Over the past two decades or so, internet usage has been growing rampantly amongst all age groups. The internet was originally designed to help users connect with people across the globe, work remotely, shop online, support academics, conduct financial transactions as well as serve as a hotpot of the latest information on any topic.
Unfortunately, however, it’s the teenagers who are using the internet the most – to the extent that it’s having a detrimental effect on their physical as well as mental health. Not only that, it’s also exposing them to cyberbullying, cybersuicide, cyberporn, cyber racism, social isolation, internet addiction, etc. This also leads to wastage of precious time and exhibition of anti-social behaviour which leads to relationship problems and failure in academics. All these have psychological effects on the person leading to problems in forming and maintaining relationships with friends and family.
Excessive usage of internet addiction could be because the person is trying to escape loneliness, social anxiety or depression. Some of the emotional manifestations of internet addictions present as agitation, anxiety, depression, dishonesty, isolation, and inability to keep schedules, no sense of time, defensiveness and feelings of euphoria when in front of a computer!
The physical side effects of internet addiction and spending too many hours in front of the screen understandably include headaches, backaches, and carpal tunnel syndrome, blurred or strained vision issues coupled with weight loss or gain.
Details of some of these negative effects of excessive internet usage include the following:
Depression, anxiety and sadness
people who spend too much time on the internet end up losing touch with reality and live in a fantasy world. Without access to the internet, they feel lost.
People are increasingly going to bed with their internet devices and continue browsing well into the night, losing out on sleep and increasing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Inability to stick to schedules
These people get so lost in browsing and lose the sense of time once they are on the net that important schedules become irrelevant to them.
Internet addicts end up developing numerous close relationships online, but losing out on real-time relationships with peers and families.
Most heavy-internet users get euphoric and happy when online, but get gloomy and irritated when they are denied access.
Most internet addicts are aware of their situation but lie when confronted as they can’t live without it.
Such teenagers end up with problems of the nervous system, eyes, muscle wastage, headaches and obesity.
Urgent counselling is advised for such people.