Teens and Internet addiction risk

Fonte: shutterstock

On average, Del Paeseni students use the internet for 165 minutes a day. 23% of them make "extreme" use (more than 6 hours) and 47% say they feel "really bad" if there is no connection.

This emerges from the first OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) survey on student well-being.

READ ALSO: At what age should you give a cell phone to a child?

But what does the web represent for our children? A withdrawal from reality or an attempt to get hooked on it?


«Both things», replies Riccardo Zerbetto, psychiatrist and psychotherapist, scientific director of the Orthos project for the study and treatment of pathological addictions (orthos.biz).

«On the one hand, children immerse themselves in the virtual world to escape a stressful everyday life. On the other hand, they connect to find information, relationships, entertainment, just like us adults. They research, chat, watch videos, play games. Teenagers have time available and curiosity to satisfy, it is not surprising that they are online even for a quarter of their days ".

FROM PASSING TIME TO TOTALIZING PASSION: how to understand if your child is at risk?

The numbers say that addiction is around the corner. How to tell if your child is at risk?

"Pay attention to how he uses the web and be alarmed if this becomes an unstoppable passion»Advises the expert. «We talk about addiction when being online penalizes sleep, study, leisure and replaces contact with reality. To avoid it, it is necessary to play in advance, right from the purchase of the smartphone or any device the boy uses to connect ».


«It must be clear that the smartphone is your property and he is only on loan»Recommends Zerbetto. «Before you hand it over, you can install it app for the control of its use. He must understand that there are boundaries to be respected. If you give him the moped, he will have to respect the highway code; in the same way, for the smartphone you have to establish limits, possibly agreeing them with him.

As we have verified in the schools of our city, the children ask for an average of 150 minutes of surfing a day, while the parents aim to allow 100. A good compromise is 120. And remember that your example is worth a thousand words: if you you don't know how to manage your smartphone with measure, you can't expect your child to do it ".

A useful app

It allows you not only to see how much time the child spends online, what he does, with whom he speaks and who writes, but also to set limits on all these activities. It's called Qustodio (qustodio.com) and it's a parental control application available in a free (to protect only one device) or paid version (up to 10 devices). Among those considered by Dr. Zerbetto's team, it was the most reliable and complete.

Read also: is an application to control children's cell phones illegal?

  • addictions
  • teens
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