Some of the students nowadays are struggling to stay awake while the rest of the world is asleep just to read their friends’ posts and comments and status on Facebook. They even spend most of their time staring at the big screens of their personal computers just to play online games like DOTA and Counterstrike. Some also spend their money just to buy the latest mobile phones, mp3 players, and other techno gadgets out there. However, they must keep in mind that everything has its own limits. Otherwise, it can become a cause of concern and in extreme cases, addiction. Multimedia addiction can cause destruction and violence to students.
Multimedia is simply defined as multi tasking of applications in a single device or gadget. This includes graphics, animation, pictures, videos, and other applications which can be opened simultaneously or consecutively. Smart phone, laptop, iPod, television, and mp4 player are some of many multimedia gadgets that are ‘in’ especially to students because of its amazing features.
Consider the television. Whether it is a box, slim, or flat screen, it has become almost like another member of the household. It sits in the living room, in the kitchen, or even in the terrace of your house. It bombards us with all kinds of information about almost anything under the sun. It informs us on what laundry soap to use; what toothpaste to brush our teeth with, or which candidate to vote in the 2013 election. It brings us local news and news from around the world. And of course, it entertains us with sports, music, movies, telenovelas, lifestyle segments and variety programs. Cellular phones, on the other hand, are used for communication purposes.
But because of technological advancements, new applications like built- in cameras are added to them. That’s why many people patronize it so much. Laptops are made for easy handling. Unlike personal computers, you can now bring it anywhere because of its small size. Almost every student today has his or her own laptops. The dependence on multimedia gadgets extend to students who became the primary beneficiaries of these gadgets. Tech- net survey said that 42 % of students are using mobile phones, 36 % are using laptop, 15 % are using play station, and 7 % are using mp3 players (“2012 Most Addicting Gadgets”, www. Technet.com).
The use of multimedia gadgets can be constructive and destructive to students (Despabiladeras 15). Many of them consider the use of these gadgets constructive when they help them in their studies. Today, the internet is the major source of knowledge and information. In just one click, they can now find the answers to their assignments. They also use software like Microsoft office and the like for their project presentation. Many schools now use computer oriented techniques for teaching. The traditional way of teaching like writing too many lessons in a manila paper is already replaced by powerpoint presentations which are indeed favorable for the students. They no longer copy too many notes because there are handouts already prepared for them. Multimedia also gives information about the latest happenings and discoveries around the world. The use of social media sites like Facebook allows them to socialize with other people. Some also say that playing online games like DOTA and Counterstrike have positive effects on them because they relieve stress from the hectic schedule of their schooling.
In contrary, students say that multimedia gadgets can be destructive too. Problems begin when students became addicted to these gadgets to the point of discarding other activities which can truly affect their balance and studies (www. Gadgetforums.com). Because of these gadgets, they now prefer playing games that reading books. In most schools, use of cellular phones is banned but many of the students still carry them. They push their parents to buy them the latest mobile phone or other gizmos because their peers use it.
The effect of this addiction is that they can no longer resist themselves from taking calls and accessing Facebook and other social networking sites during school hours. “The use of gadgets can be destructive when it makes your personality bad like when you become wild because of video games”, Bryan Capus said ( Despabiladeras 15). They forgot to budget their time because most of their time are consumed by these gadgets. The overuse of these also affects their health. Too much exposure to these gadgets can cause diseases like brain tumor and cancer caused by radiation (“ Radiation From Gadgets”, www. Healthcare.com). They are prone to sickness because they no longer engaged in outdoor activities.
It is alarming to know that 47 % of students nowadays are addicted to computers and other multimedia gadgets ( Despabiladeras 16.). Their parents have a big role in overcoming their children’s addiction. For example, most of the students are advised or told by their parents to limit their internet surfing time until 8:30 p.m. or 9:00 p.m. or but not to reach 10:00 p.m. as they have classes the next day ( Clifford 72). Some also advice their children to engage in other recreational activities like playing basketball or playing the guitar instead of watching T.V. or sitting all day in front of their PCs. One parent posted the following on gadgetforums.com:
In today’s high- tech and modern world, we are all connected with each other through the miracle of working inventions and innovations like PC, tablets, smart phones, gaming, internet and so much more. And I think we feel that we won’t have a normal day without getting hooked to any one of these devices. The problem begins to rise when our children became addicted to these gadgets to the point of discarding other activities which can truly affect their balance and health. To avoid this, I try to ensure my son has balance in this area. Playing team sports has helped, that’s one thing in his like that doesn’t require gadget. Sports is one of the best ways to add moving activities to a child’s routine with the aim of creating a certain balance between studying and playing. We could not really avoid our children to get into gadgets as this is the wave of the future with the introduction of tablets which can he fully integrate with schools in the near future ( www.gadgetforums.com).
According to gadgetforums.com, there are eight ways to overcome gadget addiction. First, limit the amount of time you spent on any type of gadget. Second, learn to balance and manage your time. Make a time table on when to use your gadget. Third, spend most of your time in your studies. This will give you higher grades in return. Fourth, read books rather than playing games. Surfing the internet for recent news and discoveries will help too. Fifth, spend your free time with your family and friends. Go to an outing of family reunion that doesn’t require gadgets.
Sixth, socialize with your true friends, not your ‘virtual’ friends. Your Facebook friends will never help you if you have a problem. Seventh, avoid buying newly released gadgets if you still have one that is still working. And the last is self discipline. It is interesting to know the opinions of students on multimedia gadget addiction; whether it is constructive or destructive for them and what their parents do in influencing their media habits. To prevent this addiction, students should analyze their gadget preferences and see what’s good of bad in it for them. They must set in mind that multimedia gadgets is there to help them, not to enslave them.