Internet addiction rising in teens

“Teenage Internet addiction is on the rise, say several addiction experts in Metro Vancouver. But many teens who have grown up with the technology don’t think spending more than 10 hours a day on the computer is even an issue, let alone an addiction.

Many teens are becoming dependent on the Internet, not just for schoolwork, but to communicate via social networking sites, play video games and watch TV, movies and YouTube videos.

But too much time spent idling on the Internet can have harmful consequences, including missing school, failing grades, disengaging from the community and, in rare cases, violence, according to experts in counselling.

They say that for some, too much time on the Internet may interfere with the ability to build healthy relationships and social skills needed to interact in real life.

Parents, family, friends and teachers are taking notice. Some parents are witnessing significant behavioural changes in their kids, such as becoming disinterested in activities they used to enjoy such as sports, arts and socializing outside the home with friends. Others are so worried they are sending their children into therapy.

Richard Dubras, director of Richmond Addiction Services, said for teenagers who are struggling in life, the Internet becomes “a wonderful coping mechanism,” a device they use to numb themselves. For some, the anonymity of cyberspace provides a way for them to be accepted. Although more teens are seeking out therapy, Dubras estimated that 10 per cent of the population is thought to be Internet-addicted while only one per cent are getting therapy. But when it comes to today’s teenagers, the line between what is perceived to be normal Internet usage and addiction is often blurred because they’ve grown up doing everything on computers.”

Read more of the research article here: http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Teens+screens+addictive+combination/3847181/story.html#ixzz171A1DBNh

If you were to suddenly find yourself without internet, what would you do? Some people would freak-out because it has become a necessity to them. Some would slowly adapt to the new situation and others would be grateful for not having to feel controlled by it anymore.

The reaction to the popularity of the internet is mostly positive. It’s a great way to keep in touch with people, socialize and to research topics. It connects you to the rest of the world instantly and you can look at whatever you want on it. People have a certain freedom on the internet that they take advantage of because they might be shy in reality. It is easier to express themselves through the internet because it is through a screen and no one really knows who you are. You could create an entirely new persona with this attitude. People can get addicted to the internet because of this.

Others, however, are not enjoying this new media age. They don’t like how public everything is on the internet. Or how it is addicting and controls you. They might not enjoy that if you’re not connected, you’re suddenly out of the loop on almost everything. The socialization on the internet is very impersonal compared to face-to-face.

This addiction to the internet is increasing and becoming more serious. 

“The way some people have come to use (the Internet) has created a stir among the mental health community and Internet addiction has become a serious topic of discussion,” Dr. Young said to the BBC News. “Most people agree that the Internet is a productive tool, but research findings document serious negative consequences when it is used in a negative manner.”

Dr. Mark Griffiths adds: “Most Internet addicts are young, socially unskilled men, it’s tragic – these people have the same problems as any other addict.”

This necessity to surf the internet has become a part of society. Technology surrounds us and once you start living a life within the internet (using it as a main socializer) it overwhelms your life and you may lose yourself inside the web.

So if you lost internet connection for one day, how would you react?

Here’s a fun test to see if you’re addicted to the internet: http://www.netaddiction.com/resources/internet_addiction_test.htm

To checkout the BBC news article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/460208.stm

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About sunnyvisa

I'm a student at Ottawa U, studying in Communications. I was born in Quebec City to a French Canadian and Italian family. I lived 9 years in the Netherlands and then moved to Ottawa. I love to travel, spend time with my family, and have fun with friends. You can always see me with a smile on my face :)
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2 Responses to Internet addiction rising in teens

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  2. narnia says:

    wooohoo nice post!

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