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Association of Prolonged Internet Use on the Mental Health and Addiction of Youngsters

Association of Prolonged Internet Use on the Mental Health and Addiction of Youngsters

Impact of The Internet

            The rise of the internet in the 20th century immensely revolutionized the world. The internet caused long-term hit that becomes intense for the passing years. Affordable cellphones, computer, and laptops have transformed the globe into a technological universe. Communication through the internet has made life more comfortable. Millennials cannot survive without the internet because their cellphone is a one-stop-shop. Morals are deteriorating among youths because they use the internet to watch pornography and online betting. Sharing the wrong information leads to misinterpretation of the real issue.  Prolonged use of internet leads to mental health concerns, social isolation, addiction in video games and online pornography among youngsters.

The Impact of Prolonged Internet use           

The impact of prolonged internet use leads to addiction to social media and damaging effects on the mental health of teenagers. When an individual logs in to a particular site, more information pops up. The person spends more time reading on the new eye-catching details related to the initial interest. Social media in the modern world has turned into a refuge (Younes & Al-Zoubi, 2015). To gather a big crowd, it is accessible through a social media platform. Unfortunately, the public is using the internet to gain attention. Teenagers have been forced to lie to their followers on social accounts on how happy their lives are, but in reality, they are dying in depression. To hide their distress, teenagers have masked their lifestyles and emotions in the social media.  Teenagers are becoming sensitive towards the perception of other people toward their physical appearances and lifestyle. Youngsters are deeply affected whenever they received only one to four likes in social media platforms especially on Facebook or Twitter. Having lesser followers and likes results to loss of self-esteem and unhappiness among youngsters. “More hours using social media was related to body weight dissatisfaction, unhappiness with appearance, and was related to involvement

Online Harassment

with online harassment;  greater social media use was related to less sleep, taking more time to fall asleep” (Kelly, Zilanawala, Booker, & Sacker, 2018, p. 65). Chatting with friends and schoolmates using social media messenger leads to lesser sleep hours as they spent about an average of 5 to 7 hours online. Cyberbullying in social media occurs frequently during teenage years as these individuals try to intimidate people whom they find weak and timid. Teenagers have a scale of ideal physical looks and body weight wherein those who have passed the categories of perfect body figure and endowed with attractiveness will not be the target of cyberbullying while those who are plain and flabby are the objects of ridicule in social media. The effects of social media is becoming detrimental towards the mental health of youngsters. 

Addiction to internet drives youngsters to higher percentage in social isolation.  It deprives teenagers with lesser time spent with family and friends. A teenager prefers spending the whole day facing a computer than going out with family members or loved ones. Family gatherings spent during public holidays and special occasions in the olden days seldom occur in the modern world. Most teenagers find comfort in watching videos and browsing hundreds of interesting sites. Internet creates a huge appeal on teenagers that they prefer to seclude themselves from other people. They are becoming slothful and irresponsible. Matali (2014) claimed that “social anxiety was related to a preference for online interaction” (p. 2). Therefore, addiction to the internet has affected the relationships of teeangers wherein they preferred isolation over face-to-face interaction.

            Prolonged internet usage leads to video game addiction and negative effects on personality among youth. Studies have shown that addiction to video games causes social withdrawal, aggressive behavior, and depression among teenagers. Stavrou (2018) discussed that “violent video games have a significant effect on aggressive behaviors and a significant indirect effect on prosocial behaviors; boys tend to engage in higher levels of aggressive and disruptive behaviors in comparison to girls” (p. 2438). Depression is among the contributing factors that lead adolescents to enjoy and thrive in the world of online gaming. The youngsters find comfort in having freedom and control over their surroundings which is the opposite in real life. Youngsters are not cognizant that the longer they withdraw themselves from people, the more chances they will become more depressed. “Children who played violent video games were more aggressive than children who watched violent video games” (Ferguson, 2014, p. 574). Reports showed that there are cases wherein teenagers who are violent game players have committed murder. The research presented that computer games displaying brutality and negative values such as disrespect and cruelty lead to disobedience, violent behavior, and depression.  

The effect of porn sites due to long usage of internet has moved the entire world primarily because of the rape cases. The age of the rapists and the age of the victims are mostly teenagers. It is just one click and porn sites are at the very reach of a teenager. It does ask if the age using the site is above 18 but who will know if the viewer is saying the truth or not. It is really addicting to watch porn movies for the reason that teenagers are at the ripe age of curiosities and that they are really active to anything that will excite them. “Those who frequently consume pornography have more than four times greater levels of sexual aggression” (Owens, Behun, Manning, & Reid, 2012, p. 108). Porn sites are sure to have a great impact not only psychologicaly but as well as emotionally. In some cases, to be a porn addict will ruin a relationship and not only a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship but it can break a marriage. The effect will not be on men alone but it will also make changes on women who have become porn addicts. Being on the internet because of watching porn will also affect the minds of the viewers if this has been going on for quite some time, overexposure to internet will lead to aggression and impatience.

            During the times where internet is not present around the world, your place is a better place compared today. The print advertisements, magazines,  and TV broadcastings are way too good to compare with the internet. During these times of no porn sites because of internet connection, the teenagers will only get the chance to see an x-rated film is when their parents left home and if they are on the right age to rent porn DVDs. “TV provides entertainment and education to the viewers, it familiarises the school child with an entirely new world of facts and fictions” (Imaobong,  Okpala, Awujo, & Okpala, 2012, p. 146).  TV channels have parental guidance wherein parents or guardians will have the chance to change the channel or let the teenagers go away so as not to see what is on TV.


The influx of the internet has led to porn and video game addiction, aggressive sexual behavior, depression, and  social anxiety among teenagers. Teenagers are not aware that internet technologies have managed to alter their emotional wellbeing and mental state in comparison to traditional media which have censorship, teenagers are protected from the negative effects of viewing highly aggressive and sexually stimulating scenes. Internet plays a vital role in shaping the minds of the youngsters thus controlling our lives.


Ferguson, C. J. (2014). Violent Video Games, Mass Shootings, and the Supreme Court: Lessons for the Legal Community in the Wake of Recent Free Speech Cases and Mass ShootingsNew Criminal Law Review, 17, 4, 553-586.

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Imaobong M, Okpala, C.G., Awujo, & Alexander N, Okpala. (2012). The Influence of Television Viewing on Adolescent, Behaviour among Public Secondary School Students in Obio/Akpor LGA in Rivers State. The International Institute for Science, Technology and Education, 3(7), 143-150. Bottom of Form

Kelly, Y., Zilanawala, A., Booker, C., & Sacker, A. (2018). Social Media Use and Adolescent Mental Health: Findings From the UK Millennium Cohort Study. Eclinical Medicine, 6, 59-68.

Matali, C. J. (2014). Social Isolation and the “Sheltered” Profile in Adolescents with Internet AddictionJournal of Child and Adolescent Behaviour, 2(3), 1-6.

Stavrou, P. (2018). Addiction to Video Games: A Case Study on the Effectiveness of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy on a Teenage Addict Struggling with Low Self-Esteem and Aggression IssuesPsychology, 9(10), 2436-2456.

Younes, M. B., & Al-Zoubi, S. (2015). The impact of technologies on society: A reviewIOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science20(2), 82-86.

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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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