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YOUR WORLD

Is Technology Hurting Your Friendship?

Here's what two of our readers think.

Whether they’re sending texts, making video calls, or playing video games over the internet, kids are more connected to one another than ever before. And experts say there’s no doubt that all this technology use is affecting kids’ friendships.

Many people say smartphones and computers make friendships stronger because they enable kids to stay in constant contact with each other. Others point out that technology has been especially important in keeping friends connected while they’re social distancing. 

But many people argue that using technology is no substitute for being with friends in real life.

And, they say, when kids do get together, they often spend more time staring at their phones than talking. Other people worry that relying on screens to keep in touch can lead to bad behavior. In a 2018 survey by the Pew Research Center, 59 percent of teens reported being cyberbullied. 

Here's what two of our readers think.

YES!

Technology can harm friendships because you’re not connecting in the same ways as you do in person. When you communicate on screens, it’s easier to misread someone’s tone or body language. You might think friends are smiling when they’re actually upset. A friend might send a text as a joke that says, “You’re the worst friend ever!” But your feelings might be hurt because you think he’s serious. 

Also, playing games with friends online is fun, but it’s not as good as playing together in person.

NO!

Technology doesn’t ruin friendships. In fact, it makes them better! My best friends live in California, where I Iived when I was younger. I haven’t seen them in person for three years. But I talk to them through Messenger Kids, and we also play online games together. Without technology, we wouldn’t be close friends anymore.

When Covid-19 hit, I thought summer would be ruined because I couldn’t see my friends from school. But I realized we could still FaceTime every day. It felt like they were right there with me.

Continue the Learning Journey
SLIDESHOW
Support Your Stance

Follow these steps to write a persuasive essay.

Do you think that technology harms or helps friendships? Choose a side. Then use the slideshow above to help you write a persuasive essay about your opinion! Share your essay with a friend or family member. Did you convince them to agree with you?

List all of the fun things you enjoy doing with friends and family members. Which ones involve technology and which ones don’t? Circle the activities on your list that are off-screen. Then turn your list into a colorful poster! Choose a title, write your activities, and add drawings. Be sure to display your work somewhere in your home to remind you and your family to have some screen-free fun! 

VIDEO
How to Make a Friendship Bracelet

Watch a video to learn how to make a friendship bracelet.

Using devices is one way to stay in touch with others. But people also love receiving mail and connecting in person! Think about a family member or friend you’re close with. What do you bond over? What interests do you share? Write this person a note to thank them for their friendship! Ask a trusted adult for help mailing your note. If you want, you can also make them a friendship bracelet. Don’t know how? Watch the video above from our friends at Klutz!

This article was written for Scholastic News magazine.

Image Credits: Shutterstock.com (background, children with masks); Debate photos courtesy of families