Internet addiction in children: where is the line between normal usage and addiction?

 

·        When is the internet a problem?

·        Every 5 kids with online restrictions are gloomy or annoyed

·        Internet addiction is a global issue

·        Signs of Internet addiction: where is the border?

The Internet is a part of children’s lives in which information is browsed; social contacts or leisure activities are carried out. However, staying online regularly in the worst case can also lead to Internet addiction. A recent study figured out how behaviors indicate a child’s dependence on the Internet.

When the internet is a problem?

In a health study, it became clear that the heavy use of computers in many families is a risk factor for mental disorders. According to health insurance, every 5 children react restlessly and annoyed to online restrictions. 11% of children aged 12 to 17 years already several times unsuccessfully tried to control the use of the Internet. A study of Internet addiction in children showed that parents often do not give children any rules for using a laptop.

Every 5 kids with online restrictions are gloomy or annoyed

In a representative study conducted by the Force Institute, a total of 1,000 mothers and fathers were interviewed. They were asked about the use of the Internet by children aged 12 to 17 years. In addition to the duration and nature of the use of the Internet, the possible pathological consequences were first studied. According to the results of the study, children are online longer than planned. 22% of children between the ages of 12 and 17 show restless, capricious, or irritable behavior if banned. About 1/10 of children use the Internet to avoid everyday problems.

“For 7% of children, intensive use of the Internet jeopardizes important relationships or educational opportunities. Boys suffer from Internet addiction twice as often as girls.”

 Internet addiction is a global issue

The Internet offers great opportunities for children and youth, but the risks should not be underestimated. According to experts, up to a million children are already online in Russia. Promoting early media literacy is a crucial key to preventing the adverse health effects of using the Internet.

According to the study, on average, children over 12 begin to use the Internet on their own. Often parents do not give any rules. According to survey information, 51% of parents said they did not have any rules regarding the duration of their use of the Internet.

32% of parents do not affect the content that their child can use on the Internet. According to parents, the average length of private use of the Internet by children is about 2.5 hours on a regular working day. On weekends, the number of hours is 4 or more.

1/5 of boys and girls even spend 6 or more hours at a computer on Saturday or Sunday. Boys spend most of their time playing online games, while girls spend time talking to their peers.

signs of Internet addiction: where is the border?

Experts warn that parents should know the symptoms of Internet addiction and closely monitor the child. However, the transition from normal behavior to addiction is often difficult to recognize.

 Characteristics and symptoms that indicate addiction:

  • loss of control;
  • neglect of other hobbies;
  • bad mood or irritability when banning the Internet;
  • lack of other interests.

Regarding Internet addiction, affected children can no longer influence their online activities. Using the network has such a big impact on their lives that other areas of life are affected.

Possible negative consequences are, for example, failure to learn or communicate. Failures in marriage or relationships, neglect of friends and family, or other leisure activities are also possible.

If you experience symptoms of Internet addiction, it is recommended to seek qualified advice from a psychologist or psychotherapist. At an early stage, the negative effects of Internet addiction in the form of suicide, depression or anxiety can be avoided.

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