While the idea of addiction possibly forming through over usage of the Internet has long been ignored, doctors and parents are beginning to take notice of this disturbing trend in teens.
The term "Internet addiction" was introduced in the late 1990s and has been dismissed by the majority of medical professionals. Many believe that excessive time spent surfing the web is in fact a warning signal for a larger and more dangerous mental disease like depression. Others believe that while Internet addiction can exist on its own, the solitary behavior can lead to growing levels of depression, anxiety, self-consciousness and obesity.
Though the verdict is still out in the medical communities, parents worldwide are concerned over their teens as they spend more and more time in front of computer screens.
"Parents aren't as concerned with their teens who are online once in a while," said Scheff. "Parents are concerned with the teens who are completely addicted to MySpace or some other Web site. The ones who are not able to tear themselves away."
Sue Scheff™ along with so many parents, knows that that while internet addiction can be a symptom of or fuel a teenager's depression or anxiety, there are other dangers lurking from behind the web.
"The fact is that these teens can become introverts. It affects levels of growth and maturity." Scheff says. "The other thing is teens don't understand that people lie online, people aren't honest online. Do you really know who is on the other end of those messages or chat rooms?"
As parents, we must take a stand together to educate others on the dangers of Internet addiction. Looking for support from other parents? Visit the official website of Sue Scheff™'s Parents Universal Resource Experts.