The Internet is rapidly becoming an important tool to help the average person get through life. We use the Internet to do our homework, to study, to research what interests us and to communicate with people all over the world. Through the Internet, it seems as if all things are possible. Unfortunately, as our connection to the Internet becomes more and more prevalent, a new type of addiction is forming: Internet addiction.
It is becoming more and more possible for the average teenager to become hooked, and so it is vitally essential that you be able to spot the warning signs of Internet addiction in your children so that they can get the help they need should such a thing ever become a real problem.
- In situations where the Internet user is remaining online for longer than intended, there may be an Internet addiction. It is normal to become distracted by websites and videos, but if your teenager is regularly spending longer and longer periods of time online, something could be wrong.
- In situations where the Internet user is neglecting household chores in favor of spending more time on the Internet, there may be an Internet addiction. If the Internet is getting in the way of other responsibilities, the teen may be addicted.
- In situations where the Internet user is choosing online interactions over face to face interactions, there may be an Internet addiction. While communicating online is totally okay, preferring it to real communication is a definite red flag.
- In situations where people are complaining about how much time the Internet user is spending on the Internet, there may be an Internet addiction. If you’re complaining that your teen is online too much, and he or she is ignoring you, take notice.
- In situations where work or grades are suffering because of how much time is being spent online, there may be an Internet addiction.
- If the Internet user gives preference to checking e-mail over other responsibilities, then there may be an Internet addiction.
- If productivity or job performance of the Internet user is suffering as a result of online time, then there may be an Internet addiction. If your teen is having problems in school and is spending a lot of time online, then there may be a correlation that you have not noticed up until now.
- A teenager with an Internet addiction may behave secretively or defensively when someone asks what they are doing online. If your teen is refusing to tell you what he or she is doing online, who they are talking to or how long they are online, take notice. This secretive behavior is a huge warning sign that something is amiss.
- A teenager who has an Internet addiction may try to live out their fantasies online rather than facing their realities offline. Through game playing, role playing, online relationships and similar practices, your teen may have an Internet addiction as a means of avoiding the real world.
- A teenager who has an Internet addiction may be anticipating the next time he or she will go online rather than focusing on reality offline.
- A teenager who is suffering from an Internet addiction may feel as if life without the Internet would be a life without joy or a boring and empty existence.
- A teenager who is addicted to the Internet might snap, act annoyed or yell in situations where he or she is distracted from or pulled away from the Internet.
- A teenager who is suffering from an Internet addiction might have difficulty sleeping, or might give up sleep in order to spend more time online.
- A teenager who is suffering from an Internet addiction might become preoccupied with the Internet even when he or she is not online.
- A teenager who is suffering from an Internet addiction may make excuses and brush off his or her Internet usage with sayings like “Just a few more minutes” in order to score some additional online time.
- A teenager who is suffering from an Internet addiction may try to cut down on his or her Internet time, only to fail each time. Additionally, you may try to cut down on your teenager’s Internet usage time, only to find that your efforts fail as well.
- A teenager who is suffering from an Internet addiction may try to hide how long he or she has been online, or may lie about how often he or she has been online.
- A teenager who is suffering from an Internet addiction may choose to go online rather than having social interactions, or may prefer online social interactions to real life social interactions.
- A teenager who is suffering from an Internet addiction may exhibit feelings of depression, moodiness or nervousness when away from the Internet. These feelings may disappear when he or she returns to the Internet.
- A teenager who is suffering from an Internet addiction may become visibly obsessed with a game, a website or some specific purpose online. Some teenagers become addicted to specific video games such as World of Warcraft because they combine social aspects with gaming, or specific websites such as Facebook for similar purposes.
These are all warning signs that your teenager may be addicted to the Internet. If you suspect that your teen may have an Internet addiction, then work on getting him or her help now rather than waiting. This type of addiction can become increasingly problematic if left unchecked. This is why it is so necessary for you to pay attention to how your teen uses the Internet so that you can nip a problem in the bud before it becomes more detrimental.