Ever since the industrial period, many inventions have been created to make human’s tasks easier and faster to do. Because of this, technology has continued to create impacts on society, and vice-versa.
We may not realize it, but these developments affect the world, including humans. Although there are numerous advancements already, we must also know how to limit them because it may negatively damage our physical and mental health.
Poor management of the technology can lead to problems at home, school, and work, as well as in relationships, especially among young people. Growing numbers of parents are becoming increasingly concerned that they are losing their children to screens. — Michael Fraser, PhD
The Internet’s Impacts
Some of the advancements that continue to develop today are the internet, smartphones, and social networking sites. These inventions play a significant role especially to teenagers worldwide because despite it being a convenient communication tool, it has also caused serious issues regarding mental health. Worldwide, there are a lot of studies showing how social media affects teenagers’ mental health because the youth today are “excessively wired” to the use of the internet considering we are now in the ‘digital age.’
It is normal for teenagers to experience the phase of puberty – wanting to belong, be trendy, get noticed. They experience most of these feelings through the internet. However, just like in any situation, too much of anything can be bad for oneself. In a study done by the Royal Society for Public Health, being too immersed online increases the risk of self-comparison, insecurities, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
How? Using the internet too much exposes us to different things that may lead us to compare ourselves to the people we see online. Why am I not as beautiful? As rich? As popular? As successful? These questions usually run through many teenage minds which generally caused by their exposure to photos, videos, and posts, of society’s unrealistic set of standards which all come from the internet. In addition, since the internet has a wide audience, it may also be an avenue to absorb cyberbullying, non-constructive criticism, and more. Because of this, the concept of the internet or online curfews is used to regulate one’s internet usage.
Of course, setting a curfew to the teenager’s satisfaction is hard to do, because a curfew limits social freedom. — Carl E Pickhardt Ph.D.
Limitations Also Matter
Online curfew is imposing a time limit to one’s internet usage to instill discipline to an individual, and to ensure that teens can do other activities such as family interactions, homework, and other important responsibilities. Setting online curfews are usually one of the techniques done by parents to prevent internet addiction and exposure to explicit content which may be inappropriate for teens at certain ages.
Since practicing online curfews regulate one’s exposure to the endless content of the internet, this also serves as a useful tool for parents to teach essential values which will help guide their children in transitioning from teenagers to young adults. Having an online curfew teaches teens responsibility, time-management, accountability, word of honor, and maturity. Alongside this, it gives teens more opportunities to build healthier relationships and allot time for other things that could be more beneficial to their mental health.
Meting out punishment online is just the latest form of openness and information sharing that’s become a standard way of life for many adults. It’s not even new, as public humiliation has deep roots in several cultural traditions. — Lynn Schofield Clark Ph.D
Training Tomorrow’s Future
All of this serves as a training ground for specific values that helps the growing and developing the mind of a teenager be well-off once they become an adult. It does not prohibit one to explore. It simply trains them to be responsible internet users.
The goal of using online curfews all boils down to training young teenagers to practice safe browsing and avoiding potential causes of mental health issues. It is not wrong to discover new things, but it’s just right to regulate it. There’s a whole lot of other things to explore in the world, and it all starts when we learn to disconnect from time to time.