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Internet Addiction Affecting Vulnerable Teens

By Janine Jensenoris

The ability to exist in a community online is easier now than ever. As the internet is used in schools as an educational tool, kids are becoming proficient and internet savvy at increasingly younger ages and may become susceptible to internet addiction, spending hours online.

Many kids are well beyond their parent’s range of expertise by the time they hit middle school. Our society is coming to rely on the internet as its primary source of information, and while it is good that our kids know how to access the information that they need, it can be difficult to monitor what else they are doing while online.

The plethora of things to do online is only growing exponentially. From chat rooms to instant messaging to internet pornography, the possibilities of things that can occupy a teenager’s time are endless.

Vulnerable And Impressionable Teens Online

It has only gotten worse with the popularity of such sites as Youtube and Myspace. Teens are spending countless hours viewing videos, chatting with friends and strangers, posting blogs, and many other things.

Many technologically uninformed parents choose to allow their adolescent unlimited sessions on the internet because they may not understand its detrimental qualities. But, there are several negative aspects that internet addiction can create, for adolescents who are vulnerable and impressionable.

Developing Friendships With Online Communities

Being a teenager is a socially awkward time. Kids are often uncomfortable with their physical appearances and don’t always know how they should behave in social situations. The danger is, they may spend hours online and develop an internet addiction. Online communities can provide a place where they don’t have to worry about any of those things.

They can hide their appearance and can edit and re-write their dialogue until it is no longer awkward. It gives them the opportunity to become the people that they wish they were. The online community is a place where kids can escape the pressures and drama of growing up and create whatever existence that they want, spending hours and hours online.

Looking For The Signs

There are warning signs that an observant parent can pay attention to before the addiction gets too serious. If your teen is either constantly talking about the internet or integrating his other daily activities with the internet, there is a strong possibility that the teen is addicted.

Many internet addicted teens also show a decline in their daily hygiene and appearance because they would rather spend that time doing something on the internet. Besides, if they’re spending all that time on the internet, they figure they don’t have to smell good for anybody because nobody will come into contact with them.

Staying Up Late And Waking Up Early

They may also choose to sleep less - staying up late and waking up early - so they can spend even more time on the internet. In some cases, the adolescent’s academic grades may drop, the time spent in their social activities decrease, and there is a decreased interest in any hobbies that do not involve the internet.

Not all agree that internet addiction is a serious problem. Some view the internet as a new form of community that can actually improve our kids ability to communicate and allows them the freedom to develop relationships with people who share similar interests.

Parents Keeping Eye On Their Children Online

The most important thing is that parents are involved and continue to review their options, to help to improve the lifestyle of their children. Just like every other aspect of your kids lives, know who they are spending their time with and what they are doing when they are together.

Let your kids know that you check up on them and are concerned, not because you don’t trust them, but because you may not trust those who are sitting at a computer on the other end.

About the Author:
Janine Jensenoris is a popular author of dating articles including Adult Personals, Blind Dating, Chat Websites, Real Friends, Adult Party Favors, Conversation Starters, Abusive Relationships, Difficult People, Anger Management, Interracial Relationships.
Keep a lookout for more articles coming soon.

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