It seems as though every tween and teen that is currently on the planet is constantly connected to a digital device. They spend hours a day pouring through social media feeds and watching videos on YouTube. While this is something that most kids enjoy, there are also many dangers involved with this type of behavior.
More and more, parents are discovering that their tweens and teens have actually developed a digital addiction. Having an addiction is never something that is healthy and can greatly affect the day-to-day life of the teen. Learning more about this type of addiction is important for every parent. Here are a few of the dangers that you should be aware of when it comes to digital addiction in tweens and teens.
Fear of Missing Out
The main issue that kids face when they have a digital addiction is the “fear of missing out”. This refers to a concern that your child has that they will miss something if they are not constantly in contact with their digital device. This could be updates from their favorite stars or information that is shared by their friends. Just like with any addiction, the fear is very real and should be treated delicately.
One downside, for your child, of being tethered to digital devices is that it may lead to negative consequences . For example, if they are being bullied at school, this bullying could follow them home through their digital devices. Being constantly attacked could eventually lead to depression and many young students have taken their own lives because of this. Parents should be extremely cautious if their child is exhibiting signs of depression and should talk to their pediatrician immediately.
Another issue that teens and tweens face when they have digital addiction is sleep deprivation. This is caused when they attempt to stay up to date on everything that is going on in the digital world and avoid going to sleep. Their sleep can also be affected if they find themselves staying up and worrying about what they are missing out on.
Digital addiction is also something that can negatively affect your child’s relationships with their friends. They may avoid spending time with friends because they want to stay connected with their digital devices or could even stay connected with the device while they are with their friends. This could affect them later in life because they may not have the ability to communicate as well with others on a social or professional basis.
Finally, digital addiction can also cause your child to struggle in school. They may miss class or be late because they are busy using their iPhones or Android. Some students even use their mobile devices while their teacher is conducting class, making it hard for them to learn the lesson. Not only could this affect the child’s ability to retain the information that is being taught by the teacher, but it could cause them to score poorly on exams and classwork.
What to Watch For
Watching for signs of digital addiction is important for all parents. Some of the signs that your child might have developed a problem are when their grades begin to fall at school or when you notice changes in their personality and normal habits.
If you do begin to notice changes in your child, it is crucial that you take steps to protect them from the dangers of digital addiction. Monitoring and limiting their screen time with their mobile smartphones is a good first step to take. While doing this, make sure that there are other, healthier activities that they can turn to that will replace the time that they are usually spending on their digital devices.
It is always easier to help your tweens and teens maintain balance in their lives with mobile devices when you use a parental control software. For instance, Netsanity has a suite of services – their Timeblocker scheduler, can be used regularly to ensure that kids enjoy other activities or spend time finishing homework. Sometimes you may need to resort to blocking some social apps, even if only on a temporary basis if you are finding that they use them inappropriately or if they become to obsessed. If your tweens have an Apple mobile devices, Netsanity’s Appblocker can be used to block and restrict certain social apps such as Instagram, Twitter, Vine, and many others. They have a free trial so its worth checking out if your child has an Apple or Android mobile device.
Overall, balance in life will always help your tweens and teens lead a healthy and happy life!
Netsanity was made by parents for parents. With easy to use software designed to give control and sanity back to parents, Netsanity enables a safer and healthier mobile experience for kids. See for yourself with a free trial!
Netsanity is available for both Apple and Android devices.