Internet addiction is a severe problem, and the group most susceptible to it are adolescents.
Nowadays, the internet has become an indispensable tool. It almost covers every aspect of life. Ranging from education to entertainment, from business communication to digital marketing and from e-commerce business to internet banking (Beard, 2011).
It has sped up the life of everyone. Access to the internet is readily available. Smartphone technology has been adopted extremely fast in the world. Almost there are two billion smartphone users in the world, which allows access to the internet (Duke & Montag, 2017).
These have dramatically increased the usage of the internet. The internet has influenced people positively by making data more accessible to all and connecting people all around the world.
On the other hand, its excessive use is causing severe problems resulting in internet addiction. Internet addiction is an extremely severe problem because it affects a person’s health and responsibilities.
Internet addiction is uncontrolled and unlimited use of the internet for a long period (Kardefelt, 2013). The outcome of this problematic usage of the internet affects the user’s life negatively.
This essay will show statistics about the excessive use of the internet among teenagers with innumerable significant impacts on their lives. Furthermore, this essay will cover various reasons that are why adolescents are a victim of internet addiction.
Usage of the internet is increasing among the young generation day by day. Different studies show the excessive use of smartphone and the internet among adolescents.
Internet addiction is more prevalent among students of high schools and universities where computers can be accessed quickly (Wallace, 2014). According to the report of a China Internet Network Information (CINI), among 485 million internet user, 27.3% were adolescents.
Research in six Asian countries support these statistics by showing that 62% of teenagers use cellphones (Kurniasanti, Assandi, & Irawati, 2018).
Furthermore, 68% of teenagers in Hong Kong use the internet each day for networking. The Ministry of Communication and Information of the Republic of Indonesia surveyed with the help of the United Nations to calculate the usage of the internet among teenagers.
They found approximately 80% of teenagers who were using the internet in their daily lives (Kurniasanti et al., 2018). According to another survey which took place in nine countries, including China, the United States, and Turkey, the majority among teenagers were found regular internet user (Wallace, 2014).
A study of Jawa Pos newspaper of Indonesia reported that 62.3% of internet users were using internet chatting application, and all of them were high school students (Kurniasanti et al., 2018).
These statistics demonstrate the interest of the internet among adolescents; therefore, a massive number among them are using the internet. In the next section, different studies will be presented which show the internet addiction disorder among adolescent.
Among billions of internet users, most of the time, adolescents become the victim. Smartphone Addiction Measurement Instrument (SAMI), Cellular Phone Addicting Scale (CPAS) and Internet Addiction Test (IAT) conducted a 15 questioned survey (Tossell, Kortum, Shepard, & Rahmati, 2015).
These associations targeted different high schools, colleges, and universities to calculate the internet addiction rate among teenagers. Surprisingly, there were 62% of participants who strongly agreed about their smartphone and internet addiction (Tossell et al., 2015).
Addiction rates vary from country to country or region to region. For example, 0.8% of adolescents were found in Italy who were affected by internet addiction. In the UK, the addiction rate was approaching 18%, which was much more than Italy (Wallace, 2014).
Mostly, the internet addiction rate increases where people can access the internet easily. For example, high schools and colleges student can access their computer lab easily, so there are more chances for them to become addicted to the internet (Wallace, 2014).
According to the Reuter report of 2013, 680,000 young people in South Korea aged from 10 to 19 were internet addicted. There are several reasons why they are becoming addicted to the internet. In the upcoming sections, various important factor which can become a cause of internet addiction will be under discussion.
Many teenagers use the internet just to become famous. According to Jones and Pittman, there are almost five different impression management techniques that most individuals use: self-promotion, supplication, exemplification, intimidation, and ingratiation (Huang, 1997).
Impression management is considered a conscious or unconscious attempt to influence image during the interaction (Huang, 1997). These impression techniques evolve by the emergence of new technologies. Self-promotion is the most critical factor among adolescents to become internet addicted.
In this internet era, several adolescents use social media platforms for self-promotion. These platforms provide significant degrees of freedom to express themselves.
Furthermore, these provide the best opportunities to earn hefty income. Moreover, anyone can maintain anonymity as well (Huang, 1997).
Although social media is a significant source of learning, communication, entertainment, and improving business reputation, but the addictive faced of social media is extremely bad. The age group, which is affected by social media is a teenager.
They cut themselves off from the rest of society. Mostly, they prefer social media instead of face to face communication with the people.
Majority of students use the internet for their educational purpose. It can affect the study of several students, according to Montag and Walla (Duke & Montag, 2017).
While using the internet during the study, it sometimes distracts the students from their primary tasks. So they can’t maintain the state of flow and can’t achieve their desired target.
