How to recognize a digital addiction in adolescence

How to recognize a digital addiction in adolescence

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It is a reality, parents of adolescents, we are immersed in a world very different from the one in which we were children; Technology floods us, makes us fall in love, brings us closer, takes us away and sometimes overwhelms us.

Nobody is surprised to see people behind a screen all the time writing, photographing their favorite food to share on social networks, looking for information about anything, being guided to their destination with GPS, recording a concert instead of seeing the singer that this time he is in front and even looking for love… the list goes on…. The question is: How to recognize a digital addiction in adolescence? Where is the limit?

We see our adolescent son use digital media much of his time from television, computer, cell phone and tablet to video games, it is not something that takes us away from sleep. But when is "too much"?

There are many benefits that digital media provide to a young person who is in the middle of the construction of his identity: safety, socialization, learning and fun among others; However, when its use begins to generate an excessive dependence that ends in what we can call an “addiction”, the signs become very clear:

1. Lack of control and helplessness. When they are removed from these media, they show exaggerated reactions, where we can see them out of control, desperate, helpless and out of themselves to get them back.

2. Irritability and distress. When we see that our son is unable to enjoy a good moment if he does not have his favorite screen next to him and not only that, but he is also moody, irritable and even aggressive until he gets it back in his hands.

3. Abandonment of previously enjoyed activities. When we realize that he gradually begins to move away from activities that he previously enjoyed to prefer to stay at home browsing or playing.

4. The family, social or school area is affected. When this dependence generates significant difficulties either in the family area (family conflicts), in school (poor academic performance) or in their social relationships (which can become increasingly limited).

First of all, we must ask ourselves: what does our child find in these activities that have come to generate in him this degree of dependency? Not in all, but in some cases it can occur for the following reasons:

1. Dysfunctional and conflictive family situations, which make them prefer to isolate themselves in a virtual world, which makes them forget about the difficulties that surround them.

2. Low self-esteem and insecurity, many of the interactions in these media allow an anonymous profile or a more attractive personality that makes them feel more secure and confident.

3. Poor social skills, there are many young people who lack the social skills to live in a group and feel accepted and integrated into their reality, however, technology can give them the opportunity to socialize in other ways or with new circles of friends without feeling excluded and without needing to display qualities that are not developed.

As parents it is necessary to observe in which digital activity is the one our son is most hooked on: TV, video games, cell phones, computers, etc., taking this information into account, it is easier for us to help you gradually replace digital addiction with real activities that can be much more satisfying for you, such as:

- Suggest a new activity that excites you and for which you have skills. This will give you the opportunity to distract yourself, blend in with new people, and increase your confidence.

- If we discover that your activity is predominantly social, such as cell phone use, we must promote invite more friends to home or organize activities with them to make their interactions more real and fun.

- If we feel that the situation is out of control and especially if it has to do with factors such as those mentioned above (family situations, low self-esteem, or few social skills) it is worth it seek the help of a professional to prevent the situation from spiraling out of control.

It is not about keeping our child away from these activitiesBut to help you find balance and enjoy all that life has to offer.

Let's not forget to show solidarity and also leave our own technological dependencies to coexist and enjoy the real world with him.

You can read more articles similar to How to recognize a digital addiction in adolescence, in the category of New Technologies on site.

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