Loneliness is a risk factor for excessive internet usage among teenagers. In the midst of the coronavirus epidemic, the danger of compulsive usage has risen: teenagers spend increasing amounts of time online, resulting in greater levels of loneliness.

A research study on harmful internet usage among teenagers in Finland investigated 1,750 study participants who were observed at three stages in their lives: at age 16, age 17, and age 18. The study’s findings have been reported in the journal Child Development.

On the other hand, the adolescent’s net usage has both good and negative aspects. Moderate use has beneficial results, while obsessive use has negative repercussions. Gaming addiction or continual monitoring of likes on social media is also included in the definition of compulsive use.

“In adolescence, loneliness has risen among coronavirus-infected individuals. They are on the internet in search of a sense of belonging. Adolescents who are lonely or alone turn to the internet for company, putting themselves in danger of addiction. Internet addiction can worsen their melancholy and general malaise “the study lead and Professor of Education at the University of Helsinki, Katariina Salmela-Aro, claims.

Study shows that among 16-year-old males, the highest risk

Adolescents, especially males, face a greater chance of entering into problematic internet use, according to the findings. Some adults continue to experience problems, but others begin to improve with age. Most research on internet use in adolescents indicates that it is linked to improvements in self-regulation and control, learning, and improvements in brain and cognitive development.

“Knowing that problematic internet usage is frequently adaptive and that it changes as a result of adolescent development and the move into adulthood is comforting. It follows that attention must be devoted to both school and home as well. Helping those who are lonely keeps people from being addicted to the internet “Salmela-Aro observes, notes Salmela-Aro.

Children of distant parents have a higher chance of slipping into harmful internet use, according to the research. The lack of parental engagement in teenagers’ life might have a detrimental effect on adolescents’ decision-making abilities.

Reference: provided by the University of Helsinki. Original written by Katariina Salmela-Aro, Suvi Uotinen. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.