The Young Girl is a short story written by accredited New Zealand author, Katherine Mansfield. The story tells about a woman addicted to gambling and the negative effects it has on her relationship with her son and daughter. Those same negative effects can be applied to all types of addictions. Addiction is a disease of the brain that causes dependency, an irresistible urge to engage in an activity despite the harmful consequences(Sternberg). Social Media has been around since the early 2000’s and as of 2018, 69% of Americans use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram(ProCon). Social Media has become a means of expression to people who, in real life, usually wouldn’t have a voice. It also has become the central location for discovering an overabundance of information from around the world. News outlets are using social media more often to tap into a specific demographic that doesn’t read newspapers or watch any of the televised news programs. One can find out about something that is going on one thousand miles away just by looking on their phone, tablet, laptop or other devices. However, as Social Media becomes more advanced, it has proven to be detriment to the mental state and well being of teenagers and young adults.
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Bullying is generally characterized as an onslaught of aggression towards a specific person. That specific person is usually smaller and incapable of defending his or her self. With the fast development of social media and technology, Cyberbullying has become one of the leading problems that affect young children, adolescents, and young adults. Although Cyberbullying isn’t the same as regular bullying, they both share similar characteristics. Originally it only occured through phone calls, instant messaging, text messaging, e-mails, and certain blog based websites(Munnelly). Now, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram share the same fate. In fact, it’s more prevalent in today’s society, especially, with the sharing of personal information. Everything that is posted online is public information. This information can be accessed in a multitude of ways and used by cyberbullies. Technology has developed in such a way that content on the internet can be saved to one’s phone(McCarthy). It’s extremely important to converse with your children about using good judgment when it comes to utilizing different social media networks and help them understand the repercussions that can occur when they are gossiping, bullying, or spreading rumors(McCarthy).
Teenagers and adolescents go through periods of self-conflict from trying to find their purpose and identity. They are easily affected by the pressures of life and easily influenced by their peers which may result to seeking acceptance on social media networks. Various factors come into play when it comes to a teenager making good decisions. These include cognitive, psychological, social, cultural, and societal factors(Eleuteri). It is extremely important to educate yourself on the warning signs of excessive online usage. These signs may include, but not limited to, skipping extracurricular activities, meals and homework; weight loss or weight gain; failing grades(McCarthy). Helping parents understand what their child goes through on a day to day basis in conjunction with developing familiarity with social media networks can help parents monitor and be more aware of their child’s social media usage.
Social Media is being used all around the world for students who tend to be shy in person. Isolation from others isn’t good for the development process for a adolescent or teenager. A teenager can connect with like-minded individuals and feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas with others(ProCon). On the contrary, social media can lead to loneliness and missing major events in a person’s life. According to Washington D.C. freelance journalist, Christina L. Lyons, loneliness afflicts millions of Americans of all ages. Loneliness can lead to increased activity on social media networks, thus limiting how much energy a person puts into fixing the actual problem of experiencing loneliness. Being out of touch with real life destroys interpersonal relationships. One may neglect family time or romantic relationships when immersed in social media or other internet activities.
Communication through social media networks has lowered the barriers some people have in place in today’s society. The person that we are in our everyday waking life may not resemble who we are on the internet. The intimacy between two people is sped up because so much information is shared over social media networks(Eleuteri et al). Sexting is a way teenagers in high school can experiment with sexual identity as opposed to face to face sexual activity. Eleuteri refers to a study in which over a hundred students in high school were interviewed and it was determine that young males send and forward sexual explicit texts more than young females. Some teenagers do not know the consequences that comes with forwarding and sending those type of texts. Legal action has been taken place against people who do such things. The internet and social media is important to high schoolers because it helps them establish their reputation. For a teenager in high school, reputation is everything and with social media advancements, it has an immense importance amongst their peers.
