While researching media addiction, I came across some details on internet addiction. A study was recently published in the journal Injury Prevention. It stated that in teenagers that were addicted to the internet they were five times more likely to hurt themselves. Injuries have included burning themselves, pulling out their hair, or hitting or pinching themselves. If you are wondering if your child might be addicted, here are some of the signs to look out for;
- Excessive time spent devoted to using the Internet
- Depression, moodiness or nervousness when not online
- Fantasizing about or being preoccupied with being online
- A change in sleeping patterns or habits
- Sudden weight loss or weight gain
- Lying about time spent on the Internet or denying use
- Neglecting family, friends or activities they used to enjoy
- Using the Internet to avoid problems
If you think that your child might be addicted to the internet then there are a few things you can do first, before you seek professional help.
- You need to limit computer usage. There needs to be a start and stop time.
- You should put the computer in a common area where the time spent on the computer can be monitored at all times.
- Talk to them about the reasons they are on the computer all of the time, and see if there is anything that you can do without seeking professional help.
- If all else fails, seek professional, medical assistance.