Parents today have new problems rearing their children that have never happened in history before. The rise in technological advancement in our changing modern society has created all sorts of new computers and phones with internet capabilities that are affecting teen mental health in many ways. And one of the worst of them all is how so many teens are now struggling with technology addiction.
The constant flow of stimuli from the wide array of images and information on the “web” has begun to alter the brains of the youth who spend an enormous amount of time staring into screens instead of out at the world in front of them. And if parents don’t force them to put down the phones and computers, they can become addicted to them.
This type of addiction usually begins because a teen feels isolated and lonely. To fill their inner need for attention that they aren’t getting, they start spending more time online. But soon, a few minutes a day turns into several hours a day. And they feel worse instead of better.
Much of this has to do with the pornography, online dating, and social media that is readily available at the click of a button. The problem is that if a teen is already struggling with mental health issues, they are more susceptible to technology addiction. They will crave it just like a drug because it makes them feel like they are getting the approval that they yearn for. And this can have an impact on their education and home life because of the symptoms that the addiction causes.
Many teens who are struggling with this addiction stay tired all the time. Their grades drop significantly. They have changes in their weight. And they get wrist pain, headaches, and vision problems that are normally associated with a person who is much older from the lengthy amount of time that they spend staring at bright screens. Teen mental health suffers the most though. Teenagers with this addiction become depressed, anxious, and struggle with low self-esteem.
The best thing for parents to do if they believe that their teen is showing the signs of an addiction to technology is to get them into a teen treatment program for it. Teen treatment offers therapy that can give them a safe place to talk about what they are going through and allows for a disruption of the patterns of avoidance to occur. Disrupting the pattern and developing improved coping skills are steps needed for a teen to resume a path of healthy emotional development.