The Growing Problem of Internet Addiction Among Teens in the United States

The situation is constantly becoming more grave for teens, with more chances of getting this than contracting Ebola, where one in eight are at risk for it…Internet addiction is the new impending problem. As we continue advancing into the 21th century, teens are rapidly shifting to technology for their free time and their social lives. Many leading officials believe that teens are setting themselves up for health problems for the rest of their lives, Other experts feel that teens are preparing for the future with new skills the older generation may lack. Despite some significant evidence that technology proves to be a benefit to the younger generation, the common thought which society believes is that the current situation of teens is looking bleak; due to the fact that teenagers are developing new harmful health problems and also their use of the Internet can lead to illegal activities.

To begin, with new innovations like the iPad or new laptops, teens are slowly shifting to less mobile lifestyles, Without spending time outside of the home, they subject themselves to hours indoors. These actions can include “[losing] track of time, becoming agitated, neglecting relationships” or many other effects which seem anti-social and socially excluded from the world. However, these actions are only mere facades of the real problems slowly unfolding As stated in the beginning, some experts believe there is a new issue to look out for called Internet addiction. According to Helpguideorg, it states that Internet use is healthy, until overuse is a factor. If Internet use begins to interfere with “relationships or work”, these signs are big problems which could negatively affect the course of someone’s life.

It is estimated that 1/8th of the US‘s population (approximately 42,625,000) are affected by this disease (Censusgov 2014). With the number slowly rising, this problem is getting harder to prevent due to easy access to the internet. Many people who suffer from this can sometimes feel the same effects as “people with drugs” and even report they act very “unproductively” This dependence on the Internet is leading to the destruction of hard work and relationships with teens and can only be stopped when the user can effectively manage their Internet use. Another reason that this generation of teens is creating trouble is the use of the method of pirating, usually involving media files like music or movies, Most teens do not see the problems of the simple task of retrieving items they want for free.

A large portion of pirates are between the ages of “15-18″ which are the teens (arstechnica 2011), Also “56%” of teens do not feel that pirating music is wrong, which shows the predominant mentality of teens (redorbit 2008) However, according to the RIAA, these actions are not only illegal, but cost the US and its businesses an average of “12.5 billion dollars” and are a cause for many types ofjobs (RIAA 2014). Although there is a high percentage of damage and criminal activity, most at-home teen pirates do not get caught and continue to exploit the artist‘s music. This problem is becoming more prevalent in our society, and if this continues we may even see the decline of the music industry and other aspects in which share files on the Internet Although teens are seen in a negative standpoint, some leading experts believe that teens benefit from internet usage.

As new curriculum standards are released, new and larger textbooks are made; leading to a variety of “problems on student’s backs” both literally and figuratively The invention of new smaller devices like the kindle or the [pad Mini make student’s weight on their backs lighter and easier to carry information such as textbooks. Another example of technology influencing students is the creation of a teen coding competition made by another fellow teen, The teen, Ethan Eirinberg, created “Createl-IS” which is a global competition for aspiring new programmers (readwrite 2013). It has attracted attention from many, and has engaged teenagers into a useful hobby.

With these reasons, teens can be seen as able bodied people to lead the workforce. Unfortunately, teens are still credited with huge problems A new crisis emerges, which is the new face of criminals…the teen hacker. Teen hackers are young adults who either crack code to enter personal files, input malware, or use their abilities to steal from businesses. There is an influx of teen hacker stories in mainstream media including one group in particular are a group of teens hacking into the US Army and Microsoft stealing 100 million in total such as new games, gun information and more. These young adults acquired many different accusations such as “wire fraud, copyright infringement, computer fraud and 10 other suspected charges”.

This further shows the teenage mindset on trying to use the internet to their advantage while others may suffer. Finally to reiterate, teens are growing to become the adults of the future; the ones who will inherit society. With the habits they are forming at a young age, from engaging to illegal activities to developing detrimental health problems, the future of teens looks dismal and not promising. But, if teens are able to use their skills with technology to benefit the world such as Ethan Eirinberg, maybe experts will decide to change their views on this current generation and not have to worry about their state for the future.

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