College Papers

In youngsters are living in a “digital childhood”

In the present era the introduction of modern technological
gadgets has captured the attention of global population. The dependency of
people on these technological gadgets and services provided by these has
reached at such level that, without these, they can’t think a step forward in
the direction of their growth. The degree of dependency is leading to addiction
of the tech-devices and services. Children and youth are the most vulnerable
group among the population to be addicted to technology.

Over the years, children’s learning and entertainment has
transformed significantly, with children today being more likely to use the
Internet frequently than adults. As newer generations are born into a world where
technology is so intricately woven throughout our lives, and the behaviors of
children have indicated that youngsters are living in a “digital childhood” and
therefore increasingly likely to become addicted to technology and its impact has extended into the
territory of health care of the children extensively.

Addiction is not merely
related to using chemical compositions such as alcohol, nicotine, cocaine and
heroin; it also states that anything that stimulates human being and make them
feel energetic can be addictive; therefore, addiction is not limited to drugs.
Whenever a habit becomes a compulsion, like gambling, drugs, alcohol, or even
playing computer games, chatting, surfing the net all can be considered as an
addiction. Behavioral addictions should not be ignored because of the lack of
“material”. The fourth and the last edition of Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders, (DSM-IV-TR) introduced the Internet addiction as a
set of “impulse control disorders not specified as another kind”.

Internet
addiction symptoms

 

Each and every one of us will use the Internet in our own way for
different purposes and for varying amounts of time. Some individuals who use
the Internet for work purposes may choose not to dedicate much of their leisure
time to web browsing. Others will use occasionally, for instance for a once
weekly food shop, others will use weekly perhaps for reading their favourite
online paper or blog, and others will use social networking sights daily for
keeping in touch with friends and family.

 

Internet usage only becomes a problems when it begins to take up too
much of your time, to the point where you start to neglect whats going on in
real-life.Consistent with an addictions orientation, Internet addicted
people demonstrate “dependence” criteria such as those outlined by Rasmussen
(2000): failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school or home;
longer use with less enjoyment; restlessness, irritability, and anxiety when
not using; extended use with unsuccessful attempts to cut down, control, or
stop use; and continued use despite knowledge of physical, psychological, and
social problems associated with excessive use.

 

The various symptoms of Internet addiction, and each individual is likely
to experience a different set. However, below are some key indicators to be
aware of:

·        
Losing
track of time – Many Internet addicts find that they lose themselves when they
are online and as a result consistently spend longer online than initially
intended.

·        
Social
isolation – Cracks in your real-life relationships may indicate that you are
spending so much time focussing on Internet relationships and activities that
you are neglecting the current real-life relationships you have with family and
friends. Some individuals may also find that they feel their online friends
‘understand’ them in a way that no one in real-life can.

·        
Temporary
high – As with any addiction, individuals keep returning for their next ‘fix’
because it gives them the feeling of euphoria and excitement. If you tend to
rely heavily on the Internet for stress relief purposes as a pick-me-up or for
sexual gratification then it could be a sign of a deeper underlying issue.

·        
Feelings
of guilt and defensiveness – If you are feeling guilty and constantly trying to
justify the amount of time spent on the Internet, or if you are lying about or
trying to hide what you do online then this could be an indicator of Internet
addiction.

·        
Physical
symptoms – Aside from the emotional aspects, excessive computer addiction also
causes some physical side effects and discomfort including strained vision,
back ache, neck ache, headaches, sleep difficulties, carpal tunnel syndrome and
weight gain or loss.

 

More
support service with guidance and reinforcement will enhance self-realization
and self-aware for the positive self-growth in the present technology overwhelmed
unavoidable era.

 

 

Methods
& Materials:

 

 

The
research design used in this study was case study. In this study the researcher
has taken two cases. Individual counselling were guided to the parents and the
concerned students habituated to the technology addiction.

 

 

Objectives
of the Study:

 

 

1. To analyze the
causative factors for the technology addiction

 

2.  To remediate the situation leading to devastate
the childhood years.

 

3. To explore the
transition from compulsion to self-correcting approaches.

 

 

 

 

 

Case
1:

 

Master. X is a 14-year-old boy
having oval shaped face; whitish coloured boy with dark lips and round eyes
with thick eye lashes studying in 7th standard began using the
internet when he was a fifth grader after his parents bought him a tablet for
his birthday.   He was brought to notice to the counsellor
when he refused to go to school and want to stay at home and started attending
the school during the scheduled test dates. 
These procedures were carried for three months, and his father managed
the school he studies.  For the
convenience purpose father used to take him when he goes to school and
naturally this was cultivated into habit of avoiding general assembly and first
subject period in the school constantly. During these hours he used to browse Internet
and slowly developed a pattern before going to school,that he has to spend few
hours in Internet games.

