How AOL instant Messenger has changed the lives of today's teenagers

Essay by kevtra2High School, 10th gradeA+, April 2003

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The Deterioration of America

There is a new addiction rapidly infecting America's youth. One doesn't have to look very far to see the stranglehold it already has over many of today's teens. I believe a friend of mine put it best when he said, "One time was all it took." Though some kids may deny it, everyone is doing it in the security of their own home, and now some kids have been bold enough to bring it into our schools. As disturbing as it is, it quickly becomes a dominant part of everyday life. When asked how much time he spends doing it, another friend of mine replied, "I'm trying to cut back, but I'd say about two hours [Per day]." Unlike most addicting behaviors modern youth partake in such as drinking, smoking, or doing drugs, nobody is taking a stand to stop this. In fact there have been reports stating that major companies such as Time Warner actually encourage the behavior.

The worst part about this whole situation is how easy it for teens to get involved in it. It's completely free, and they don't just give it away free in the beginning to hook unsuspecting impressionable children, it's free for as long as they want it. The only thing the victims need is access to the internet and within minutes they can be connected to AOL Instant Messenger where they spend countless hours wasting away in front of a tiny computer monitor.

Being one of these afflicted teens, I have found that immediately upon returning home from school, my first priority is to satisfy the cravings brought on by a long day of withdrawal. (Simile) The beeps that then greet me as the computer boots up are like a pleasant symphony of which only I can appreciate.