own and others’ responsibilities. Mead claims that the attitudes, viewpoints, and expectations of the community in which the child lives influences the child’s behavior. He called this behavior generalized other. In addition, Mead argues that young children have a difficult time seeing other people’s perspective, however, as they grow to adulthood and interact with others they begin to develop an interest in others’ reactions. Being aware of others’ reactions, then, starts to shape the individual’s identity. For instance, a teacher’s words usually have an impact on an individual’s identity when the words give the child positive attitudes, rewards, and support. Mead uses the term significant others to describe those who play a major role in developing the person’s self. In other words, as children interact face-to-face with others around them, they start to change and develop an interest in people’s perspective on how they see the child, which essentially influences the self. With social media present it limits us and child from having face-to-face interaction. “Generation Why?” is an article written by Zadie Smith in which she describes her point of view on social media. During the year 2003, Facebook was created, and Smith was attending Harvard at that time. Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, happened to know Smith, but they embraced different ideas on social media and its effect on people. Smith argues that social media dehumanizes people while Zuckerberg believes that it keeps people connected. I agree that Smith has valid claims because social media reduces a human being physically and mentally. Smith sets a binary comparison between the generation before the internet existed and after. Smith is a part of generation 2.0, but she positions herself in generation 1.0 due to her values pertaining to what makes a human being and how it is not a set of data for technology. She describes generation 1.0 when technology wasn’t as complex or dependent upon recent improvements. Remember house phones? Not the cordless one but the one with the wire attached to the phone. Having to rush home to call a friend to talk, expressing opinions, thoughts and feelings in a phone conversation. Now, people walk down the street and make a phone call or send a text. “Generation 2.0” is fascinated by technology, and instead of detaching themselves from it, Smith claims, “That some of the software currently shaping their generations is unworthy of them. They humans are more interesting than it technology is. They deserve better” (Smith 1). Humans are complex and more interesting than phones. They deserve better than to be abused mentally and physically, with technology. I agree that humans are more powerful and smarter at interacting with others than simply feeling that people are part of a society because they can agree with someone else’s thoughts. Zuckerberg’s main goal for Facebook was to be able to connect people, family and friends anywhere and at anytime. Although Facebook helps people connect with each other from all over, social networks encourage people to engage in a connection that is often artificial. Sometimes people want to share information but it can negatively affect users. Smith mentions that when a human is making a profile to fit his or her description, the profile can cause them to be reduced: the profile does not represent who the person really is. This argument goes back to what makes a person a human, for humans have similar traits to other animals like being able to express their feelings. However, what differentiates humans from animals is that humans have the ability to make connections and create relationships. Facebook and other social networks become a set of data, and that process can degrade humans physically and mentally. Smith claims that when a person becomes a set of records on social networks it can cause the human to be reduced. She argues that a human’s character, relationship, language, and emotion are being reduced. She used the word reduced, make smaller, to explain how we lose the complexity of what makes a person human. Smith explains, “we lose our bodies, our messy feelings, our desires, our fears” (Smith 8). In other words, we lose all the essential aspects that makes us humans.Humans are limited through physical separation between one another. Electronic users may argue that electronic devices help people stay connected, but that artificial distance limits a human by eliminating the face-to-face interaction. When you are face-to-face you have physical contact with someone. Humans express their feelings often through body language. By having eye to eye contact, it shows the person you are listening and engaging in the conversation, but real interactions are being replaced with humans behinds screens. Due to many humans interacting behind screens, face-to-face contact is impacted by people losing a sense of comfort, being able to express ideas or feel judged when they are face-to-face. Which leads to the question, does the internet help people stay connected or does it divide them?Sherry Turkle examines closely how current technological devices and systems give a new meaning to human interactions. In her article, “Can you hear me now?” she explains how technology kept people more connected or more distant. She claims that we are prepared to receive and expected to give rapid responses. A human being is made vulnerable by their devices. They are constantly checking their devices, waiting for a notification feed. Their undivided attention is on their device, consuming a great deal of time. Even teens are primed to use their devices while walking out on the streets. This reduces the chance of real interactions with real people. In an example from my own use of electronic devices, one day in July of 2016, friends from my high school and I all got together at Central Park in Manhattan to grab some lunch and go shopping. We stopped at a McDonald’s nearby, ordered individually, and sat at a table and began to eat. While eating, I noticed that we were all on our phones either on Facebook, posting up pictures on Instagram or just replying to a text. We weren’t talking to each other; instead we were on our devices. The devices that are used to help keep us connected are taking up a lot of time and separating us from the real life interactions. People are paying more attention to their devices and not the connection of interacting with people face-to-face. They would rather entertain the audience on social media more than sit and communicate with those in their immediate surroundings. Technology has dominated generation 2.0 by making them feel connected to the more relevant audiences that they believe are important. Generation 2.0 has the urge to check messages during class time, check their social media page, and popular updates. People on devices are vulnerable and crave messages and instant responses; they constantly show more interest in the device itself. Instead of valuing the physical presence of friends, they all become more interested in what their next notification would be. However, what makes you a human being is not what is being valued. When you are seeking excitement from the device, that shows you is interested in you at that moment it causes the person not value face-to-face interactions.The technological devices also affect our mental issues. Cell phones and other devices send out electromagnetic radiation that increases the risk of getting glioma. Glioma is a tumor that grows in the brain, causing brain cancer. Technology increases the chances of developing the conditions that provoke this disease. According to Josh Harkinson, in “Scores of Scientists Raise Alarm About the Long-Term Health Effects of Cellphones,” discussed the potential effects cell phone devices can have on our health. Cell phones and electronic devices send out radiation that can harm humans. There are studies scientists collected showing how some cellphone users can increase their risk for glioma.These electronic devices, such as cell phones, can expose users to radiation that affects the brain. These products affect youth population the most since they are vulnerable to their technology because of their constant connection to their devices that keeps them entertained. A “French researcher found an almost three-fold increase in the incidence of brain cancer in people with more than 900 hours of lifetime cellphone use” (Harkinson 2). This and other discoveries are informing people that the communication devices they use to connect with other people has radiation waves that harm people. People have 24 hours in a day, out of those hours 8 are supposed to be consumed for sleep. The remaining hours are for your choosing. However, within those times a person would check their cell phones or social media just to check the popular updates—instead of taking a walk and feeding the brain with oxygen or picking up a book and reading it. Humans could last hours on their phone on social media and/or texting, and they aren’t aware of the impact on humans. This constant use is reducing the brain’s ability to function by exposing people to a certain amount electromagnetic radiation that affects them as a human being.The brain is important to the human body. The brain has many responsibilities. The brain also permits us to save memories, controls movements and feelings. The brain allows people to think and make connections. However, because of these electronics that send electromagnetic radiation, the use of some technology reduces a human’s brain by limiting its ability to perform its functions. The brain is being damaged, affecting the ability to store information, to learn, and express feelings. Technological advancement increased productivity and caused humans’ standard of living standard to increase too. While technological devices are not bad, they have aspects that provide humans with ways to make artificial connections. However, there are certain ways to use technology appropriately. Some people may misuse or overuse technology. Such uses could have the profound effect of limiting a human’s sensibility, language, and relationships.BibliographyHarkinson, Josh. “Scores Of Scientists Raise Alarm About the Long-Term Health Effects of Cellphones.” (May 11, 2015): 1-4. Web.Smith, Zadie. “Generation Why.” (November 25, 2010): 1-10. Web.Turkle, Sherry. “Can You Hear Me Now?” (n.d.): 1-8. Web.