Internet addiction has become an increasingly growing problem in recent years. While the internet facilitates children’s educational life, social life, and daily activities, its excessive use leads to an unhealthy lifestyle.
Things you need to know about internet addiction in children:
- Internet obsession in children arises when the duration of internet use exceeds normal limits.
- Children exposed to long-term internet use have difficulty controlling their internet use, and, like other addictions, they want to devote more time to their addiction.
- Excessive internet use can lead to a decline in school performance and difficulties in the child’s social circle.
Continuous internet use by children can cause them to experience emotional problems due to internet and technology addiction. Educating children about internet use can help protect them from internet addiction.
In summary, raising children consciously about proper internet use and limiting internet use helps protect children from internet addiction.
Parents should be involved in children’s daily activities and suggest alternative activities to counter internet addiction. This can help limit children’s internet use and spend time with different activities, helping protect them from internet addiction.
The Harms of Internet Addiction
Internet addiction is a problem that negatively affects children’s quality of life. Excessive internet use causes many social, psychological, and physical problems in children.
Here are the problems caused by internet addiction in children:
- Decline in school success: Addicted children prefer to spend time on the internet instead of doing their homework. This situation leads to a decline in school success or the child not being able to show their full potential.
- Decrease in social relationships: Addiction causes difficulties in children’s social relationships. Children may prefer to spend time on the internet instead of spending time with their friends.
- Physical health problems: Children can experience physical health problems due to the long hours spent on the internet. Obesity is common in children due to a sedentary lifestyle.
- Emotional problems: Addicted children can experience problems due to digital games and social media sharing. Psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety are commonly seen in these children.
- Sleep disorders: Children with addiction, spend long hours on the internet, disrupting their sleep patterns. Sleep disorders negatively affect children’s school performance.
- Feeling of unhappiness: Children with addiction often feel unhappy when not using the internet. This situation further negatively affects children’s lives.
Psychological support should be obtained from a psychologist specialized in the field for internet use that has reached the level of illness. Internet obsession detected at an early stage is treated more easily.
Internet Addiction and Social Isolation
Internet addiction and social isolation are two interconnected problems. Social isolation is the condition where a person does not interact sufficiently with other people, has weak social bonds, and experiences feelings of loneliness. This condition is associated with depression, anxiety, and other psychological problems.
Internet addiction causes individuals to spend more time on the internet to alleviate their loneliness or escape their problems. This situation further weakens the person’s social bonds and increases social isolation through social media. Social media enables virtual connections with other people over the internet, but it cannot replace face-to-face communication and real social bonds.
Balanced internet use and strengthening social bonds are important in preventing both internet addiction and social isolation.
How to Protect Your Child Against Internet Addiction
There are certain things that every parent needs to do to protect children from internet addiction. Today, internet use has become an inevitable reality for children. This obsession, which negatively affects children’s development, must be monitored. However, like every addict, internet addicts will not want to give up their habits.
Suggestions on how to protect your child against internet addiction:
- Limit internet usage: To prevent the increase in usage time, you should observe how much time your child spends on the internet and take measures accordingly. Having a certain limitation on internet use makes the process easier to control.
- Suggest alternative activities: To reduce the time your child spends on the internet, you can suggest alternative activities. Activities such as reading books, doing sports, spending time with friends can help protect against internet addiction.
- Provide information on internet use: Educate your child about internet use. It is very important for an individual to have knowledge on correct internet use, safe internet use, internet addiction, etc.
- Be an example: Be an example as a parent regarding internet use. Keep your own internet usage under control and do not constantly browse the internet in front of your child.
- Allocate time for family activities: By allocating time for family activities, you can reduce the time your child spends in front of the screen. Activities such as picnicking together, going to the cinema, walking can help prevent your child from becoming an internet addict.
Frequently Asked Questions About Internet Addiction
How Many Hours is Internet Addiction?
There is no specific time limit for internet addiction. Addiction arises when an individual spends an uncontrollably increasing amount of time on the internet, negatively affecting daily life activities.
An individual can become an internet addict by neglecting daily chores, school or work life, and resorting to excessive internet use. Therefore, instead of setting a time limit for internet addiction, it can be considered an addiction when the time spent on the internet increases uncontrollably, and it negatively affects daily life activities.
What Percentage of People are Internet Addicts?
The exact number of people with internet addiction is unknown, but it is known to be a very common problem worldwide. Different researches show that the rates of individuals with internet addiction vary from country to country.
For instance, in many Western countries, the rate of people using the internet to the point of illness varies between 5% and 10%; in some Asian countries like South Korea, this rate can go up to 20%. Furthermore, this addiction is more prevalent among children and teenagers. However, measuring the exact proportions of people addicted to the internet is difficult because the definition of internet addiction is not fully standardized, and symptoms can manifest differently in different individuals.
We have summarized internet addiction in general terms. You can check our similar content titled “The Advantages of Setting Screen Time for Children”.