 

He started developing late –night long –ins which
disrupts his sleeping patterns in turn he stated experienced negative effects
on health and he slowly avoided his breakfast and dinner timings. 

 

Effects of Internet
gaming usage:

 

Master. X displays signs of
irritation, hardly eats, has lost weight and displays no interest in the
outside world. He does not find it easy to get along with other peer group and
it has become difficult for him to join in. He
started withdrawing from social involvements, stopped performing household
chores like buying milk from milk booth in order to spend more time online, and
reported feeling depressed, fainted quiet often at school anxious and irritable
when he was not online.

 

Therapy to address
teen’s Internet use:

 

Master.X
came
to therapy along with his parents through referral by his class teacher. At
first he resists as the therapists attempts to draw him out while his parents
informed that he sits in front of computer always and express no interest in
the academic performance.He displayed signs of irritation,
and the therapist asked his parents to step out of the room. Though still
resistant remains, Master.X began to
open up slightly in the absence of his parents. The therapist asks him about
his life: school, friends, and relationships with family members. After some
time, Master.Xadmits that he had been
having a difficult time at school.

 

The therapist normalizes Master.X’s
desire to spend time, virtual or otherwise, with people who understand what he
is going through, but helps himto understand it may not be healthy for him to
spend quite so much time online.

Attemptswere drawn to work out a
balance between his time online and his time engaging in activities necessary
for his life: homework, regular meals, sleep, and other forms of self-care. During the therapy session, Master.Xalso begins to address his feelings
of isolation and loneliness, and after several weeks, his mood begins to improve, and
he finds that he is able to spend time talking to his friends without his
Internet time affecting his life. With the help of his parents, he also begins
to schedule quality timing like cycling and skating and spending time “in
the real world” with thefriends and thusworks towards a goal to achieve an
award in another positive way to persuade behavioural change.

 

Case 2

 

Ms. Y was quiet excited when she received apple laptopfrom her parents
for the high score in the 10thboard examinations.From then she began
using the Internet and started creating web pages in social media.  Both her parents were working in the private
sector and come home late and this began to isolate herself in her room to join
chat group with other teenagers.  She felt that these contacts
were more genuine than those of even her closest high school friends, because
she could feel “really free” to say what she deeply felt without fear of
loneliness. Soon, she began spending most of her available free time with her
online friends, than preferring her time with school friends. Heronlinetime
escalated at the expense not only of her friends, but also of her schoolwork as
well. After she began failing in three subjects, her mother threatened to get
rid of the laptop. Ms. Y convinced
her mother, that she would “just die” if she could not connect with her online
friends and promised to improve. 

Ms.Y’s mother began
concentrating in her work by arranging individualized coaching for her daughter
and found it convenient to rationalize her focused on profession.Ms. Y’s time online increased to the point
that she began faking illness so that she could remain at home and avoid
school, in spite of her birthday’s resolutions to quit.Ms.Ycontinued her internet use. 
Months passed crisis came into light when the School Principal informed
her mother that she was in danger of not graduating with her class.  At this point mother voluntarily seeks for
counseling with the school counselor.

 

The presenting problems:

 

Complaints
of social withdrawal, decreased sleep, missing classes, inability to decrease
her time on the internet despite its negative impact on her academic
performances, significant increase in her irritability with the parents and
decreased interest in going out.

 

Therapy to address
teen’s Internet use:

 

Therapists
first drawn out the true factors like the way in which the Internet is used and
the affect it has on client’s life. 
Through an individual sessions therapist observed some conditional
beliefs articulated by the client – Thinks
that if she cannot reduce her Internet behavior, she will flunk out of school.
She thinks that if she fails in school she has failed in life and her life will
become a miserable. If that happens, she thinks she might take her life. She
worries that if she asks for help, it will be apparent to everyone that she is
weakand incompetent. 

 

Therapist’s
goals: Decrease self-criticism; promote individual identity separate from her
father; teach basic cognitive tools; decrease time on Internet; do problem
solving around studying, papers, tests; decrease personal isolation and
increase self-efficacy related to social relationships

 

Thetreatment
modalities adopted was Cognitive Behavioural Therapy twice every week at the
earlier stage and gradually once a week with each session lasting 30- 60
minutes for two months.

