Kids and Computers - Internet Addiction and Media Violence
The Internet has fast become a tool that children, at younger and younger ages, are utilizing. However, many parents fail to understand the hidden dangers of the Internet when they leave children unsupervised at the computer. These dangers include:
Cyber-Pedophiles - Those who intentionally prey upon children. They pretend to be young children themselves as they earn the child's trust and gradually seduce them into sexual and indecent acts. Often this happens as the unsuspecting parent sits in the next room. Parents need to educate children on the dos and don'ts of talking with strangers on the net.
Access to Pornography - Adult entertainment is the largest industry on the Internet, making it easy for children to inadvertently bump into hardcore and graphic pornography when using the Internet. A child innocently researching a paper for school could can accidentally come across Cyberporn due to its sheer abundance on the net. Monitoring software is only a limited solution as new adult sites are built to get around the software. Also, many public and school libraries don't provide the software at computer stations to protect the First Amendment Right. Therefore, while parents may be able to watch their children at home, they have little means to protect their children at school or in the library.
Inappropriate Content - Monitoring software directed at screening out pornography does little to stop children and adolescents from reading inappropriate content through the uncensored environment of the Internet. Nothing showed such stark reality of this as the Littleton, Colorado school shooting, as two teenagers were able to download bomb making instructions from the Internet. Parents need to take an active interest in their children's online activities and be careful to notice any significant behavioral changes.
Violent Games - What is the influence of media violence on children today? In the wake of the tragic school shootings over the past year, our culture has suddenly begun to realize what research has already shown. Children who frequently play violent computer games such as DOOM and QUAKE display more aggressive behavior and actually teach children to kill. Parents need to carefully monitor the type of computer and interactive net games their children are engaged in and help to provide constructive alternatives.
Addiction - Does your son or daughter spend too much time in front of the computer? Does your child seem preoccupied with being online instead of playing with friends or studying for school? It may be that your child is addicted to the Internet. Internet Addiction among children is a growing problem that many parents face today as the popularity of computers grow in homes and schools. To see if your son or daughter is addicted, we invite you to take the Parent-Child Internet Addiction Test.
In Caught in the NET, Dr. Kimberly Young helps parents learn how to talk with their children about the dangers of the Information Superhighway so that children are SAFE. Click here to order Caught in the Net
If you are a mental health professional, please refer to our Seminars to arrange a comprehensive training workshop on the impact of the Internet on families.
Staff, H. (2008, December 16). Kids and Computers - Internet Addiction and Media Violence, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, May 7 from https://www.healthyplace.com/addictions/center-for-internet-addiction-recovery/kids-and-computers-internet-addiction-and-media-violence