Internet – Powerful Resource that is Used Around the World
Since the creation of the internet, it has been a powerful resource that is used around the world. About 56.1 percent of the world’s population has internet access. This shows that over half a billion people around the world use the internet as a part of their daily lives.The internet is an essential tool for people who uses it because it has helped people around the world to obtain information and communicate with people around the world at an instant. Even though the internet can be used as a tool, it can be also used to pass time such as playing video games, read articles, or watch videos to name a few. Even though that there is a lot of beneficial things that the internet can do for people, it can affect how they develop as a person, more specifically to young adolescents. In this current generation, children rely on the internet heavily in their everyday lives such as doing school work, going on social media, or playing games. This leads to them having a part of their life connected to the internet because of the amount of time that they spend behind a computer. This is crucial for young adolescents because this when they grow and develop as adults. The internet affects a child’s development by impacting their character development, social and health outcomes.
The importance of this research is to better understand on how the internet usage can affect how they can develop and grow when they get older. Also, it can gives a better understanding for parents on how the internet can impact their child and what they can decide to do when their child is using the internet. Most parents in this current generation give no type of guidance or restrictions when it comes to their child using the internet. This type of parenting style is called laissez-faire and shows that these children spend the most in the internet compared to other parenting styles which gives them a higher chance of internet addiction. (Özgür, H., 2016) With the data and evidence from this research, this can help parents to play a part in preventing their children from having internet addiction.
“The emergence of an association between mental health and PIU can be explained by self-regulation theory… This theory proposes that individuals often act based on satisfying three basic needs: relatedness (desirable attachment to others), competence (sense of mastery), and autonomy (independence and satisfaction from choices made)… The importance of these basic needs has been studied in various settings, recently in the context of internet use… and online gaming. Social media use may provide a sense of relatedness, autonomy and competence through controlled interaction online (i.e., users are in charge of what they do)….” (El Asam, A., Samara, M., & Terry, P., 2019)
The role of parents is also supported in other wide range of risky behaviors, suggesting that adolescents listen to parents in important topics. Thus, while only a quarter or less of adolescents reported that parents should have a say in the music they listen or the clothes they wear, the majority of adolescents reported that parents should have a say in their alcohol behavior.
“Lastly, given that heavy Internet users were more likely to report drinking alcohol, professionals should pay particular attention to helping youth who are heavy Internet users understand the ways in which online social interactions and online alcohol marketing exposure may lead to the adoption of risky values and behaviours and can pave the way towards a higher likelihood of early alcohol use.” (Yu, J. J., & Park, S. J.,2017)
“Consistently, others have also shown that long hours of internet use can negatively affect young people’s schooling, family interactions, psychological wellbeing and physical health.” (El Asam, A., Samara, M., & Terry, P., 2019)
“Due to the nature of internet as a way of communication, children might lie about their age, gender, and many other characteristics that would allow them to behave differently them in real life. This might turn into a problem as the lack of social practice can retard children from being able to develop healthy peer relationships.” (I?ik, B., & Ayaz Alkaya, S.,2017)
“Internet addiction may be defined as compulsive behaviors related to any online activities that affect normal daily life and cause stress on social relationships, becoming a public health issue that cannot be ignored.” (Casaló, L. V., & Escario, J.-J., 2019)
Body Paragraph 2: Social Outcomes
“Previous research has shown that adolescents tend to use the Internet mainly for communicating with their friends…That is, unlike earlier generations, today’s youth develop and maintain friendships both online and in face-to-face contexts.” (Yu, J. J., & Park, S. J.,2017)
“Youth who reported greater closeness to their friends at baseline were more likely to belong to the high stable class relative to the low stable class. This finding suggests that youth with close friendship ties may frequently access and rely upon the Internet as a central means of communication, socialization, and enjoyment in everyday situations with their existing friends… In other words, it appears that nowadays the Internet serves as a primary medium for youth to maintain and consolidate friendship with their pre-existing offline friends through emails, instant messaging, and online communities.” (Yu, J. J., & Park, S. J.,2017)
