The realities of our lives are such that the vast majority of adults and children cannot imagine their life without a computer and the Internet – the most powerful tools for transmitting, processing and exchanging information. Such popularity of virtual reality is often the cause of unhealthy addictions, when teenagers and even elementary school students spend an excessive amount of time behind the PC, without even noticing it. This is how computer addiction is formed in adolescents.
Sometimes the most innocent at first sight hobbies gradually destroy the personality, make young people unfree, and later weak-willed, passive, unable to set (and achieve!) Goals. Game addiction – this concept came into use in the early 90s of the last century – psychologists define it as an irrepressible need to perform an action. Dependence is expressed in the addiction to the phenomenon, action, object or person. If for any reason the object of addiction is not available, the child does not find a place for himself. It often takes many years to break free from dangerous bondage.
The Basics of Gambling
For more than a decade, experts have been debating: is excessive computer enthusiasm a psychological problem or a disease? They distinguish the following types of computer addiction from schoolchildren:
- cyberaddiction (addiction to online games);
- Methodism – aimless wandering through the spaces of virtual reality, endless web-surfing;
- excessive enthusiasm for online communication (social networks, participation in forums, chats, as well as huge volumes of correspondence, thousands of virtual “friends”);
- online shopping (typical for teenage girls).
The main causes of computer addiction in adolescents and children
Why is such a pastime often the most attractive for teenagers? What is the reason why virtual reality suppresses true friendship, replaces offline communication, love for sports? To get rid of this influence, first of all, you should understand the reasons.
The main thing is the lack of attention, communication, trusting relationships in the family when relatives do not show interest in the spiritual world of their offspring, they do not ask what disturbs and worries the child. No less often unhealthy addictions appear among schoolchildren who are not “burdened” by interests, hobbies, and hobbies that are not related to PC. At some moment, he does not show zeal for studying, is not engaged in sports, reading, is not anxious to help the child at home, he understands: there is no point in bothering too much.
It is very easy to find a virtual “friend” on the network, communication with which is easy to stop at any time, you can become a cool mafia in the game, or you can download homework/abstract. Such a pleasant prospect literally “nails” the student to the monitor screen.
Computer addiction is formed as a result of the inability to build relationships with peers and parents. And if this situation does not suit the child, he can easily end up in captivity of unhealthy attachments. Indeed, in the network (in the game) he is a winner, a superhero, a creator (or a destroyer). It is possible to speak about the formed dependence when a teenager prefers the computer to pastime in the circle of friends, training (circles, sections), active leisure and any other activities while using PC as a means of receiving pleasure. At this stage, psychological dependence is transformed into physical. And here treatment is already required.
9 negative effects of computer addiction
- Irreversible changes in the body (obesity, metabolic disorders, poor posture and vision, the appearance of tension headaches caused by a long stay of the child in a static posture).
- Destabilization of the psyche, increasing the level of aggression.
- Fatigue, apathy.
- Insomnia, non-compliance with wakefulness and sleep.
- Loss of control over real-time (omission of school lessons, constant delays).
- The development of tunnel syndrome (pain in the wrist joint).
- Violation of communication skills (significant narrowing of the circle of communication).
- A decrease in school performance.
- Children who get hooked on gambling often go beyond the limits of what is permitted, show a deviation from generally accepted norms and are prone to deviant behavior (for example, to stealing) since participation in such entertainment requires constant replenishment of game accounts with cash.
Treatment of computer addiction in schoolchildren
The fragile children’s psyche does not do well with excessive emotional stress. The child is plunging deeper into the virtual world. Parents are faced with the question of what to do to disaccustom the child from addiction? Computer addiction is one of the ways to abstract from life problems, from reality. In medicine, it refers to behavioral addictions and is considered a disease. You should know that in the advanced stage, it requires the participation of a competent specialist with significant experience in overcoming such ailments.
To understand the labyrinth of problems, it will not be superfluous to involve a psychologist, and in some situations (when medication is needed) and a psychotherapist. As a rule, young people have a tremendous amount of energy that must somehow be realized. Give your child a bright, unexpected experience! It is there, and sometimes a certain amount of extreme, drive often lacks a young player.
Independently (or with the help of relatives) with dependence on the computer, according to statistics, only 20% of adolescents managed to cope. That is why to select the right treatment strategy you should contact a psychotherapist. It is necessary to fight this state, but there is no universal way to improve the psyche. Psychologist’s advice to parents often boils down to the need to return the child’s interest in offline communication, to real life, which can be ensured:
- Revealing new interests. It should be shown to teenagers all the possibilities of the real world – tourism, travel, extreme types of recreation, activities of various (including strength) sports, creativity and so on.
- The ability to negotiate with the child, taking into account his interests. (For example, “I am not against your hobby, but only if the games are not to the detriment of school activities, household chores, the daily routine”)
- Defining a clear time frame for being in front of the monitor. Here, special programs for monitoring visits to certain web resources, timers that disconnect a PC from the network after a predetermined time can help. At the same time, the complete abandonment of the Internet provokes a “breaking” akin to drugs.
- Daily communication with your son or daughter. It is necessary to be aware of conflicts and problems arising in a teenager. Offline contacts should be encouraged, inviting his friends and classmates to visit.
- Creating a normal psychological atmosphere in the family.
The main danger of teen computer addiction is that puberty is the most difficult stage in the life of any person. At this time, young people begin to look for their own place in society, master the basics of communication with the opposite sex, learn to set goals for themselves. Therefore, the most correct decision would be to contact a specialist. Before being treated, the psychotherapist will identify possible depressive disorders, as well as other causes that could trigger this unhealthy addiction. The treatment of such conditions is based on the experience of addiction therapy.