What is Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD)? Problematic or pathological use of computers or internet space such as excessive social networking, excessive online shopping, playing online games 24×7, compulsive online gambling, and excessive blogging. All these put together and named Internet addiction disorder. A study in China says too much of internet usage can cause structural damage to the brain.
The internet addiction statistics report says those age groups 18-24 are the most addicted internet users followed by 25-30 year age group. When they asked people do you normally stay longer than intended, 75% answered yes to it. Facebook addiction is increasingly becoming a real problem. Apart from Facebook addiction, gaming addiction is another category.
Some of the shocking reports include A 17 years old teenager shot his parents after the confiscated his Halo3 video game. Another 20 year old guy died from blood clot caused by playing his Xbox for 12 hours straight. A guy in Taiwan died in an internet café after playing Diablo 3 non-stop for over 40 hours.
Side effects of internet addiction on children
The consequence of internet addiction includes loss of sense of time, withdrawal when computer is inaccessible, social isolation and fatigue, tolerance, including the need for better computer equipment. This may lead to job loss, failure to succeed in academics, incurrence of debt and for adults breakdown of marriage.
Before we talk about side effects, this information was shocking. By age 2, more than 90% of American children have an online history, by age 5, more than 50% regularly use a computer or tablet. By middle school, kids spend more time with gadgets than parents or teachers.
What are the major side effects of internet addiction on children?
Shorter attention span – on average, people’s attention span have dropped over last ten years. 10 years ago, it was 12 minutes and today it is 5 minutes.
Lack of in-depth reading makes one a jack of all trades, master of none.
Cognitive overload – browsing from one page to another may lead to important information being glossed over.
Multi-tasking – learning isn’t as effective/efficient when multitasking.
Treatment for internet addiction on children
How to counter these internet addiction side effects? You can limit internet use; parents should enforce some sort of limit. You can use parental controls on android tablets, smartphones they use. By this you can limit the amount of time they spend on their devices. You can have a complete control of their device from your computer.
Apart from internet, encourage your kids other interests. Expose your children to non-internet activities, get them out of the house, and encourage them to meet real people, take them places.
Help them develop emotional intelligence, engage in meaningful conversations and encourage them to express their feelings. Take an active role in their internet usage. Monitor them using parental control softwares, encourage the use of educational apps and games.
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