How to Protect Your Teens from Smartphone and Internet Addiction
We are all very fortunate nowadays because we can access information anytime and anywhere using only a mobile phone. We can easily use a smartphone or tablet to connect to the Internet and within seconds and quickly access any data or send any kind of information that needs to be sent. We can transact business, arrange travel itineraries, pay bills, play games, produce videos and much more using a handheld gadget as long as there is some kind of wireless Internet access available.
Smartphones and the Internet are extremely useful for education and entertainment which is why children are very fond of them. In fact, most of today’s kids seem to get along better with smartphones, tablets and the Internet in general better than their parents. Kids have grown up with the Internet always in existence. In addition to being fast learners, their ability to grasp these technologies with a new set of eyes gives innovation a boost.
What is an Internet addiction?
Gone were the days when phones only allow you to make and receive a call. Thanks to the advancement in technology, smartphones with wireless Internet connections and screens that operate by touch to generate any graphic or text the imagination can conjure. Mobile phones of today are more powerful than any PC or laptop only a short decade ago, and using them wisely entails a high level of maturity and responsibility.
The many features of smartphones plus the Internet can cause users, especially teens, to become addicted to them. In fact, itn6xi10vr_sdfsfpss not exactly the unit itself that is addictive but the apps, sites, games, and the online communities that drive feel-good emotions that are addicting. Many refer to Internet addiction as a form of an impulse control disorder as it is not a substance that is being abused.
Internet Addiction and Teens
As always, teenagers are concerned with fitting in. Adolescence is a time of finding one’s self-identity and associating with role models among peers is one of the ways that someone finds a sense of belonging. One of the most effective ways for them to stay in the loop is by using their smartphone and Internet connection. For instance, teens can develop an emotional attachment to their social media accounts like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. These are like their social playground that allow them to do whatever they want as long as they donn6xi10vr_sdfsfpst violate the siten6xi10vr_sdfsfpss rules. Here they can express themselves freely, voice out their opinions, post photos, share content, and many more which they might not do normally in a real-life setting.
Aside from these perks, teens can also use their smartphone to get in touch with their family and friends. For example, they can send instant messages to their buddies or call them up for free using apps which can be downloaded from the Internet. With just a few taps of their fingers, they can already communicate with anyone, wherever they may be in the planet.
Internet addiction is rampant among teens because many of them are drawn to sites that allow them to meet other people such as dating websites or apps like Tinder. Using only their smartphones, they can view profiles of their possible matches and eventually meet them in person. For most of them, this is a better idea than to get to know their fellow kids in school or neighborhood because they already have an idea whether or not they have common interests.
The downsides of smartphones and Internet addiction
Just because technology makes life easier doesnn6xi10vr_sdfsfpst mean it only offers positive experiences with zero negative side effects. While we turn our heads to small screens the size of our hands, the world goes on around us and without us. Video game addiction and addiction to the wide range of media available online can lead to neglect to both hygiene and nutrition. Instead of schoolwork, Internet addicts spend more than 40 hours per week laying in unnatural positions playing and partying on their smartphone or tablet. This leads to health problems as well as social and financial challenges later in life. Neglecting study and without proper training in life management, an Internet addict becomes dependent on the Internet with an unhealthy fixation.
How can parents help?
It is the responsibility of parents to ensure that their kids are using their smartphones and the Internet properly and responsibly. Here are some tips to do so:
- Limit use of the Internet
A heart to heart talk with your teens to explain to them why you need to impose limits on their Internet use will go a long way. They wonn6xi10vr_sdfsfpst like it but tell them itn6xi10vr_sdfsfpss for their own good. They will understand deep down that their parents are concerned for their safety. For instance, you can tell them they can only use the Internet for three hours a day on weekdays and five hours during weekends. There are also times when using a smartphone or tablet is inappropriate, such as around company, at the table or while in bed.
- Monitor the sites they visit and the apps they use
Keep in mind who the head of the household is. A parent should be upfront with their children when they provide them with a smartphone or tablet that they will check their smartphone to find out which apps they use and what sites they regularly visit. If you happen to stumble upon a site thatn6xi10vr_sdfsfpss inappropriate for their age, talk to them and tell them never to visit the site again. On the other hand, verify that theyn6xi10vr_sdfsfpsre only using apps that are suited for their age group. Use the apps on your own device to get a feel for how the game is played and what kind of community the child is joining up with.
- Provide wholesome activities to fight boredom
One of the reasons why teens stick to their smartphone and use the Internet a lot is because theyn6xi10vr_sdfsfpsre bored. The best thing you can do as parents is to provide them with fun activities that will keep them occupied and at the same time, happy. For example, you can ask them to go shopping with you, watch a movie, or try that new recipe youn6xi10vr_sdfsfpsve seen on TV. Another excellent idea is to encourage them to start a new hobby. Once theyn6xi10vr_sdfsfpsre hooked on something productive and fruitful, they wonn6xi10vr_sdfsfpst mind at all spending less time with their smartphone or the Internet.
Using smartphones and the Internet is helpful but if it is abused and used excessively, it can lead to addiction. Sadly, teens are mostly affected by it which is why as parents, it is our responsibility to ensure the safety of our children. Protect them from the dangers of smartphone and Internet addiction earlier on before things get out of hand.