Internet games are popular among teenagers, as they can be played almost anywhere and give teens the chance to immerse themselves in another world. If played properly, Internet games can be used as a healthy release from the pressures of teenage life. Exposing teens to the Internet can have positive outcomes, but there are teens who spend too much time online and may even become addicted. The Internet can be a dangerous place for teenagers to explore, so adult supervision should always be given.
Influence of Internet Gaming to Teens
The Internet can be a valuable tool for teenagers. They can research any topic they like at the touch of a button, develop their own interests, and keep in contact with friends and family. If online gaming is treated as a hobby and doesn’t take up too much time, it can be a healthy pastime. There are teenagers, however, who spend far too much time playing Internet games and start to fall behind with homework, fail to attend school, or find it difficult to maintain a part-time job.
Teenagers who prefer to spend every waking minute playing Internet games may be suffering from an addiction. Internet addiction is common among teens and will often continue into adulthood. A study conducted by experts at Stanford University found that almost one in eight Americans display at least one sign of problematic Internet abuse. Although not all teens develop an addiction to online games, it is still important for them to maintain a healthy balance between virtual life and real life. Signs of Internet addiction may include:
- Spending all your spare time on the Internet
- Falling behind with your school work
- Taking time off school so you can continue to play games
- Spending lots of time thinking about Internet games when you are not playing
Another problem with the Internet is that it is very hard to keep track of the people teenagers are talking to online. They could be meeting up with some very unsavory characters and be exposed to negative influences. Also, teenagers may develop trust in people who are not who they say they are. It is common for adults who want to meet up with teenagers to pretend to be teenagers themselves. This way, they can trick teenagers into giving out personal information, such as addresses, phone numbers or the credit card details of their parents. These people can then use this information to commit fraud or cause harm to a teenager.
Balance for Teen Gamers
Balance is important for teens. Remember, Internet gaming can be fun if it is done in moderation.
Online games can become addictive when you are competing to win. The thrill of winning can cause a release of chemicals in your brain that create feelings of happiness. You can avoid developing an addiction to online gaming by limiting the amount of time you spend playing each day and by making sure that you regularly take part in other enjoyable activities.
Don’t let one thing take over your life. Try your hand at different activities, focus on your schoolwork, and spend plenty of time with friends and family to make sure that you live a broad and balanced life.