Infotainment

Being lonely ups risk of Internet addiction: Study

February 23 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 2/23/2021 11:20:44 AM IST

 Loneliness has become increasingly prevalent among adolescents, who spend longer and longer periods of time online, says a new study.

“In the coronavirus period, loneliness has increased markedly among adolescents. They look for a sense of belonging from the Internet. Lonely adolescents head to the Internet and are at risk of becoming addicted,” said researcher Katariina Salmela-Aro from the University of Helsinki.

According to the researchers, adolescents’ net use is a two-edged sword -- while the consequences of moderate use are positive, the effects of compulsive use can be detrimental. Compulsive use denotes, among other things, gaming addiction or the constant monitoring of likes on social media and comparisons to others. For the study, published in the journal Child Development, the team involved a total of 1,750 participants to investigate detrimental Internet use by adolescents. The subjects were studied at three points in time -- at 16, 17 and 18 years of age.

The risk of being drawn into problematic Internet use was at its highest among 16-year-old adolescents, with the phenomenon being more common among boys.

For some, the problem persists into adulthood, but for others it eases up as they grow older, the researchers said.    (IANS)

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