The Internet has many functions not only for adults, but also for children and teenagers. The most frequently mentioned function is informational, currently also educating (Covid), and educational. Each of these forms can have a positive, but also negative impact on a person, especially one who is not yet fully formed. In an easy and accessible way, the Internet can provide information that allows you to expand your knowledge or arouse interest. However, when using the Internet, children may search for content that promotes untrue, unethical behavior that threatens not only their own safety, but also the safety of others.
How to make good use of the Internet?
Young Internet users who have easy access to pornographic content and contacts with materials referring to violence are exposed to negative ways of using the Internet as a source of information. One of the more dangerous phenomena appearing today on the Internet is cyberbulling, i.e. a type of violence consisting of calling, ridiculing, blackmailing or spreading compromising materials online using information and communication technologies (messengers, chats, websites, blogs); grooming of children by adults via the Internet; content that promotes religious movements that are considered cults; content that promotes anorexia and bulimia as a lifestyle rather than a serious disease; content that encourages suicide or self-harm; content promoting drugs and other stimulants – most often by emphasizing their supposedly healing qualities or indicating that they direct a person to spiritual reality. Internet addiction is a threat to the emotional sphere of a young person and is a serious civilization disease.
How can a child psychologist from Krakow help us?
Psychology devotes much attention to the consequences of Internet addiction, linking them with aggression, self-aggression (mutilation, anorexia, bulimia), other addictions (alcohol, drugs) or social anxiety. In addition, playing violent video games can lead to automatic learning of aggressive behavior. Children or teenagers experiencing fear or feelings of inferiority or isolation can fall into depression. Psychotherapy focuses on the negative thoughts directed by the child towards himself. The negative effects of stress can lead not only to mental and physical discomfort, but also to behavioral disorders such as explosive, surly, aggressive and self-aggressive behavior, addiction or consumption of drugs. The whole family should attend a psychological consultation, because Internet addiction or aggression is not only a child’s problem, but the entire system in which it functions. With significant intensity of self-aggressive behavior, consultation with a child psychiatrist may be necessary.
dr Agnieszka Muchacka Cymerman – child psychologist, works in the psychodynamic approach. Lesser Poland Psychotherapy Center SYNAPSA Kraków