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Internet and the Social Skills of Teenagers

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Internet use is very vital in the current life (Valenti, & Lacovelli, 2009). It has an enormous store of information that can be used by different people. Most parents encourage their offspring to use it in order to learn new information. This is because they believe that their children can be educated through the information that is available in the Internet. This has led to a large reliance on the Internet by many teenagers. However, the parents have never perceived the negative effects of the Internet dependence. Though being very informative, the Internet has very many challenges for the teenagers (Romer, 2011).

The research paper explores the effect of the Internet addiction on the social skills of the adolescents. This is achieved in two major ways. There is an analysis of the relationship between the Internet addiction, and the attention deficit and the hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, social phobia, and hostility (Cheng, 2007). Sex differences among the adolescents are also evaluated before a conclusion is made.

Internet addiction results to ADHD symptoms. It is one of the most common psychiatric disorders. This is a mental disorder that is characterized by an increased sensitivity to get reward. Teenagers with this problem normally derive their satisfaction from the Internet only. They have a feeling of controlling what is around them (Romer, 2011). ADHD victims are also notorious of fighting for freedom of self- expression. It is reported that adolescents who play more console or Internet video games have higher level of the ADHD symptoms.

Depression is another effect of the Internet dependence. It is a situation where someone resorts to an activity that is highly affective to his or her behavior, thoughts, and feelings (Lebow et. al., 2011). The teenagers adjust their emotional condition by the use of the Internet. They are convinced that the use of the Internet is less harmful, and more available than some of the illegal substances. The results presented in the ‘Cyber Psychology & Behavior’ journal shows that adolescents with the Internet addiction have higher depressive levels. These youths feel imperfect in their real life. They try to hide this truth using the Internet. They believe that they can get positive feeling, and control of pleasure from others through the Internet (Whang, 2003).

Social phobia is yet another effect of the Internet addiction on teenagers. This is a state of intense panic of social situations. It is usually accompanied by the fear of being evaluated by other people. The study revealed that the teenagers, who heavily depended on the Internet, had social anxiety. The adolescents find themselves hiding more and more in the cyber surfing, than being with the other people. This is because they fear that they may be scrutinized by the public.

Hostility is a major social effect of the Internet addiction. It is an internal angry rejection of the reality. It involves the thoughts and ideologies, which are not in line with the human life or norms. This disorder is characterized by conflict, rejection, and tension. The teenagers with high level of hostility often engage in interpersonal conflicts, and denial (Valenti, & Lacovelli, 2009). In most cases they do not have means for self expression. They therefore resort to the use of the Internet in order to escape from stress, and reality of life. This is very risky, and the social skills of such teenagers are spoiled.

In comparison, the Internet addiction differs for both the male and female. Male adolescents with high hostility need much more proper attention and patience in preventive measures, than their female counterparts do. The study also shows that male teenagers are more likely to have Internet addiction than the females, even if there are controls. This is because the females are under closer family supervisions, than the males are (Yen, 2007).

In conclusion, the paper has evaluated the major effects of the Internet addiction on the social skills of teenagers. It has also shown that male teenagers are more vulnerable to the threat, than females. Corrective measures are required in order to help the teenagers live in the real world.

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