New addictions: Internet and social networks
The enormous advantages that the incorporation of technology in people's daily lives have been indisputable. Children, youth and adolescents are accustomed to using ICT from a young age, normalizing its use; However, in recent years the problems related to the loss of privacy and privacy have increased, as well as addictive Internet behavior.
This type of behavior is basically defined by a pattern of behavior characterized by the loss of control over the use of the internet. Now, the use of these terms "addictions to new technologies" is causing great alarm among the population, but Is this alarm justified?, To what extent the use of technology is producing negative consequences for our children?
Disease-related obsessions with ICTs
Undoubtedly, sometimes, some adolescents show behaviors and behaviors totally out of whack for ICT, reaching sickly obsessions, such as the priority and vital acquisition of the latest technological innovation or the total and imperative need of absolute dedication to social networks as an element of communication and socialization. In these cases, it occurs an overstimulation of the child to the internet which can cause an overload of the central nervous system, manifesting in the form of nervousness, restlessness and irritability.
On the other hand, from various forums and scientific literature point out that the excessive use of the Internet can lead to significant health risks, as well as to addictions to other substances or other types of behavior, such as pathological game. In addition, some studies suggest that close to 86% of people who have developed some kind of Internet addiction present other mental disorders, which complicates the diagnostic treatment.
3 types of Internet addiction
In this sense, a recent proposal included this type of addiction as a maladaptive use of the Internet, published in the Journal of Psychiatrand, author Jerald J. Block, calling it a spectrum of obsessive-compulsive disorders.
In his proposal, Block, differentiated 3 subtypes of Internet addiction:
- Excessive play.
- Sexual worries (cybersex).
- Excessive sending of messages (by email, chats, SMS ...).
Symptoms of Internet addiction
In any case, this type of behavior is characterized, like any other addiction, by the following main symptoms:
- Excessive use: associated with the loss of the notion of time and basic needs
- Abstinence: It includes feelings of anger, anger, impotence or depression due to the lack of connection to the Internet.
- Tolerance: The users are acquiring a greater degree of resistance and tolerance to the pleasure that the use of the internet provides them, with what little by little they need more powerful equipment and consumption of hours in front of the computer.
- Negative repercussions: That affect the daily life of the child, such as frequent discussions, lies, social isolation, fatigue, low academic performance, etc ...
Advice and recommendation to treat Internet addiction
If we consider that our children have any of these symptoms, we will find great resistance and denial on their part, as in any other addictive behavior suffered by a person, minimizing the problem and looking for all kinds of justifications to legitimize their internet connection .
In many of these cases, it is advisable to go to the evaluation of a specialist, if we understand that we have lost control of the situation or identified the problem too late.
Some of the recommendations will revolve around breaking the child's connection habits, and for this we parents can practice some premises:
- Set realistic goals and schedules, that allow the minor to manage their time and control the situation.
- Educate in the use of internett as a source of training and information, and not just as an element of leisure, fun and free time.
- Ask our son to list a list of the main problems caused by addiction and the main benefits of not being permanently connected.
- Abstinence in the use of the application what else do you use
- Inform us about the tools and prevention resources.
- Talk about internet with our son
- Join a support group
- Family therapy
Ricardo Lombardero Calzón. Lawyer, Mediator and Coach. Cofounder of Lomber Soluciones Cyberbullying