Essay Prompts: Modern Technology

Technology is such an integral part of our society and our daily lives.  Modern technology provides plenty of benefits, but there are downsides as well.  Everyone has their own opinion on the limits to which we depend upon automated processes, social media, handheld devices, and more.

Here are ten essay prompts for your students.  Each prompt states an opinion, and your students can either agree or disagree with it, but they’ll need to provide a few reasons to back up their position.  These shouldn’t be fully persuasive essays, so students should acknowledge both sides of the argument, though of course they’ll pose one side as having more merit than the other.

You can assign a topic to your students, or give them the full list of prompts and let them choose for themselves which to address.

  • Smartphones isolate us by encouraging us to spend more time online and less time interactive with our friends and family.  People are more lonely now than they were twenty years ago.


  • Playing video games is a valuable way to spend your time because it can enhance skills such as dexterity and problem-solving.


  • The internet may provide plenty of knowledge at our fingertips, but it’s often better to discover solutions by more practical means, like reasoning through a problem or learning by first-hand experience.


  • I’m fine with Google, Amazon, and Facebook using my personal information to personalize my searches, ads, recommendations, etc.   It’s okay to sacrifice a bit of privacy for convenience.


  • People should be able to say whatever they want in the comments section of articles or YouTube pages.  Moderators who sensor our comments deprive us of our freedom of speech.


  • Wikipedia and similar sites do more harm than good because their information is limited and the content is written by biased individuals.


  • Programing a smarthome device like Alexa to handle our schedule, manage our lights or other electronics, and otherwise automate our lives will turn us into lazy people.


  • Video games do not count as sports; you need to be physically active in order for an activity to qualify as a sport.


  • It’s okay to give a 4-year-old their own phone or tablet; they might as well get used to it since adults use them all the time.  And if it captures their attention, that’s a plus!


  • Some social media platforms start as invite only.  It would be better if they stayed exclusive; once they open up to the everyone, they lose what makes them special.


Keep in mind that none of these topics suggest that modern technology is wholly or inherently positive or negative; they only address the benefits or problems of a specific feature of technology, or at least how we tend to use it.

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