In these type of activities, students’ entanglement reaches on that extent where they forget how much they are extravagantly wasting their time and as a consequence, they are failed in their examination (Duke & Montag, 2017).
To compete with other students, communication skill is essential. Internet addiction kills the skills of face to face communication, and as a result, most of the student become impatient during the conversation, which is the cause of failure in most cases.
Internet content also contains a negative impact on the life of many users, according to Beard (Beard, 2011). For example, misinformation is prevailing on the internet.
It can be sophisticated to attain desired results due to the abundance of web pages on the internet. As a result, when they navigate from page to page, something tantalizes them to avert, and they navigate to that page.
Another issue with the content is the fact that most of the people access to the pornographic material. Unfortunately, miscellaneous researches show that most of the visitors belong to the sixteen to twenty-five years age groups.
Whenever they are redirected to these sites and watch that illegal material the first time, the majority of them become part of the regular audience (Beard, 2011).
As a consequence, authorities take different action against them. They have to be fired from their jobs, and it spoils the relationship as well.
Furthermore, the internet provides various dangerous information, such as how to make a bomb from household things. There are countless dark and deep websites spoiling the life of millions of people (Beard, 2011).
Another leading cause of internet addiction is to play online gaming. Artificial intelligence has rapidly transformed the complete scenario of several industries.
After the emergence of this technology, the gaming industry has been revolutionized. Gaming industries are utilizing artificial intelligence and providing intelligent opponents to gamers.
Whether human opponents play or not, these bots are perfect to replace them and keep the player busy for a long time. These online environments compel and offer unique features that urge gamers to many plays, which lead gamers to addictive behaviors.
There always comes pathology alongside internet addiction (Kurniasanti et al., 2018). There is an emerging risk among teenagers due to the excessive usage of the internet.
Internet addiction is a psychological disorder which affects their relationships, job, finance, and health. Several studies show that IAD (Internet Addicted Disorder) affects brain health (Blachnio, Przepiorka, Gorbaniuk, Benvenuati, & Magdalena, 2013).
A victim of IAD faces both emotional and physical manifestation such as depression, anxiety, and hostility. It negatively impacts his studies and job performance.
It isolates him from his families and friends. Most people lose their interest in other hobbies. When he goes away from his computer or cellphone, then he becomes anxious and depressed and thinks about getting back to his computer again (Blachnio et al., 2013).
Any internet addicts individual lost his/her sleep and skipped a meal while spending time on the internet (Blachnio et al., 2013). When someone interferes or comment on any of his act, he becomes offensive or resentful (Kurniasanti et al., 2018).
People with IAD are mostly engaged in gaming, gambling, and trading stocks. Amazingly, they most often visit different dating sites and keep himself busy in shopping on various sections according to Balchnio. Many of them are cybersex and pornographic activists.
Nowadays, the majority of them visit 24/7 social media sites and video streaming sites (Blachnio et al., 2013). They usually don’t eat and sleep while using social media and become weak and indisposed.
As we all know the importance of the internet, no one can deny the prestige of the internet. This widespread internet provides incalculable advantages to the teenagers by facilitating them to communicate with their friends, can have access to helpful information, various social media networks and various means of entertainment (Kurniasanti et al., 2018).
That’s why people trend towards the internet is overgrowing. Among all these users, adolescents share a massive part of it. Unfortunately, at the same time, internet addiction is increasing dramatically too in most of the people and specifically in teenagers.
It negatively impacts the lives of teenagers, both physically and mentally. Although some psychologists don’t consider this as internet addiction, they find it simulation addiction provided by the internet.
They proposed that many new internet users have craze and show fascination to the web, but over time they lose their interest and lessen their interest in the internet activity (Beard, 2011). Whatever case it is, the internet is involved in every scenario, so it is called internet addiction.
As we have describes that the majority of the people who are getting addicted to the internet is the young generation comprising of teenagers. In a nutshell, internet addiction is an acute and severe problem among all human but most susceptible to it are adolescents.
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Blachnio, A., Przepiorka, A., Gorbaniuk, O., Benvenuati, M., & Magdalena, A. (2013). Cultural Correlates of Internet Addiction. Increasing Problems Connected with Excessive Internet Use Can Be Observed All over the World., 22(4), 258–262. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-2008-1040325
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Huang, H. (1997). Social Media Generation in Urban China. In Springer. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-2008-1040325
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Wallace, P. (2014). Internet addiction disorder and youth. There Are Growing Concerns about Compulsive Compulsive Online Activity and That This Could Impede Students’ Performance and Social Lives, 15(1), 12–17. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-2008-1040325