The uncontrolled nature on the internet means it provides access to false information and transference of information. Internet filters surfaced on the market for home usage in the mid-to-late 1990s(Gale Encyclopedia). These filters were made to help control what a person views on the internet. They were designed to shield teenagers and adolescents from viewing questionable online content. Congress passed various Acts to further control what is viewed on the internet in an attempt to prevent users from communicating material that would be listed as indecent(Gale). Congress passed the Communications Decency Act of 1996(CDA), it was ruled unconstitutional in 1997 because it violated the First Amendment. In 1998, The Child Online Protection Act(COPA) was passed in an attempt to surmount constitutional problems. In 2004, the Supreme Court ruled COPA unconstitutional for the reason that each person who tries to disseminate speech over the internet would have to yield to the most restrictive standard of what constitutes material harmful to minors(Gale). To counter this issue, Congress passed Children’s Internet Protection Act(CIPA) and the Neighborhood Internet Protection Act(Neighborhood Act) to restrict the usage of internet in libraries and schools that receive federal funding(Gale). The history of these filters are very complex but as the internet advances so will the rules of regulation.
Recent studies were performed to see if mental disorder symptoms had any direct relation to excessive internet use. According to a survey conducted by Ceclie Schou Andreassen, 25,533 people between ages 16 to 88 were examined to determine whether the symptoms of ADHD, OCD, anxiety, and depression could be linked to “addictive technological behaviors”(Andreassen). People with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD) tend to suffer from restlessness and have problems sitting still. According to Andreassen, the usage of the internet and social media may help the person sit still and focus on one thought or action. Unfortunately, without the proper assessment by a certified doctor, this action may be detriment in aiding the solution of the problem ADHD brings in accordance with social media addiction. People with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder(OCD) are inclined to have a repetitive behaviors which can be directly linked to addictive technological behaviors. It was determine that some use the internet and social media networks as a coping mechanism from these mental disorders(Andreassen et al). Another survey supervised by Lui Yi Lin, determined that social media was undoubtedly correlated with increased depression. A total of 1,787 adults ages 19 to 32 were evaluated to determine said findings. Although research for linking social media addiction to mental disorders is at its preliminary stages, researchers are rapidly working to see how and if they can have interventions pertaining to the addictive behavior.
Physical and psychological symptoms were also reviewed by Dr. Dawn Heron and Dr. Nathan Shapira of the University of Florida to better plan out the best course of action for people suffering from Internet addiction. The acronym, MOUSE, was created to establish a median and give insight on what a person does when excessive Internet use is present. MOUSE stands for; More than the time intended is spent online, Other responsibilities are neglected, Unsuccessful attempts are made at cutting down on Internet use, Significant relationship problems have occured, and Excessive thoughts of the internet or anxiety occurs when the person is not on the Internet(Heron;Shapira). More physical symptoms include severely dry eyes, chronic headaches, and changes in sleeping and eating patterns(Gwinnell et. al).
According to The Encyclopedia of Addictions and Addictive Behaviors, by definition, Internet addiction disorder is the consistent use of the Internet to the degree an individual ultimately suffers emotional, financial, and consequences at work along with personal and family life. University of Pittsburgh Psychologist, Kimberly Young, was the first to write about Internet addiction in 1998 in accordance to her study of 400 excessive Internet users in 1996. Dr. David Greenfield compares the nature of gambling to that of Internet Addiction. He believes the same addictive behaviors and the elevation of Serotonin aid in the exhilarating feeling gambling has. Dr. Greenfield claims boredom is the start of many addictions. The feeling of boredom leaves the mind to wonder and potentially can cause the development of bad habits. Society has loss its ability to heal itself. No resilience for pain and no perseverance to change(Greenfield). In 1998, Dr. David Greenfield surveyed 18,000 people on their usage of the Internet in accordance with ABC News. Above 71 percent of them were male and 87 percent were college educated. According to Dr. Greenfield, an excess of 29 percent used the Internet as means to escape and many claimed they had loss track of time while on the Internet.
The Young Girl Is a Short Story Written by Accredited New Zealand Author. (2021, Mar 20).
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