“Another finding from the study is that children who considered the Internet parenting style of their families to be laissez-faire and permissive spent more time on the Internet daily than children of the families with other Internet parenting styles.” (Özgür, H., 2016)
“A more recent and intriguing area of investigation involves that of parenting styles, compared across countries For example, in one pioneering study, parenting styles for Japanese and Chinese students were compared alongside PIU rates: it was found that parenting styles, including factors such as perceived warmth, empathy and overall supervision/control, as reported by the teenagers, were important in the subsequent development of PIU, with warmth, empathy and ‘healthy’ supervision being protective, and over-control and emotional distance being predisposing.” (Tam, P. & Walter, G.,2013)
“Consistently, others have also shown that long hours of internet use can negatively affect young people’s schooling, family interactions, psychological wellbeing and physical health… In a longitudinal study of 14–24-year olds (n = 719), excessive internet use was associated with depressive symptoms… Furthermore, PIU may increase social fears and reinforce avoidance of face-to-face social interactions as well as low physical activity…” (El Asam, A., Samara, M., & Terry, P., 2019)
“Consistent with earlier research, poorer physical health was associated with PIU…, and specifically for Neglect and Obsession, presumably reflecting the fact that daily routine activities, other than the use of internet, provide children/adolescents with the opportunity to be more physically active, maintain better dietary habits and adopt better sleeping patterns.” (El Asam, A., Samara, M., & Terry, P., 2019)
“However, excessive or uncontrolled internet use can affect psychosocial health and lead to problematic internet use or Internet addiction, which has been defined as an impulse-control disorder that does not involve an intoxicant…, …argue that healthy internet use transitions to problematic internet use when internet consumption falls out of one’s volitional control.” (I?ik, B., & Ayaz Alkaya, S., 2017).
In the UK, the Office of Communications reported that 83% of 12–15 year olds have smartphones and 99% go online for nearly 21 h a week, an increase from the previous year. Increased access and persistent internet use increase the risk of developing online addictive behaviours, which can adversely affect psychological development. (El Asam, A., Samara, M., & Terry, P., 2019)
It is understandable that those reporting higher impact of problems are also more likely to show PIU, specifically Obsession, which also reflects the impact of internet use on their psychological well being (e.g., feeling depressed or stressed) when they are not using internet.
“Internet addiction can cause children and adolescent physical and psychosocial health problems, such as depression, loneliness, interpersonal problems, decreased social relationships.” (I?ik, B., & Ayaz Alkaya, S., 2017). “However, it has also been proposed that internet use may conversely serve as a coping mechanism for depressive feelings… or for a lack of physical social interaction…” (El Asam, A., Samara, M., & Terry, P.,2019)
From this evidence, this shows that the internet have a negative impact on the child’s development. The internet usage is measured by PIU (Problematic Internet Usage) and it shows how excessive use of the internet can cause poorly controlled obsessions, urges, or behaviors which can lead to impairment or distress. This means if the person uses the internet at an abnormal rate, this can lead them to develop negative habits such as not exercising, lack of communication skills, or addiction. Not only children can develop negative habits, it can affect their health. Since children uses the internet, they have a higher chance to not be physically active which can lead to them developing harmful health conditions. Also, this affects their mental health because it can lead them develop a negative mentality or behaviors that can affect themselves or the people around them. Lastly, it can affect their emotional health because the internet can be used as a coping mechanism for them and they can develop negative emotions if they have a high internet usage.
The purpose of this research is to show how the internet affect the child’s development. From this evidence that is present in this research, it shows the the internet have proven to have a negative effect on child development based on their character development, social and health outcomes. Children who overuse the internet will develop bad habits or mindset that can affect their development during their youth. With this research it can spread awareness of the overuse of the internet to children. This information can help parents who has children that uses the internet moderately or everyday. It can assist parents identify if their children have PIU and what type of traits that they are developing from overuse of the internet. Not only it can help better understand children use of the internet, it can also help adults understand how the internet can have an influence in their lives too. Even though this research is targeted mostly towards children and young teens, it can help adults identify themselves that if they have PIU and how it can help them to decrease the use of the internet in their lives.”