Overly concerned parents and like-minded reporters believe that adolescent use of the internet is dangerous, harmful, and turns teenagers into zombies. In reality, adolescent use of the internet is not harmful, like so many older people think. In fact, it could be one of the only means with which teens can communicate in a way that makes them feel comfortable.
Teenagers use the internet as a means of expressing themselves in a wide variety of ways which makes them feel at ease with their peers. Many adolescents use the internet to try to improve their world. Others are looking for information and help, while many use it to socialize with friends in a realm that they understand. The internet has multiple useful resources for students and they use it to research, buy essays, keep up with current events, socialize, and enhance their learning.
Young people use the internet to do good
Many teens are not the apathetic, internet-addicted hermits that pundits and parents would have the world believe. Several of them have tried to improve their own lives and enrich the lives around them by using the strongest tool at their disposal—the internet.
One of those teens is Benjamin O’Keefe. According to the Huffington Post article Young People Who Used the Internet to Do Major Good, O’Keefe was outraged by Abercrombie & Fitch’s CEO Michael Jeffries’ insensitive remarks about who should wear his A&F brand (only good looking “cool kids”).
O’Keefe decided to do something about it and take action. He wrote a blog post for the Huffington Post and began a Change.org petition asking consumers to boycott Abercrombie & Fitch until the company issued an apology. O’Keefe’s petition received over 74,000 signatures and got him into a meeting with A&F executives to encourage inclusion for all kids (2013).
Another group of teens, with the same desire as O’Keefe to change the world and help those around them, created Minddrive. Minddrive is a non-profit organization that helps to inspire at-risk teens to learn skills they wouldn’t normally learning in the classroom.
According to the video on the Huffington Post’s article, Minddrive teaches teens in a hands-on setting how to apply theoretical math and science to building a project: in this case, an electric car that is powered by social media. Every re-Tweet on Twitter, Like on Facebook and picture on Instagram help to power the electric car on its maiden voyage from Kansas City to Washington, D.C.
Many of the students interviewed in the video say that Minddrive has changed their opinion of their self-worth and their abilities as learners and achievers. The doors that the internet can open for teens who feel that they can make their own world and the world around them a better place is immeasurable, and far more helpful than the media would lead readers to believe (2013).
Supplemental sex ed class for teens
Along with opening doors to help change their world and self-worth, the internet provides a place for teens that may not have a strong voice in a non-social media related world (the real world). According to Michele Ybarra, MPH, Ph.D., on Psychology Today, many parents do not know how to relate to their children or even talk to them about a subject they consider awkward (2013). Not only are there mixed and reserved feelings in the home, but the political firestorm surrounding sex education for teens makes it nearly impossible for young people to get a hold of plain and simple facts about sexual health and education.
For teenagers who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning (LGB), the ability to seek out real-world help is nearly impossible. A recent study, according to Ybarra, states that 12 percent of LGB youth thought that their schools represented non-traditional sex in a negative light and that two in three LGB teens felt that most of the material covered in sex education class was not relevant to them whatsoever.
Another study’s findings state that most LGB youths preferred to use the internet for researching sex questions because it was private and because these teens felt they had no one to talk to in person about such questions (2013). The internet, for these teens, is a safe place to ask questions about sexual health and explore who they are and who they are becoming.
As for transgender youth, the internet provides them with resources they may not be able to receive from their cis-gender parents. More and more teens are exploring different gender pronouns outside the binary of male and female. In our industry, this new information is having a direct effect; gender pronouns impact writing services and the way students write. Transgender adolescents use the internet to safely learn about their themselves and socialize with other with similar identities.
Use the internet for socializing
Exploring identity is important for teens, as they are still discovering who they are and who they want to be. According to research scientist Mizuko Ito, the internet is safer than the media likes to portray and helps teens acquire basic computer literacy and technological skills they might not receive at school (Lewin, 2008). Not only this but in the modern world, most business and interaction are done through the internet; teens just happen to be faster at adapting to the change than adults.
The internet allows teens to “geek out”, to study one particular subject intensely with peers who care about the same subject. This is important for teens who may not have real-life friends who are interested in the same subjects that those teens might be. Teens use the internet to safely socialize with their friends, carving out an identity in a more confident way on the internet than they might in the real world (2008).
Keeping up with current events
The internet is about more than just a means for socializing for teens. According to Jack Loechner, at the Center for Media Research, teens in Europe, like their counterparts in America, use the internet for research. Many of them also use the internet to keep up with current events and what’s happening in their world (2013). Not just a place for asking research questions or reading the news, teens use the internet as a tool to research public transportation systems, as well. Of course, they use the internet to keep in touch with their contacts, but not just the friends they see at school. Teens can use the internet to connect with or get acquainted with their international counterparts (2013).
