School is starting again for many students around the country and that means that it’s time for them to buckle down and start thinking about doing homework and getting good grades. Yet, for many young people, this will be hard because of their addiction to technology and gaming addiction. A new survey based out of Toronto shows that for middle school and high school students, more than 1 in 3 students in grades 7-12 have reported that they have high levels of psychological distress such as anxiety and depression. The study looked at more than 10,000 students in more than 200 schools in Canada and the results showed a 10% increase of psychological distress in the last two years. The survey also showed that 13% of the participating students reported that they have a problem with video game overuse which included symptoms of preoccupation, loss of control, withdrawal, or no regard for consequences. This was an increase of 9% since 2007, the first year that video game addiction was monitored. During the survey, about 16% of students reported that they spend more than five hours a day on social media outlets and nearly two-thirds of students spend more than 3 hours a day in front of a screen, including televisions, tablets, or computers. (1)
Social media has transformed the way young people interact with each other today. How other people view them can often direct them on how they feel about themselves and if they can’t convey a perfect image on social media, they can become anxious and depressed, which can lead to complete disengagement from loved ones and friends alike.
Is there an answer?
One of the most important first steps to solving the overuse of social media is limiting access to it when kids are young. Exposing children to games and technology is not bad in and of itself. In fact, it can be incredibly beneficial, but when it is not monitored and there are no limits on time usage, kids and teens will begin craving screen time. Without limits, the door to addiction is left open and they are more likely to use it too much.
Excess use of technology – whether it’s social media usage, video gaming, viewing pornography, or surfing the web for hours at a time, will end up causing damage sometimes physically and often socially and emotionally as well. If you or someone you know is showing signs of technology addiction, seek professional help immediately. For more information: www.realbattle.org/resources/
- Loriggio, Paola. “More Students Showing Symptoms of Video Game Addiction: Study.” The Canadian Press. July 21, 2016. Accessed online August 24, 2016.