Psychological Effects of Internet Usage

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Although the Internet is a great source of information, it can have psychological effects on children and adolescents. Some psychological problems include social awkwardness and lack of a social life or family interactions. However, the Internet also assists in helping introverted people express themselves.

Decreased Inhibitions

  • Internet usage can help shy people feel less inhibited in communicating with others. When people feel like they are anonymous or unidentified, they feel more inclined to open up or share their feelings. Internet usage assists in removing a level of vulnerability by allowing people to express themselves in a semi-anonymous way. Though anonymity on the Internet can be dangerous, it can also be beneficial to those who use it with good intentions.

Lack of Family Time

  • Using the Internet for an extreme amount of time means that time spent with family is significantly decreased. According to FamilyFacts.org, adolescents who spend time with their families are less likely to exhibit behavioral problems or involve themselves with violent activities. Given that the Internet is not controlled, when adolescents spend lots of time online, they are exposed to various risks and behaviors that will influence them in the real world.

Loneliness

  • Loneliness is a possible psychological effect of Internet usage, but it correlates with the amount of time spent online. The more time spent online, the more likely it is that some users will become lonely. When users are unable to differentiate what is real and what is not and they are more accepted in the virtual world, they may find themselves struggling in the real world. They might treat relationships online with more delicacy and intimacy than they do their physical relationships.

Dependency on the Internet

  • Although the Internet is a great source for information, it may cause people to depend solely on the Internet for all answers. Once a person depends on the Internet for almost all information, he is unable to think for himself or have his own opinions on any topic. For dependent users, human interaction is not necessary when the Internet is within reach.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images Jemal Countess/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images Seiya Kawamoto/Lifesize/Getty Images
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