Internet Addiction among Adolescents

The growth of technology has significantly lead to an increase in the use of the internet in today’s world. The internet has all the information required. The use of the internet assists teenagers in doing the school assignment as well as providing a platform for communicating with other people across the world. In today’s world, teenagers cannot even spend a day without accessing the internet. The development of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram has facilitated internet addiction among adolescents. The extended use of the internet among teenagers has led to severe physical, social, mental, and emotional problems. The objective of this paper is to discuss internet addition as the current contemporary issue facing teenagers today, the external stressor associated with the issue, the ethical parameters, and support actions for adolescents experiencing depression and stress due to internet addiction.

Internet Addiction

The internet use among teenagers becomes an addiction if the teenager experience anxiety, spend more time on the internet, skip important schedules, and sacrificing time to surf on the internet. The availability of enormous data on the internet makes it possible for teenagers to become addicted to it.  The teenager’s desire to be connected to the internet almost every time dramatically affects the school life, personal life, and social ability of teenagers. Some of the parents and society, in general, view addiction as a simple issue.  Based on experts, internet addiction among teenagers is a serious issue, and it was included in the DMS-V as one of the serious health concerns affecting teenagers(Sharma & Sousa, 2016). Through the internet, a teenager can easily play games, communicate, and build relationships because all the information required is readily available. According toFrederiksen (2011), socializationcontributes to addiction because people spend more time communicating and discussing with others.  Symptoms of internet addiction are similar to those of gambling and alcohol use.

Effects of Internet Addiction

Internet addiction has become a serious issue because of the serious adverse effects associated with the use of the internet for a long time.   Some of the mental and physical problems related to the use of the internet for a long time are stress, low self-esteem, interpersonal sensitivity, emotional instability, depression, hostility, etc. Internet addiction is linked to various external stressors(Lam, 2015).

External Stressors associated with Internet Addiction among Adolescents

Teenagers are still maturing, and they encounter stressful times caused by their parents, guardians, or friends.  Also, the source of stressors is the desire to have good grades, self-image, sports, and social anxiety, etc. The internet is easily accessible, which makes teenagers seek temporary comfort from their feelings, numbness, and social connectedness (Sharma & Sousa, 2016).

Assessment of Internet Addiction

Teenagers are different, and symptoms of internet addiction manifest differently. A person is deemed to as internet addict if the following symptoms manifest in teenagers. The teenager is more pre-occupied with the internet and requires more time to be satisfied with surfing. The teenager is unable to stop using the internet. If the teenager stay online for more time than expected and he/she have emotional changes. The additional criteria for a teenager to be classified as an internet addict when the teenager uses the internet as a source of escape, loss of life endeavors, and lies about his/her use of the internet(Cho, 2019).

The additional assessment questions I would ask is, do you surf for over 6 hours daily? Do you feel frustrations or anxious when you are not online? Do you abandon friends, family, and hobbies to use the internet? Do you have deteriorating grades since you started using internet? Have you ever dropped out of a group or a discussion to sacrifice time to use the internet. The ethical parameter for this assessment is that the actual names of the teen will remain anonymous during the assessment to enhance confidentiality.  After the information is gathered, treatment will be successful because the behaviors will be identified and treated in advance.

Treatment and Support

Adolescents are prone to external stressors, and thus there are various support programs and resources set to help them.  The treatment options for adolescents with internet addiction include counseling therapies, cognitive behavioral therapy, and extreme use that may require medication(Jiang, 2019).  Other support programs to help adolescents with internet addiction include; parental guidance, registering adolescents in residential and community programs, controlling the internet use, regular exercises, instructing adolescents to attend internet use programs, and intensive therapy. All these support strategies integrated will reduce cases of internet addiction among teenagers(Cho, 2019).


The use of the internet has become a significant part of the world and is still evolving. It’s, therefore, important for health experts, parents, and guardians to establish the extent to which adolescents use time on phones and the internet to interact with other people and socialize. Therefore, there is a need to educate adolescents and communicate effective behaviors to prevent health issues such as addiction and depression catalyzed by internet use among adolescents





Cho, H. (2019). A study on the solution for the internet, smartphone, and internet game addiction of teenagers. Korean Journal of Youth Studies26(10), 291-310. doi:10.21509/kjys.2019.

Frederiksen, L. (2011). Psych Central2011259John M. Grohol. Psych Central. 1995‐. Gratis URL: Last visited March 2011. Reference Reviews25(6), 16-17. doi:10.1108/09504121111155978

Jiang, Q. (2019). Risk Factors and Clinical Assessment of Internet-Addicted Adolescents. Internet Addiction AmongCyberkids in China: Risk Factors and Intervention Strategies, 85-142. doi:10.1007/978-981-13-3792-5_6

Lam, L. T. (2015). Parental mental health and Internet Addiction in adolescents. Addictive Behaviors42, 20-23. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2014.10.033

Sharma, P., & Sousa, A. D. (2016). Internet Addiction In Adolescents – An Overview. Indian Journal of Mental Health(IJMH)3(4), 394. doi:10.30877/ijmh.3.4.2016.394-404


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