By Paige Daniele, Millbrook High School Student
Illustrated by Lyle Bicking, Kingston High School Student
My theory is that life is filled with moments of impact that decide who we are. These moments can cause ripple effects far beyond what we can predict. No matter how hard we try, we can’t control how they will affect us. One of the most impactful events for young people is being given their own personal electronics; something that sometimes leads to harmful behavior. Addiction, as you know, comes in many forms— drug, alcohol, vaping, working, shopping—and the big one of today’s society: cyber addiction.
The current generation of teens has not known a life without the internet. The net is a great way to interact with peers and stay informed in today’s world, but if you’re a parent, you also know it can cause a variety of problems. The use of technology can become an obsession, which can then lead to addiction.
Being a teen in today’s society who’s constantly been around technology my whole life, I can tell you that most people my age, including myself, have formed some sort of dependency on electronics. The attachment, depending on the severity, can affect one’s health or relationships, and it is sad to see people my age experiencing numerous disorders so early in life.
For example, one of my best friends’ brothers was so invested in playing his video games that he’d urinate in a water bottle instead of walking just a few feet to the bathroom. This was putting his gaming before his personal hygiene, and quite frankly, situations like these are more common than you think.
There are signs to indicate symptoms of what seems to be a growing issue. For example, when technology use becomes a teen’s only hobby, that teen may lose sleep to the use of their electronics; he or she may experience anxiety when separated from technology; or technology use may become more important than spending time with friends. Internet addiction can interfere with one’s real life, affecting their relationships, responsibilities and priorities.
Fortunately, addiction to electronics can be addressed. Treatments may include individual or group therapy, behavior modification, art therapy, reality therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and recreation therapy. Medications may be effective in treating this disorder as well, because if you are suffering from this condition, it is likely that you are also suffering from an underlying issue such as anxiety
Technology is becoming a source of harm instead of enhancement to the growing minds of teens. People may jokingly claim to have an addiction to the internet, but internet addiction is a very real problem among the teens of this generation with serious repercussions when not addressed. So ask yourself, have you or your teen ever felt so attached to your electronics that you can’t be without them for a period of time? █