Computer/Internet Addiction in Adolescent
With the advances in technology, computer and internet usage has become widespread today. There are many conveniences that the internet brings to our lives. Easy access to information, shopping from our house, bill payment and so on. In addition to these benefits, the Internet has become an addiction for some.
In ” The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)” book, American Psychiatrics diagnosed computer/internet addiction.
Symptoms of Internet / computer addiction include:
- Not being able to stop onesekf knowing that it’s wrong.
- Over-thinking about Internet.
- Using the Internet more than necessary
- Failing after multiple attempts to control the use of the Internet.
- Risking relationships, school or business life in order to spend time on the Internet
- Lying about the amount of internet use
- Using the internet as a tool to get rid of problems or depression
- Feeling good at the computer
- Lose control over the use of the Internet and computers
In addition, due to continuous internet use, eye diseases, headaches, neck, shoulder and back pain, nutritional deficiency may also be experienced.
As a child and adolescent psychiatrist we often hear:
- We can’t see his face, he doesn’t spend any time with us.
- She/He stopped playing on the street.
- He says he’s chatting with his friends, but we don’t know who he’s talking to.
- We suspect he may have entered inappropriate sites, but we don’t know how to control it.
- He just looks happy while sitting at the computer.
- He never fulfills his responsibilities at home.
- We’re in constant conflict with the computer, our relationship is broken.
- He left basketball because there was no time left for the computer.
- His behavior changed, he became a very angry and gruesome child.
- We can’t pay the phone bills.
- He doesn’t read books, newspapers, magazines.
- I wonder if he’s addicted to intenet?
The most frightening part of the internet is that its content is not controlled. Any person, institution or illegal organization may publish any information on the Internet. From this point of view, internet is a source of access to inappropriate or even harmful information. There are reportedly 4.2 million pornographic websites on the Internet. A study of children using the Internet across Europe found that nine out of 10 children aged 8-16 visited pronographic sites. Children may enter sites that contain pornography, violence or dangerous beliefs uncontrollably. Accessing inappropriate information at an early age will adversely affect their identity development, belief and value systems, and sexual development.
Too much time consumption. Whether they do research, play games or chat, they can spend long periods of time at the computer without being bored or tired. Therefore, they can oppose time constraints by saying “I just started ım.
Computer games or virtual conversations prevent young people from meeting in real life. Parents complain that they cannot see the faces of their children. Gradually, children can become socially isolated, apart from schools and classes.
Uncontrolled chats. While parents try to get to know their children’s friends and even their friends’ families, they take care to live in the most suitable neighborhoods for their children’s development, and children can come together with people they don’t even know in the virtual chat rooms. The most used chat environments are among the most favorite places of illegal organizations, child porn enthusiasts and drug marketers. In this environment, they can gain the child’s trust, seize photographs, family information and convince them to meet face to face.