Internet addiction among youth, especially among schoolchildren is on rise these days and it has become a cause of concern for parents. With easier and cheaper availablility of technology and internet access, the addiction of internet has become a common phenomenon amongst the teens, who can be often seen glued to their laptops or mobiles.
A research study done on students of Ludhiana ranging Class 9 to 12 by the ward manager of Mind Plus Retreat, Ludhiana, Param Sidhu, revealed that 56.6% children had mild internet addiction, 37.73% had moderate, while 5.67% had severe addiction. The difference in the ratio amongst males and females however remained minimal.
Sidhu said, "Out of all the causes of internet addiction among students, the major ones indicated that internet addiction is more in students who do not have any siblings. Also, the students who use broadband internet connection are more prone to internet addiction. Students who use internet more for leisure and entertainment purposes are also more likely to become addicted than the ones who use it for education purposes."
Talking about a recent case, psychiatrist Rajiv Gupta said, "A 15-year-old-boy had not gone to school since past six months, when his parents brought him to me for treatment. He could not eat, sleep or study without using internet. He had stopped participating in any recreational activities and became aggressive if he did not have access to internet."
He said, "Such cases have become pretty common in South Korea and are on rise in Ludhiana as I attend almost two-three students suffering from internet addiction everyday."
Talking about the symptoms of addiction, he said, "Apart from excessive and regular use of internet, irritable nature, sleeping disorders, loss of appetite, disobedience, aggression, migrain, depression, strain in eyes and hands and numbness of hands are common symptoms that can be observed in the students who are addicted to use of internet."
Gagan Behl, a psychologist in Mind Plus Retreat, said, "I came across a patient who ended up having scizophrenia due to excessive use of internet. Primarily, she was a Facebook addict and excessive time that she spent online landed her in that state. When she was forced to stop the use of internet by her family, her visual perception altered as a result and she became a victim of schizophrenia."
He said, "It is very important on the part of parents to give time to their children and teach them that indulgence in physical activities is as important as knowledge of technology."
Param Sidhu also added to it by saying that students need to frame their time table to ensure that they segregate their time as per their needs and do not end up giving more time to one activity and lesser to another.