Archive Consequences of Inappropriate Internet Use for Families
Two children lying on the floor using electronic devices

Consequences of Internet misuse in families

Atena

Atena

Table of contents:

    Today’s internet has taken a long way to become what it is today. One of the first opportunities that were created was email. Sending emails has been possible since the 1960s. Shortly after that sharing files became possible in the 1970s.

    The revolution of the internet began with the creation of the World Wide Web in 1989. Only half of the world’s population was online one year before the first web browser and the very first website went online. This is visible in graph 1 at the year 1990.

    In the year 2000, less than 7% of the world was online. In 2016, the world was divided. In the poorest countries, fewer than 5% of the population was online. On the other hand, countries like Denmark, Norway, and Iceland had 97-98% of their population online. For the first time in the last five years, there were an average of 640,000 people online on any day of the year.

    The increase in internet use comes with an increase in content on the internet. This increase causes exposure to different kinds of content online, which can result in overuse or inappropriate internet use for kids and adults. Having this in mind, certain consequences of inappropriate internet use for families can occur. We will talk about it in this blog. 

     

    The graph shows the percentage of internet usage over the years, in different parts of the world.

     

    Family Bonding 

    To create a strong and healthy family bond it is important to communicate and spend time with one another. The rise of electronic devices caused us to be absorbed in our own world, and at moments, not notice our surroundings. It makes me sad that we prefer the internet’s entertainment over the time we can spend to bond with our own family. With the quick rise of the digital age, it seems that we haven’t been accustomed to the culture of using it appropriately.  

     

    What Counts as Inappropriate Internet Use? 

    To understand what the possible consequences of inappropriate internet use for families are, it might be good to specify what counts as inappropriate. Inappropriate internet use can be classified as: 

    • Harassment of others on the internet. 
    • Exposure to age-related inappropriate content. 
    • Excessively long use of the internet, causing an imbalance in one’s mental and physical health. 
    • Inaccurate information or information that might lead or tempt someone into unlawful or dangerous behavior. 

    What Counts as Appropriate Internet Use? 

    As we all know, the internet was invented to make our lives easier and is not the big scary devil. When used accordingly, it can even be beneficial. Moderate use of the internet can lead to: 

     

    Mental Skill Development Through Educational Content 

    Online learning is becoming more fun with all the games that stimulate kids to learn in an engaging way. This approach to learning is becoming more personalized and based on the concept of mastery. This approach results in the child being able to take a concept and learn to apply it in any needed situation. Learning becomes more of a tool, instead of a chore.  

    Not only is there an increase in learning sources for children, but also the amount of accessible online courses is increasing continuously. There are a lot of websites that offer free or paid online courses. You can increase your knowledge easily without any pre-education. If desired, you can follow a free course and only pay if you want a certificate. 

     

    An Increase in Problem-Solving Skills 

    Interactive websites and games help young people learn to solve problems as they work their way through the challenges to get to the next level. Simply using a device makes them more developed to learn how to solve problems like the browser not working correctly or connection issues. This is an advantage compared to the older generation. This is because they have not developed this kind of problem-solving skill.

     

    Easier Access to Information 

    With search engines on the internet being easily accessible, everyone can access information at any given minute. Instead of having to look something up in a library, searching through books and journals, we can use almost any smart device to look up the information we are looking for. This causes people to be more knowledgeable and save time to do other things. 

     

    What Are the Consequences of Inappropriate Internet Use for Kids? 

    Kids have a very susceptible brain. By the age they turn three, the average child’s brain reaches about 75% of its adult weight. All this neuron mass develops in the first three years. Thus, most development occurs in a child’s early years.

    What consequences inappropriate internet use has for kids is highly related to the amount of internet use and the type of content the kid is exposed to. That makes it crucial to monitor what contents and duration they are exposed to the internet. Possible consequences of inappropriate internet use for kids are:

     

    Lower Attention Span 

    With a tap of their finger, kids can change the contents that they are consuming. When there is excessive internet exposure, the brain gets used to consume a lot of exciting contents in a short amount of time. Over time, this results in a need, and eventually causes a lower attention span. With all the possible fun online activities, it can be difficult for a child to decide whether to do a task that they have to finish or procrastinate and enjoy the entertainment in the moment.  

     

    Minimized Social Interaction 

    When a child spends too much time online, playing games or using social media, they get disconnected from the outside world. The more time they spend on the internet, the less they will communicate and interact with their friends or classmates. Because of this isolation and lack of social interaction, a child can develop depression or anxiety at a young age. 