The media push that the internet is a dangerous place for adolescents doesn’t address the entire scope of teen use of the internet. Many teens do good deeds for others and try and change the world in a positive way. Others need the internet to ask questions and learn about their own developing identity, while others connect with friends. The internet is not a place to demonize—in fact, it is a realm that adolescents understand, can control, and feels safe to them.
The internet is critical for modern education
The information on the internet is the most useful research tool for students in high school and college. Before the internet, research started at the library and involved sifting through a mountain of books. Today, information about any topic is in the fingertips of any adolescent with a computer or smartphone with internet access. In recent years, students have dropped Microsoft Word and are now writing papers with Google Docs.
The dynamic nature of the internet allows students to study current information that may be outdated in certain textbooks. While finding reliable sources is more difficult on the Internet than it would be at a library, knowing where and how to cite sources can equip a young scholar with powerful information. Writers who work with our essay writing service use Google Scholar to find reputable and reliable sources. With Google Scholar, young researchers have access to the top professionally published research journals verified by scholarly gatekeepers.
Writing research papers with ease
Adolescents are using the internet and learning how to write research papers like professionals every day. The foundation of every research paper is accurate and persuasive research from a reliable source. Finding reliable research from reputable sources on the Internet is easy if you know where to look. The ability to readily find research and write from any location has revolutionized writing essays for the younger generation. Young people have the power to conduct their research and write their essays from any location with internet access.
The adolescent who revolutionized internet research
The story of Alexandra Elbakyan is the most extreme case of adolescents using the internet. Alexandra Elbakyan founded Sci Hub thanks to skills she acquired as a teenager. In 2006, the 18-year-old researcher attended a university in Astana, Kazakhstan where she developed the hacking skills that would later allow her to steal intellectual materials for Sci Hub. Sci Hub is the world’s first pirate website to open mass and public access to millions of research papers.
As of October 2016, Sci Hub had approximately 58 million articles available to the public for free. Elbakyan knew her project was illegal and fully funded Sci Hub through Bitcoin. She justified her actions by saying “for many researchers out there in the world, Sci-Hub is the only solution available to access articles. I can support my words by providing letters I received as well as some statistics.” Alexandra also explained, “Even in so-called wealthy countries, only elite universities have full access to science. Sci-Hub can be used by many other people who are not member of the elites as a necessary mean to access papers, not as a tool of convenience.”
As of 2019, Sci Hub is still active despite the multiple legal battles it has faced. The story of Alexandra Elbakyan is the most extreme case of adolescents using the internet. Even then, she is considered a modern-day Robin Hood by many, although she rejects the comparison because “sharing books and research articles should not be illegal.”
Internet tools for students
While Sci Hub is still considered to be an illegal resource, there are many completely legitimate and legal resources for students available on the internet. Students no longer have to rely on their instructors to provide them with the tools necessary to write a good research paper. Here are five free online tools for students:
- Citation builders such as EasyBib, OttoBib, and Son of a Citation Machine are intuitive tool to help students cite their sources and create citations. Google Scholar saves citations for easy importing into Word or citation builders.
- Google Scholar (scholar.google.com) is a free search tool for finding scholarly research. Students can use the search engine to find research on any topic. The search can be customized to include specific dates, date ranges, specify between books or articles, and restrict to certain publishers or writers.
- HighWire is an innovative, free to use database partnered with major scholarly journals, libraries, universities, and independent researchers to provide a collection of academic, peer-reviewed research.
- Online writing services are available for students who want to buy an essay to use as a sample before writing their own research paper. However, students should know how to avoid online writing scams before trusting an essay writing service.
- Writer.Tools is website offering free guides, citation style resources, and a collection of sample essays and research papers to help students and writers improve their skills. The how to guides seem to offer basic resources and instructions on how to produce work.
Use the internet to find a trustworthy essay writing service
As the internet continues to evolve, more and more students are using it to learn, study, and find work. The positive outcomes of adolescents using the internet far outweigh any of the negative aspect. Young people use the internet to do good for their education despite the number of unreliable sources available online. Use our essay writing services to help you when you need trustworthy resources on the internet.
Lewin, Tamar. (2008). Teenagers’ internet socializing not a bad thing. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/20/us/20internet.html?_r=0
Loechner, Jack. (2013). Teens use internet to “…look things up.” Research Now. Retrieved from http://www.researchnow.com/en-US/PressAndEvents/InTheNews/2013/march/teens-use-internet-to-look-things-up.aspx
Staff blogger. (2013). Teens and social media: Young people who used the internet to do major good. Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/26/teens-using-social-media_n_3505564.html
Staff blogger. (2012). The conscientious teen’s guide to using the internet for good. Social Media Week. Retrieved from http://socialmediaweek.org/newyork/2012/02/16/the-conscientious-teens-guide-to-using-the-internet-for-good/#.UmYpOBB9tso
Ybarra, Michele. (2013). The internet: A sex education class for teens. Psychology Today. Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/connected/201308/the-internet-sex-education-class-teens