25 November 2016

Young Generation of Internet Addicts

With the internet now more entwined with life than ever before comes the risk of developing an internet addiction. This type of addiction is more prevalent in the younger generations who have grown up with the internet.

An internet addiction can cause numerous issues for the addict as it can prevent him or her from having a ‘proper’ social life and interacting with other people. The affected individual may also develop health issues from the endless amounts of time spent hunched over staring at a screen. You may be surprised at some of the ‘culprits’ for excessive internet use, and many are actually a lot younger than you would imagine; three-year-old Kye Corser is an example. He goes online for up to seven hours a day and is ‘obsessed’ with his iPad.

Obsessed

Twenty-six-year-old full-time mother Kayleigh Corser from Runcorn in Cheshire has admitted that her three-year-old son Kye is obsessed with being online and on his iPad. From the moment he wakes up in the morning he is using his iPad to watch videos or play games online. He has his iPad with him at every meal, even when he is in the bath and will use it right up until he goes to sleep at night.

Kye is not alone; Ofcom recently conducted a study, which highlighted the fact that pre-school children spend on average four hours and eleven minutes online every day. The study also shows that 34 per cent of three-to-four-year-olds have their own devices such as iPads or tablets that allow them to access the internet, and 55 per cent use a tablet regularly. This comes as no shock to Kayleigh, who says, “I guess Kye is addicted. It’s like his best friend. I know some people will think that six or seven hours is too much for a child, but as long as he’s watching educational videos and apps, I don’t see a problem.”

Kye will spend three hours online using his iPad before he goes to nursery. Kayleigh explained, “The first thing Kye says when he comes running into my room every morning is: ‘Mum, can I go onto my iPad? He’ll watch it while having his breakfast. He’ll take it to the toilet. Getting him dressed is a nightmare because he won’t put it down while I’m trying to put his clothes on. I’ve found him resting it on the taps while he is in the bath and trying to take it in the shower.”

Keep the Peace

She admitted that Kye’s obsession began when he was just two-years-old and he would watch videos on the internet. “He soon figured out how to watch YouTube and play games, and before I knew it, he was treating my iPad as his own and would throw a tantrum if I tried to take it away. To keep the peace, I decided to give him my iPad and bought myself a new Kindle instead. Now he spends around three hours in the morning playing games or watching apps. Then he goes to nursery for three hours, but I take the iPad with me in the car so he can play with it on the way there and on the way back,” said Kayleigh.

Some Benefits

Kayleigh also said, “When he gets home, he watches it for another three hours. It’s not always constant. He might break off to play with some of his toys, but his attention span is very short, and he’ll soon be back on the iPad. At night, just before he goes to bed, he has to watch me plug it in to charge overnight to be sure that there will be enough battery the next day.”

Despite all of this, Kayleigh somehow believes that Kye’s internet addiction is actually benefitting him, saying, “Sometimes it worries me how much time he spends on it, but I’ve seen some benefits. I’ve counted numbers to him from six months old, but he’d never grasp it. But as soon as he started watching number and alphabet videos on the iPad, he seemed to learn them straight away. I’ve also noticed he doesn’t fidget as much at the dinner table if he has his iPad and will eat whatever is put in front of him rather than running away. He still plays out on his bike and with other toys. This generation of children will be growing up with this technology, and it will be second nature to them, so they might as well start young.”

Help and Support for Internet Addiction

Despite Kayleigh believing that there is no harm in Kye spending so much time on his iPad, here at UKAT, we know the damage that any type of addiction can cause. If you are concerned that your child is suffering from an internet addiction, do not hesitate to contact us here at UKAT. We specialise in internet addictions, and we will do everything in our power to ensure that your child successfully overcomes his or her addiction.

We have a range of treatments available at our clinics, and we will discuss these with you to decide which would be most beneficial for your child. If you have any queries or require any further information, contact us today.

Source: ‘Addict’ three-year-old boy uses iPad seven hours a day…and his mum insists ‘it’s good for him’ (The Sun)

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