Is Internet A Friend Or A Foe For The Children?

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Is Internet A Friend Or A Foe For The Children?

Statistics reveal out that frequency of internet use gradually increases every year.

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Statistics reveal out that frequency of internet use gradually increases every year. It is also notified that 80% of internet use is at home environment and men use internet more commonly. Internet, one of the most powerful communication tools in our era, has an essential role in our lives for information, communication, education, entertainment etc. when it is used correctly. However, use of internet, recently, gained a character that extends beyond requirement. This fact has ever increasingly transformed children and adolescents into individuals who personally inflict and manipulate violence with games and programs that contain elements of violence, anger, sexuality and competition.

Is it possible that the internet, which is valuable enough to allow us access to information on every subject we inquire at impossible speeds, is turning into an enemy when left unchecked?

Focusing on certain subjects not only increase number of nervous cells that regulate those certain subjects, but it also weakens the neural networks that regulate other skills, resulting in limited development of interests and skills. The area of brain that is reserved for vision is larger in comparison to other areas and therefore, looking is easier and more enjoyable than listening. Considering the colorful world of internet, the activity just fits this fact.

Studies show that use of internet and computer is more common in introvert individuals with low self-confidence. Digital friendships and prizes may fill in for the missing space if the child has a similar tendency.

What is proven is that the information gained from the internet became uncontrollable and the digital friendships and groups are potentially unreliable and dangerous.

How Can You Help Your Child? 

The first rule in altering behavior of a child is “always being a good role model”. If you use Internet for a short time in an efficient manner and if you can shut it down whenever it is necessary, you already provide your child with the best help you can.

Moreover, internet use is unnecessary for children younger than primary school age. Therefore, you may find programs which support the development of your child in preschool period and use them together with your child.

You may discuss benefits and threats of computer and internet with your child at primary school age and explain that the information gained from the internet may not always be correct and he/she does not have to hesitate asking any issue that he/she does not understand or he/she has concerns.

You may establish rules regarding use of internet in accordance with the requirements of the child as he/she grows up. Methods such as restriction of time, being a role model and implementation of a punishment and reward system to motivate your child can be considered.

Sportive and social activities that can be participated individually may be encouraged to prevent the child/adolescent from spending all his/her free time in front of a computer, and family trips, various hobbies and certain responsibilities that may be given in family environment may be planned, which also boosts the communication with other family members.

Environments can be created, where the child may form and maintain real friendships while not connected to Internet. If the child has difficulty in maintaining relationships, the reasons can be investigated and professional assistance may be sought, if it is not possible to solve the problem within the family.

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