Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): As many as 65.52% of males and 34.48% of females aged 14-19 years are internet addict, reveals a study conducted by AIIMS Bhopal.
The study was conducted on 348 adolescents students.
If sorted by standard of study, 38.79% were studying in 10th standard, 33.62% in 11th standard and 27.59% of the subjects were studying in 12th standard. Majority of 37.93% of subjects reported that using internet since more than 3 year. Majority 44.8% students used internet for Online Gaming.
Regarding level of problematic internet use (PIU) - approximately 5.17 % (Score Range: 80-100) adolescents students identified as problematic Internet users (Internet Addicts), 56.03 % (Score Range: 50-79) of adolescents students showed moderate level of problematic internet use while 38.79 % (Score Range: 20-49) experienced mild level. It implies that long term internet use is significantly associated with increasing somatic health problems.
The study focuses on psychosomatic problems related problematic internet use (PIU) and reveals that depression anxiety, stress and somatic complaints is related to problematic internet use directly Problematic internet use (PIU) was assessed by Young’s twenty question internet addiction test. The Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scale (DASS-42) and self structured questionnaire check list was used to measure psychosomatic problems among adolescents.
This study reveals that depression, anxiety, stress and somatic complaints are directly related to problematic internet use. The real challenge is to have a control on usage of social sites- the amount of time being spent and the type of activities adolescents are doing online. School Parents needs to explain to children/adolescents regarding appropriate use of internet, restrict their use by screen time. Users look for instant satisfaction in the real world too after getting it in the virtual internet gaming world at a click due to release of neurotransmitters like dopamine.
However, when their desire is not fulfilled and obstructed or delayed it leads to anger that is not channelized especially in the blind will of the youth. Since exposure to internet at adolescents is increasing level of problematic internet use, a school based educational programs need to be targeted to reduce addiction among and its impact on physical and mental health of adolescents.