The current world is internet driven and a record shows that by the age of two, nearly 90% of the American children have an online history of their own. The survey also shows that at the age of five years, nearly 50 percent of them are regularly interacting with tablet or computer device and at the age of 7 or 8, they regularly play computer games. The report also shows that teenagers are texting on an average of 3400 times per month. By the age of 11 to 14 years, children are known to spend most of their free time with computers as compared to their parents or teachers. This has a major impact on their psychology.
The thing that’s worrying parents here, is the chance of exposure to adult content, which will bring about a negative impact on the psychological development of the teenage children. Also, it has been found that early exposure to some online environments and games are making it difficult for some children to differentiate between the actual and the virtual world. Here are the details about the impact of internet on teen psychology:
Effects on social development
It has been found that with continuous usage, internet can bring about harmful effect on the development of social skills in children. This phenomenon is attributed to social networking platforms. But, the fact is that these sites are just meant for people in their 20s and older age. According to the CBS news, the number of children using Twitter between the age group of 12 and 17 is rapidly increasing. When kids use them continuously, they will experience the psychological effect of feeling isolated and lonely in the long run. There is a great danger that they will use their online life as a substitute to their real life.
Likely exposure to adult content
Pornography is widely prevalent on the World Wide Web. A survey conducted by the London School of Economics shows that nearly 90 percent of the children are exposed to the internet porn. Most often this type of content is viewed by a child, who enters some innocent words in the search engines for finding meaning, which shows them unexpected results. This will bring about an effect on the psychology and emotional development of children and their attitude towards social interactions and sexual behaviors.
Distorted perceptions of reality
As mentioned earlier, when kids are exposed continuously to some online games, they might be confused about the reality and virtual world. According to an interview conducted among children playing this sort of game, a girl reported that the animals that she used to view in a game are actually real and alive.
Effects on cognitive development
Even though, the above-mentioned negative things are available, when kids are rightly guided on the internet usage, they can enjoy positive results as well. Like for instance, they can be taught how to get homework help online and this will be helpful for them to do well in their academics by getting their doubts clarified then and there.
So, it is the responsibility of the parents to carefully teach the internet usage to children to bring about a positive development of their .