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Social Media, Pornography, & Parenting Part 2

Post written by Ron Cook


What is Cyber Addiction and Video Game Addiction?

  • Cyber addiction takes many forms:
    • Video Game Addiction
    • Cybersex Addiction—Includes pornography, adult chat rooms, etc.
    • Compulsive Behaviors
      • Online Gambling
      • Stock Trading
      • Online Shopping
      • “Checking” Behaviors—habitually checking social media sites, forums, blogs, or other websites for updates.
  • Computer Addiction—An all-inclusive addiction ranging from compulsively playing Solitaire to programming compulsions.
  • According to a nationwide survey, 8% of teens show signs of behavioral addiction to video games.[1]

What are the Warning Signs of Cyber and Video Game Addiction?

According to the center for On-Line Addiction, the warning signs for internet addiction are:

  • Staying online or gaming for increasing amounts of time.
  • Thinking about the internet or gaming during other activities.
  • Gaming or going online to escape from real-life problems, anxiety, or depression.
  • Lying to friends and family to conceal gaming or internet use.
  • Feeling irritable when trying to cut back on gaming or time online.
  • Repeated unsuccessful attempts to control or cut back gaming.[2]

How Should a Parent Respond?

  • If your child or teen is showing warning signs of addiction DO NOT dismiss it as “just a phase.” 
    • Be very careful then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”  (Ephesians 5:15-17, NIV)
    • Be aware of online games that involve chat and other social media features.  According to Dr. Kimberly Young, “the collaborative/competitive nature of working with or against other players can make it hard to take a break.”  These games have been dubbed “heroinware” by some players.[3]
    • Keep logs of how much time is spent online and the child or teens’ reaction to time limits.
    • Note problems in the teen’s life related to relationships, homework, chores, lying, or stealing. 
    • Gain knowledge regarding the common signs of addiction (i.e. seeking the feelings of euphoria, developing tolerance, withdrawal, relapse, deception, anger, and isolation).
    • Seek professional help.  Cyber addiction and video game addiction are serious problems and should be taken seriously.

[1] Clinton, Tim and Chap Clark, Counseling Teenagers.  (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2010).

[2] Young, Kimberly.  Netaddiction.com.  “Signs of Internet Addiction.”

[3] Ibid.  

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