The internet was availed for public use for the first time in1993, and it immediately became popular among young people. It has been a useful tool of information in the society especially for the youth. However, excessive use of the internet by the youth has adverse effects such as low productivity, wastage of time and psychological depression in severe cases. The education system and parents have a major role in the effort to reduce excessive use of the internet among the youth.
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Some youths he user may spend too much time on activities that are not productive. Addictive pornography, excessive gaming, and obsessive social networking are some of the characteristics of excessive internet use (Bernardi & Pallanti 512). The most effective strategy for treating individuals with tendencies of pathological internet use is by training them on how to manage their time properly.
This enables the youth to utilise the internet for constructive purposes for a reasonable period. This can be done using several approaches (Walton 6). When a youth is being treated for pathological use of the internet, it is important to plan time used for every activity every day. This enables the patient to reduce time spent on the internet. It is not a realistic goal to stop the youth from accessing the internet completely (Sieberg 22).
However, the time spent on the internet can be reduced to a reasonable proportion of a day’s total time. Specific number of hours should be allocated. A reasonable period would be two or three hours per day (Li & Chung 1070). It may become difficult to control the usage of some websites and social networks on the internet. A pathological internet user may spend most of the time on only one programme or social network (Nalwa & Anand 662).
A moderate alternative to the site can be found. The alternative should be easily controllable to avoid addiction. Most youth who engage in pathological use of the internet utilise it as a recreational tool. It is important for the person to find an alternative recreational activity to replace the internet. Most conventional recreational activities are less addictive than the internet (Young 19).
Another approach to minimising the amount of time spent on the internet by a user is through enhancement of the quality of social aspect of life for the youth. As the world becomes technologically advanced, life becomes busier and social activities diminish among the youth.
One of the major causes of excessive internet use is the lack of adequate social interaction among the youth (Grohol 2). Numerous social networking sites on the internet provide an alternative to the real social life. Since accessibility to the internet may be unlimited, a young user creates an ever-growing network of internet personalities, who are the major preoccupation for the young person.
In addition, pathological use of the internet is common among school going youth. Creation of a curriculum that allows more social activities and outgoing behaviour is a viable solution for this problem. This will reduce the urge to engage in internet social networking among youths. The youth are increasingly assuming inactive lifestyles where the computers and personal digital assistants dominate their activities during recreation time.
The education system encourages to focus on academic excellence without considering the importance of excellence in other activities. Thus, social life has been replaced by technology and the internet (Young 15). It is important for the education system to recognise excellence in academics and other activities. This will reduce the preoccupation of the youth with the internet.
Finally, the family as an institution can be used to reduce incidences of excessive use of the internet. The family is the basic social institution that determines the course of development of an individual (Subrahmanyam & Šmahel 31).
In most families, children and young adults are allowed an unlimited access to the internet by their parents. The parents even go further to pay for the internet data and connection. However, they fail to limit the children’s access to the internet since they believe that it is a major source of knowledge (Breslin & Decker 89).
They also fail to acknowledge that internet can be a source of other dangerous habits and preoccupations. Thus, there should be civic education to educate people on the importance of controlling internet use among youth. Parents are the only people with the ability to control the use of internet at home unlike in public institutions where internet and internet content access can be controlled by employing general restrictive measures (Saisan 3). Thus, it is imperative that families are eager to control the internet use among the youth.
Internet is an important source of knowledge and information today. It is used as a tool for learning, accessing information, and social interaction in today’s society. It is an important part of the modern society that cannot be separated from the youth in the near future. However, internet can destroy personalities and decrease productivity of individuals.
Thus, internet use needs to be controlled especially among the youth. It is evident that the family and the education system are the major players in the effort to curb excessive internet use. These two institutions are the closest to any youth
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