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Risks of Internet Addiction for Young Boys, Teens

Need to find a good boarding school for your young boy who struggles with obsessive overuse of social media, phones, gaming, and internet use? Vision Boys Academy in Sarcoxie, MO understands that you want to find a safe, positive environment where he can change and grow!

Vision Boys Academy focuses on providing a nurturing learning environment for struggling young boys, in a safe, daily structured program that promotes personal, spiritual and academic growth. One on one discussion and daily interaction with staff significantly impacts his development as he heals and grows.

Leading at-risk boys, ages 8-12, to be Godly and upright young men–that’s our purpose!

We want to help your boy deal with his risk of addiction to social media, phone, gaming and the internet. Please call us today. (417) 246-1114


How Much Time ‘Online’ is Right?

During the past year of social isolation and school closings, parents may have noticed that their teens and young children spend more and more time on the internet via their phones or laptops. You may also have seen significant change in their behavior, causing you to wonder, ‘how much time should they spend online, and off-line?

Many current studies on internet use around the world indicate that after spending time doing academic studies or homework online, a child or teen should not take more than two hours on social media, gaming, texting, etc. And as an adolescent’s screen time grows and grows, parents must take action to help their son focus on other healthy activities, and avoid ‘internet addiction disorder’ or IAD. Many of the troubled boys enrolled at Vision Boys Academy spend excessive time online and in front of screens.

Risks of Internet Dependency

Internet dependency is a behavioral obsession in which a person becomes dependent on use of the Internet, or other online devices, as a maladaptive way of coping with life’s stresses. 1 

“Loneliness is a risk factor associated with adolescents being drawn into compulsive internet use. The risk of compulsive use has grown in the coronavirus pandemic: loneliness has become increasingly prevalent among adolescents, who spend longer and longer periods of time online.” 2

Unfortunately, spending more and more time online, separated from interaction with their surrounding environment and family, adolescents can experience negative impact on their mental health. 

“Obsessive use of the internet leads to IAD…negative implications such as sadness, feeling down, having a loss of interest in daily activities, distraction from normal exercises and other physical play as well as social interaction with friends. Adolescents who have high IAD, are more likely to suffer from emotional and mental stress, depression or social anxiety.” 3

“Internet dependency is particularly concerning for kids and teens. Children lack the knowledge and awareness to properly manage their own computer use and have no idea about the potential harms that the Internet can open them up to.” 4

If your adolescent son or daughter spends excessive time on the internet, take a moment to consider the following signs of obsessive behavior: 4

  • Loses track of time while online
  • Sacrifices needed hours of sleep to spend time online
  • Becomes agitated or angry when online time is interrupted
  • Checks email or online messages several times a day
  • Becomes irritable if not allowed access to the internet
  • Spends time online in place of homework or chores
  • Prefers to spend time online rather than with friends or family
  • Disobeys time limits that have been set for internet usage
  • Lies about amount of time spent online or “sneaks” online when no one is around
  • Forms new relationships with people he or she has met online
  • Seems preoccupied with getting back online when away from the computer
  • Loses interest in activities that were enjoyable before he or she had online access
  • Becomes irritable, moody or depressed when not online

What Parents Can Do

Internet dependency treatment can begin at home, as parents set reasonable rules and boundaries on their son or daughter’s use of phones and computers. 

“Work with your child to establish clear boundaries for limited internet usage. Create a rule that non-homework-related computer usage should only happen in more public areas of the home, where your child is more likely to interact with you or other members of the household.” 4

And it’s important to show your adolescent that you care about him or her, and you’re not trying to punish them. You want to help them feel better, and improve their social and coping skills. Help them understand the importance of ‘face-to-face’ communication, instead of trying to escape unhappy feelings, or avoiding others.

When your adolescent will not cooperate, and continues to pursue unlimited use of phones or computers, please consider finding help through a professional counselor or therapist that works with families. It’s important to address your child’s problem with extensive internet use, before it becomes a harmful addiction that can derail his or her success in the future. You can also explore placing your adolescent in a therapeutic boarding school that actively treats emotional and mental health issues related to internet or online gaming addictions.  

Find Help Now at Vision Boys Academy

Vision Boys Academy wants to help you and your family find healthy restoration and healing from the negative effects of a young boy’s online activities.

Please give us a call now to discuss how our therapeutic program can help your young boy overcome the problems he’s experienced due to extensive overuse of online screen time. Call (417) 246-1114 now to learn more.

We look forward to helping you find the best treatment option for your troubled son.

Sources:

  1. https://www.verywellmind.com/internet-addiction-4157289
  2. https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210222/Loneliness-associated-with-increased-risk-of-internet-addiction-among-adolescents.aspx
  3. https://www.longdom.org/open-access/internet-addiction-disorder-and-mental-health-in-adolescents.pdf
  4. https://www.webroot.com/us/en/resources/tips-articles/internet-addiction-what-can-parents-do
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