    Even though online games can be played with friends and kids can get a degree of respectability by getting to a higher level or ranking, it does not replace skills they’ll need later in life. Skills such as respect, sharing, communication, and love can’t be learned online and might stay underdeveloped, which has consequences for their future social relationships. 

     

    Health Problems 

    The consequences of inappropriate internet use are not limited to emotional and mental irregularities. When kids are using the internet, they usually are sitting or lying down. In the long run, this can cause health problems like: 

    • Vision problems 
    • Neck pain 
    • Distortion of the skeletal structure of the body 
    • Arm, hand, finger numbness 
    • Obesity due to lack of movement 

    Reduced Sleep Quality 

    Kids might not have the discipline to put away their phones before sleeping and continue to use the internet past their bedtime. This can result in a late sleep time, and eventually insufficient and restless sleep.

    Another noteworthy point is the blue light that electronic screens produce. This light can harm the sleep schedule, especially when used for a prolonged time before bedtime. Blue light blocks your body from producing melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel drowsy. Using electronic devices right before bedtime can make it harder for children to fall asleep. 

     

    A child is using a tablet in the dark

    Cyberbullying, Abuse, and Security Risks 

    This consequence is less related to the overuse of the internet and is more related to the way of using it. Because of their innocence, kids are easily victimized. Some possibilities are:  

    • Cyberbullying: This can happen by their peers, or by online predators which will affect their mental health.  
    • Cybercrime: Kids can be victims of unintentional cybercrime, because of their lack of knowledge about the possible consequences.  
    • Malware: Kids can unintentionally allow malware into their system. By clicking on certain appealing links, they can harm the device they are using. Malware usually has the goal of misusing personal information. Therefore, it does not only harm the device but also harms the privacy of the victim and possibly their family. 

    How Does Inappropriate Use of the Internet by Adults Affect Kids? 

    Using the internet excessively or inappropriately is not only harmful for kids but also for adults. This excessive use can eventually even cause harm to the child in question. Not only do parents set a bad example for their kids, but they could possibly neglect their children unintentionally. 

    Setting an Example 

    The first role models a kid looks up to, are their parents. Therefore, it is very important that parents set a good example for their children. When parents spend a lot of time on their electronic devices, browsing the internet, a child is tempted to do the same.  

    Neglect 

    People tend to zone out when they are spending a lot of time on the internet. Eventually, it is common that you lose track of time when you are enjoying the online content you are consuming. The time that could be spent on their child, bonding and creating memories with their kid goes lost. Eventually, this can lead to a mentally absent parent and as a result, will harm the child mentally.  

     

    A happy family of four having a day at the beach

     

    How Can Adults Prevent Inappropriate Internet Use? 

    It is possible to enjoy the benefits of the internet and prevent your child from inappropriate internet use. By using a parental control program like Safes, it is possible to monitor and regulate your child’s internet use. Safes offers a wide range of solutions to protect your child. With Safes it is possible, but not limited to: 

    • Set up a screen time schedule, this prevents children from using a device too much.  
    • Manage and control your child’s web activity, so maintain a healthy balance. 
    • Detect and block access to inappropriate content, so your child will not get exposed to it. 

    Take the first step in safeguarding your child’s digital journey by signing up for a free trial of Safes today.

    Atena

    Atena

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    Download Safes Kids for Chrombook

    1. Install the Safes Kids app on your Chromebook from Google Play. 
    2. Pair Safes Kids with parent app. Follow the instructions in the app to pair your child’s device with your parent device.  
    3. Add the Safe Kids Chrome extension. Open Chrome and go to the Chrome Web Store. 
    4. Navigate to the Manage extensions page. Click the three dots in the top right corner of Chrome and select “Extensions”>”Manage Extensions”>”Details”
    5. Turn on “Allow in incognito mode” This will allow the Safe Kids extension to work in incognito mode, which is important if your child uses incognito mode to try to bypass the parental controls.
    6. Select Safes extension and follow on-screen instruction

    Download Safes Kids for Android

    Download the Android Kid’s app directly to get the full features!

    Download Safes Kids App on Play Store

    Download Safes Kids App on Safes.so

    Safe Kids is available on the Google Play Store, but if you download it directly from our website, you will get access to Call and SMS monitoring feature, You can monitor the phone calls of your child’s device, as well as the contacts and messages they have sent and received, including those containing inappropriate content.