Teens Addicted to the Internet
The Internet was something that parents, at first welcomed into households. Parents would hope that by providing access to the Internet for their teens would allow a new and exciting world of educational opportunities to be be found. However, many parents were sorely mistaken. Some parents have found that instead of using the Internet for homework and research, a number of teenagers are spending hours in front of the computer in online chat rooms and participating in online-gaming. Professionals say that the Internet can be very engaging; making it difficult for someone to keep track of how much time is spent online. This can lead to a serious problem. Mental health practitioners are still under debate on whether this is considered an addiction or compulsive behavior. Activities such as chat rooms, instant messaging and multi-user gaming make it easy for teens to become addicted to the Internet. It is often times that shy kids who are unpopular that feel an attraction to creating a new identity with online gaming. Online gaming provides role-playing games where anyone can assume a new identity and interact with other online gamers. There are many psychological affects of Internet addiction ranging anywhere from feeling a sense of emptiness and depression while away from the computer to lying about the amount of time spent online. Physical symptoms may include dry eyes, Carpal Tunnel syndrome, migraines, backaches, skipping meals and even neglect of personal hygiene. Internet addicts may also suffer from sleep disturbances and changes in sleep patterns. It is advised that, to prevent Internet addiction, parents should keep their computers in common areas of the house and never in a child’s bedroom. It is also important to support and encourage your child’s participation in other activities.