Research shows that 92% of teenagers online every day and 24% of teenagers report that they go online “almost constantly”. Even though teenagers facing emotional, behavioral or psychological problems, they may find it harder to separate themselves from the online world, so sadly, they continue to use the Internet.

The internet addiction among teenagers or called teen internet addiction is not something to be taken lightly. Your child has a high chance of alienating the real world and only having fun living in their online world, so they risk accessing even more inappropriate content on the Internet and isolating themselves with friends and family.

7 signs of internet addiction in teenagers

Here are some common signs and symptoms of your baby is addicted to the internet:

  • Internet obsessed: Your child constantly talks about topics related to his favorite websites, social groups, messages with friends, and more.
  • Too much screen time. Children often check their favorite websites, social networks, and Youtube channels whenever they have a chance to pick up their phone.
  • Your child becomes anxious, depressed or irritable when you don’t let him use it or ask him or her to do other things or the allowed using time is up.
  • Problems in school performance, such as low grades, not doing homework, missing school, or falling asleep in class. This happens when your child is only spending time on the Internet and avoiding responsibilities, such as schoolwork, housework or after-school chores, to spend time on the Internet.
  • Not interested in sports, pastime, hanging out with friends or other activity your child used to love and just getting more comfortable spending time on the Internet
  • Your child covers up or lied about how much time he or she spends on the Internet and does not follow set time limits for using the Internet
  • Regularly staying up late to watch Youtube, play games, chat with friends, watch movies and even porn movies.

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How screen addiction affects your kids?

Putting stress on your child’s brain

Research has shown that even though the part of the thinking brain that recognizes the input is stimulating or interesting, the part of the sensory brain that recognizes the exposure is stress.

Blue light emitted from screens has been shown to decrease the brain’s ability to initiate sleep. If your child is exposed to a screen for many hours a day, over time, his brain begins to develop a chronic stress response.

Your child’s body will begin to produce more cortisol, a stress hormone that can impair brain function, including memory, concentration, and emotional regulation. This has the potential to increase your child’s risk of developing anxiety and mood symptoms, while also impairing your child’s ability to recover emotionally.

screen time addiction in kids

Additionally, the vast majority of digital content used by children is carefully designed to be as addictive as possible. Due to brain development and synaptic flexibility, children and young adults are especially susceptible to addiction if they tend to develop an overuse habit, it will be difficult for your child to break this habit.

Risk of access to pornography

Pornography is so widespread online that only a few gender-related keywords put your child at high risk of accessing pornography. Research shows that most pornography and sex addiction begin in adolescence. Pornography negatively affects brain development, badly changes the view of self-image and encourages attitudes and acts of violence against women.

Your child is still human, and therefore he/she has certain privacy rights. Instead of suddenly snatching your child’s phone and reading everything on it, forbid your child from using the computer when no adult is around or constantly staring at their screen, etc. those sound effective but extremely counterproductive.

teen internet addiction

Instead, ACT WISELY by installing content filtering tools that use the most advanced technology such as CyberPurify’s AI, which protects your child not only from pornography but also other malicious content that affects their physical and mental development like weapons, gore, accidents, etc. It will let your kids learn and explore the Internet freely but still securely.

Limited communication skills

Research data shows that children and teenagers spend a lot of time, mostly unattended, in front of televisions and computers. For your child, spending time on screen can be fun and entertaining. Therefore, they will spend less time socializing with friends and expanding their relationships.

negative effects of internet addiction

Direct communication with those around your child is the foundation to start building intimate, safe, meaningful social relationships, creating a premise for a strong relationship. This is the most important task of childhood: learning social skills. Mastering these skills requires the use of all of your child’s senses and requires constant practice and repetition. Don’t compromise technology with social skills.

Risks of cyber attacks

An online predator is when an adult uses the Internet to take advantage of a child and/or young person for sexual or financial abuse. Sexual predators and other predators often stalk children on the Internet, taking advantage of their innocence, lack of adult supervision and abuse of their trust.

Some common forms of cyber-predation are the online predator sending illegal images, audio or video to children under an approved age. Or the predator entices the minor to engage in pornographic conversations. Or arrange to meet with a minor to commit sexual acts that are illegal, unlawful and unethical.

phishing Internet Safety for Kids

Your child can become highly at risk of Phishing –  what cybersecurity experts call an attacker masquerading as a reputable unit to trick users into giving them personal information by using emails trying to deceive people to click on malicious links or attachments.

From there, they will steal their account information & login passwords, transaction passwords, credit cards and other valuable information.

What parents can do to prevent teen internet addiction?

Faced with these challenges, some strategies can reduce the potential negative impact of digital technology on the developing brains of children and teenagers.

What parents can do to help kids use technology better

Establish a healthy technology using routine

Create and maintain technology habits at home with children and teenagers. These habits should have clear rules and limits, everyone knows.

Create family and friends interaction time without digital devices such as taking your children into family extracurricular activities, taking them to school courses and programs to increase the quantity and quality of face-to-face communication with their friends.

Make sure what your kids watch online is age-appropriate

Making sure this balance is not enough, you need to make sure what your kids approach online is appropriate for their age. A series of inappropriate content such as porn, bloody murder scenes, weapons, etc. is stalking your child in the virtual world every day without your knowledge.

These harmful contents negatively affect your child’s brain development, from anorexia, trouble sleeping to depression, even suicide.

a role model for your child's internet usage habits

So, to protect your child from these threats, it is necessary to use harmful content filtering (porn, sex, drugs, weapons, creepy photos, videos, etc.) like CyberPurify so that your child can freely learn and explore the Internet (within appropriate time used, of course), while still being protected.

Maintain an open conversation with children about their digital activities

Regularly talk to your child about what they are doing. Talk about the potential dangers of online gaming, over-sharing on social media, virtual relationships, the risks associated with chat groups

Be a role model for your child’s usage habits

With the development of technology along with Covid-19, it is impractical to not allow your child to use technology. However, once your child is stepping into it, you need to clearly show how much screen time is enough, ensuring a balance between time spent using technology and outside activities.

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