The 20th century brought with it some new inventions which have changed the course of mankind forever. One of those revolutionary inventions is the computer, which has changed the way people work, learn, research and interact with one other. Computers have been instrumental in assisting people to undertake their day to day activities, and their benefits cannot be gainsaid. For example, computers have made it easy to save documents onto databases, carry out research over the internet, and keep in touch with people from other parts of the world. Nonetheless, computers also have their downsides; the major one being that people have become too much dependent on computers such that they cannot function without them.
The fact that computers are useful in learning and research cannot be disputed. However, with the discovery of the internet, students easily go to the internet and copy-paste materials instead of taking time to internalize the information presented. This not only leads to plagiarism, but it also ensures that the students become lazy in doing their research. Cases of internet plagiarism have become so rampant such that academic institutions are now using special software to check for plagiarism. It is also worrying that students nowadays do not visit the library anymore because they can consult the internet on almost everything. The harmful consequences of computers on the young people are not confined to learning activities only; they are also spread to their growth and development.
It is a fact that many young people concentrate too much on computer games and social media websites such that their growth and development is hampered. For example, many young people do much of their communication over social media instead of engaging one another physically. This has reached levels whereby parents and psychologists are worried that future generations may not be able to express themselves eloquently in discussions and in activities that require them to interact with one another. Unless something is done about this, we could be breeding a generation which cannot express itself - except on the internet.
Nevertheless, not everyone thinks that we are too dependent on computers. Some people argue that computers form an integral part of people’s lives, but, as humans, we are not too much dependent on them. It is only that we have to use the computers to perform some activities. On the point that computers have discouraged original research, some people argue that cases of plagiarism are just isolated incidents which should not deny learners an opportunity to do their research on the internet. Again, on the allegation that computers stifle the normal growth and development of young people, some people argue that there is no concrete research done to determine this.
Without doubt, we live in the information age whereby the use of computers is necessary. However, the use of computers has become so rampant such that they (computers) have taken over our lives. This is quite evident in the young people who are so much attached to their computers; they learn using computers, communicate with their friends through the internet, and play their games using computers. This has come to a point whereby the young people do not know how to communicate in one on one interaction because they are so much engrossed into their computers. This has not only affected their social skills, but also their learning activities. We can only wait with baited breath to see how activities play out in the next millennium.
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