BEHAVIOURAL
ACTIVATION PROCESS

 

 

 

Steps structured in Cognitive
Behavioural Therapy:

1. The situation.
Briefly described the situation that led to unpleasant feelings. This helped
the client to the current state of her functioning in academics, social and
family life.

2. Initial thought.Questions
were raised like what thought first crossed in the client’s mind? A
subconscious or automatic thoughtthat the client had been was noted down.

3. Negative thinking. Identification
of the negative thinking behind the initial thought were listed and made the
client to choose to work on that.

 4.
Source of negative belief.Helped the client to trace the negative thinkingrelated
to a situation or person. Identification of a deep belief or fear driving the thinking
was obtained from the client.

 5.
Challenge your actions / thinking. Worked at the evidence both for and
against the negative thought and actions. Introspections questions were asked have
you been in a similar situation before? What did you learn from it? What
strengths do you bring to this situation? What weakness do you bring to the
worst situations?

 6.
Consider the consequences. Worked on the short-term and long-term
consequences if the client continues to act or think like this? Glanced at the
physical, psychological, professional, and emotional consequences.

 7.
Alternative actions / thinking.Alternatives steps were to understand
the thinking and lower the defenses. Facts were planned and with the consent
from the client listed down the healthier way of actions and thoughts.

 8.
Positive belief and affirmation. Statement that reflects the healthier
beliefs and actions were recommended and asked the client to repeat
periodically in his activities routinely.

 9.
Action plan. Action plans were listed down to support your new actions
and thinking like improving grades, avoid
disappointing her parents; wean herself off the internet to the point that it
enhances her life rather than controls her life

 10.
Improvement. The talking therapy helped the client to manage the
problems by changing the way you think and behave and become more optimistic.
This step reinforced the idea that if a person changes their thinking and
action, there will be changes in mood and gradually over time, thinking and
life will begin to improve.

 

Reports on Parent Counselling

 

Parents
need to play a protective role in providing some measure of technology safety
for their children.  Parents will not be
able to completely shield their children from negative influences and they need
to proactively educate and prepare their children for the inevitable situations
that they would face.  Few
recommendations were specified to reduce the child’s screen time during the
counselling sessions to the parents.

 

1. Be the Parent and set an
example:

Encourage
healthy behaviors and limit unhealthy ones and always explaining why the
decisions are made will help the children to follow through and they will
choose some day. Children will always gravitate toward the modeled behaviors of
the parents and be a model in how as a parents use technology in their life

 

2. Set Limited Viewing Times:

It
is much easier to limit the viewing habit and the children can understand that
they can only watch one show during the day. Set and
agree on appropriate time and duration for internet use.

3. Encourage Other Activities:

Provide
the necessary resources like books to read, board games, art supplies, and/or sporting
equipment so that the child can have more than one things to do. 

4. Playing with the Children: 

Spend
more time with the children; who are found to be lonely are more likely to look
for a sort of companionship in gadgets. It takes intentionality and selfless
love when they are younger. But when they grow up, parents will be glad that
they did.

5. Be Involved in Their Lives: 

For
many parents, it is just easier to turn on the television than to actually be
involved in the lives of their children. But those intimate life details are
required for successful parenting. So observe, listen, ask, and parent.

6. Creating Tech free zones at
home:

Place computers in living areas – not in private areas
of the home.Limiting the child’s screen time may seem like an impossible chore
or it may seem like a battle that is too difficult to fight. But it is worth
fighting.

 

Conclusion:

 

Technology
addiction has become a global problem. 
While total abstinence is advocated in the treatment of many addictions,
including those involving alcohol and drugs, the National Institute of Health
reports there is now a general consensus that completely abstaining from Internet
usage should not be the ultimate goal of treatment.  Instead, it is preferable to abstain from
applications that have proven to be problematic for the user and work toward
achieving an Internet usage level that strikes a healthy balance.

 

The
case study of the research participants demonstrates that recovery from technology
addiction is based on the individual’s unique needs and strengths, his goals
and preferences.  Without self-awareness,
these values are not easily available and it is a life skill any recovering
addict must have.

The World Health Organization’s Department
of Mental Health has identified self-awareness as one of the basic life skills
relevant across cultures that are required to deal with the demands and
challenges of everyday life and thus would be important in any addiction
recovery process.