It used to be that parents were concerned about our children receiving accidental exposure to pornography, or wasting time with video games. As Internet Addiction becomes a popular topic on the news, I keep thinking about how it relates to homeschoolers.
Read these recent articles warning against internet addiction:
Technology Companies Want Your Kids Addicted
Internet companies are learning what the tobacco industry has long known -- addiction is good for business. Much of what we do online releases dopamine into the brain's pleasure centers, resulting in obsessive pleasure-seeking behavior. Technology companies face the option to exploit our addictions for profit. As a result, some people can become obsessed with these pleasure-seeking experiences and engage in compulsive behavior such as a need to keep playing a game, constantly check email, or compulsively gamble online.
The Atlantic Monthly
How Does the Internet Affect Children and Adolescents?
Is the Web Driving Us Mad? This article in Newsweek says, "a preponderance of research shows "a link between Internet use, instant messaging, emailing, chatting, and depression among adolescents," as well as to the "strong relationships between video gaming and depression." It goes on to say, "The latest Net-and-depression study may be the saddest one of all. With consent of the subjects, Missouri State University tracked the real-time Web habits of 216 kids, 30 percent of whom showed signs of depression. The results, published last month, found that the depressed kids were the most intense Web users"
Here is my advice to help keep your children from becoming addicted to the internet:
1. Reconsider the percentage of classes your children take online.
2. Carefully weight curriculum options, and consider non-computer curriculum when possible.
3. Teach your children to monitor their own behavior on computers and online.
4. Recognize the signs and symptoms of internet addiction.
5. Limit "wasting time" on digital media of all kinds.
6. Balance the need for technology education with time spent on the computer.
Do you have any other tips or information when it comes to internet addiction?
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