Technological Addiction and Isolation
It's a beautiful, sunny day, the kind of day that makes it impossible to stay inside. Yet, your student is hunkered down, fiddling on the computer for hours, with little regard for the world outside. If this scenario sounds about right, your student may be addicted to technology.
Warning Signs of Internet Addiction:
- Obvious preoccupation with the Internet. You may notice this firsthand in students, or they may express to you feelings of being preoccupied with being online.
- Choosing to spend time on the Internet over real time with friends.
- Using the Internet to escape from problems.
- Jeopardizing school, relationships or career because of time spent on the Internet.
- Having a hard time connecting directly with other people, but freely interacting online instead.
- Denying the amount of time spent online.
- Checking for messages repeatedly, constantly talking about being online or wanting to be online.
None of these signs individually is an immediate indicator of a more serious problem, but when they are combined or happen repeatedly, outside assistance may be helpful. After all, you don't want your student isolating himself so much that he misses out on the larger world out there.
Plus, spending too much time on the computer can lead to physical problems such as:
- eye strain
- wrist and hand problems
- weight gain (through lack of movement)
- neck strain
The cumulative effect on your student's body–as well as his emotional well-being–can take a definite toll. So, encourage your student to step away from the computer and to step into real life.
Other Technological Isolators
Besides the Internet, students may get wrapped into technology via:
- Video games
- Online gambling
- Text messaging over the phone
- Instant Messaging
- Chat rooms
- Gaming (such as Sims City or other interactive games)
- Cyber communities