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The growing concerns over the addiction of children to the internet

Medical Experts Say Addiction to Technology Is a Growing Concern

Many parents worry about the addictiveness of computer games, but are their fears justified? Last month, 400 parents registered for a "problem gaming" information night at Sydney's Knox Grammar School. The school plans to follow up that session with classes for students. Research shows that young people are spending slightly more time online than they were five years ago.

It comes back to that question of balance and what should it look like. A new documentary called Web Junkies looks at a military-style treatment centre in Beijing designed to wean teenage boys off their compulsive online behaviour. China is one of the first countries in the world to label internet addiction a clinical disorder. But I think in that case, the real cause is the problems that exist in the rest of their lives and video games are more a symptom," he said.

Pathological gaming is an area of concern.

  • Dr Johnson believes parents are overly worried about how much time children spend gaming;
  • Pathological gaming is an area of concern.

Video games are often blamed for violent crimes. Research shows excessive video gaming is associated with anxiety, depression and aggression.

But evidence is building that gaming might be good for people too. Gaming can reduce stress and improve mood Dr Johnson says there is an association between gaming and stress reduction and improved mood. In some cases resilience and also relatedness. There is a lot of support for the idea that when we play with others we connect in a really meaningful way," he said.

Parents concerned over problem gaming and internet addiction

It is here to stay. It is parents having a conversation about getting the balance right," she said. Dr Johnson believes parents are overly worried about how much time children spend gaming. Find out what they are playing, what their experience of playing is like, who are they playing with and how does it make them feel.

  • Do you crave access to gadgets?
  • There is a lot of support for the idea that when we play with others we connect in a really meaningful way," he said.

Games no more violent than other media: He says he plays first-person shooter games for hours at a time. I might get to that on a weekend. These days less and less often with uni. Mr Buckmaster says it is unfair to generalise all games as having negative impacts.

Just figure out what they are getting out of it and maybe if it is so much time they are spending on these things, why that is.