Internet Addiction

What is internet addiction? After reading this article

Amid Internet Addiction Fears, ‘Balanced’ Tech Diet for Teens Recommended

I began researching internet addiction and gaming addiction. With school aged kids (two in high school one in college) this topic has come up a few time in the last few years. My youngest who is finishing his freshman year in high school is the one I worry about the most. His school began BYOD this year and he is required to have his iPad for every class. He never puts it down and gets angry when we take it away. In my experience I believe that schools are all in an “arms race” with technology not solely for its education merits but as a marketing tool or recruitment pitch. Most of the schools around me have put the horse in front of the cart and have not adequately upgraded their infrastructure before rolling out their tech programs. So what does that have to do with internet addiction? I believe that just like their infrastructure they have not fully prepared for the potential fallout from Internet Addiction. Do schools have people in place to identify students who may have a problem. Do teachers or administrators know how to spot a potential addict?
“The Internet polling site this month asked their visitors this question: Are you addicted to the Internet? The poll finds that 61% of respondents said in fact they are addicted to the Internet, while the other 39% said they could quit if they wanted to. Women experience addiction more than men, with 64% of women compared with 55% of men reporting the symptoms of addiction. Interestingly, respondents addicted to other behaviors were less likely to be addicted to the Internet. Only 48% of smokers, compared with 65% of non-smokers, experience addiction. The margin between drinkers and non-drinkers was narrower, with 57% of drinkers and 64% of non-drinkers describing themselves as Internet addicts. Among respondents who felt addicted, teenagers between 13 and 17 were worst off, with 73% reporting addiction”
The Education Week article goes on to say that we as parents and teacher need to create a unpluged zone or time so children and student are able to communicate the old fashion way. Teachers need to balance their technology and use it as a tool not a crutch. I think its important for teacher to be able to recognize if a student shows signs of potential addiction. The following are some more resources to help.
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Here are some more resources on the subject that identify some of the signs.

2 thoughts on “Internet Addiction

  1. Hi Matthew, thanks so much for sharing this report. It brings up so many interesting ideas, and I have to agree with you, have districts really thought the whole emphasis on tech through?? I don’t know too many districts who tried to prepare their teachers for the upside AND the downside of students using tech. I’m also kinda surprised at the statistic that women are more addicted than men, but since it’s self-reported, I’m not sure I agree with their numbers. I always see male students playing video games, maybe women use more social media…don’t mean to be sexist! Anyways you bring up some very interesting statistics and resources, so thanks for that.


  2. Hi Matthew,
    I am not surprised by this. I sometimes feel like I always have to be connected. With our district going 1:1 with iPads, this has been a hot discussion at our planning meetings. The discussion has been, “how we create a balance for students and teachers?” and I think that it all depends on the activity. In my opinion, I think it is a good thing to have the device at each class but it doesn’t always have to be utilized for the class period if you can do something without it. I like that you brought up this topic and I liked your links. It was interesting to read more on this topic and see different perspectives.

    Great post!


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