How the internet is isolating our kids.
We are in full agreement that the internet is a wonderful thing. It is one that changed the world we live in and how we communicate with people. Recently it was reported Instagram and snapchat were the most detrimental to a young person’s mental health and well-being. The study also highlighted that social media addiction is thought to affect 5% of young people and it is considered more addictive than cigarettes or alcohol.
I don’t think many of us would like to vision a world without the internet or social media as it is a major tool for business and education to name a few. However, as amazing as the internet is it doesn’t come without its drawbacks and regarding the impact it has on the youth of today it is fair to say we don’t fully understand it.
Parents are faced with teenagers and even young kids who are becoming more and more addicted to the internet, the prevalence of mobile phones has made access to the internet easier than ever. Then came the tablets and the iPad’s which are adored by every youngster near and far. If your child doesn’t have one of these devices they are probably begging for one and only the strictest parents are managing to withhold these devices altogether.
Some parents prefer to regulate their child’s usage and supervise their stints online and this is probably the safest way to ensure your child isn’t being drawn into any dangerous stuff. For teenagers, they tend to stay in their room and supervising a teenager’s usage of any device is nearly impossible especially when these youths are more experienced with the internet than their parents.
It is said that the use of the internet is beginning to isolate kids from their parents and even with their real-life friends. It is noted that children refrain from knocking on doors now a days and instead they contact each other via messaging apps. It is also fair to admit that children withdraw when using these devices and would rather spend time alone. Streaming programmes online is now a regular thing and children would rather watch what they want, when they want than sit down as a family to watch the same movie together.
Say what you like about their habits but when we were young it was normal to watch TV with your family and everyone watched the same thing whether they liked it or not. That isn’t the case anymore and every family is the same with each kid watching their own type of programmes without their family around.
While on line relationships are great for when people live far away it is advised to meet people and build relationships. Kids are becoming reliant on technology and meeting friends online so much that they can type faster than speak to an actual human being. This isn’t necessarily a major thing but it does add to the fact that kids are isolated because of the internet.
They seek refuge in their room while on the internet, they may have things or issues going on in their life and hold it in as they may feel unable to communicate their feelings properly. Furthermore, as the recent study proves youths are affected mentally by unrealistic posts on their newsfeeds each day, it can draw them into depression and increase their feelings of inadequacy.
The pressure to “have it all” and to share the best parts of your life can lead children to have idealist expectations for their own life that cannot be fulfilled. Monitoring your child’s usage is vital, kids need boundaries and they should be able to socialise normally. In my opinion, our kids should go out to play daily and visit friends and family rather than spending hours upon hours online. They shouldn’t live their life through social media and do everything for ‘likes’ and fixate their attentions to the amount of people they are online friends with yet these friends may ignore them in the school halls.
Life is so much more than the internet and while it may cause some isolation, it shouldn’t impact your child’s life to the point where they would rather be online then in front of a person-ever.
Just my thoughts... what's yours?
Written by Emma, mum and staff writer with www.familyfriendlyhq.ie