COMPUTER ADDICTION AND ITS NEGATIVE EFFECTS ON THE STUDENT’S PHYSICAL, ACADEMIC AND SOCIAL LIFE
Computer addiction has negative effects on the student’s life: affects the physical health, changes academic performance and lessens social interactions.
A. Affects the physical health
- Poor eye sight
- Weight gain or loss
- Premature aging
B. Changes the academic performance
- Having trouble in completing projects, home works and quizzes
- Failing grades
- Repeating the subject
C. Lessens social interactions
- Isolation from family, friends and God
- Afraid to talk with other people
- Don’t want to stay in public places
Computer addiction and its negative effects on the student’s physical, academic and social life
Most of us turn to the computer to manage difficult feelings that includes loneliness, depression, boredom and anxiety. Computer is also an accessible outlet to quickly relieve stress and to escape real world problems. As a matter of fact, computer can be a great place to start great relationships, meet new people and interact socially. It also has recreational games that make the teenagers excited to play it, so that they do anything to reach a higher level of the game. In addition, computer can help us to make our work and task easily done. However, too much using of computers can lead to different risks and can affect our lives and change it into worst. The people who are attached with this machine will develop a kind of addiction which is commonly called “Computer Addiction”
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Computer addiction is defined as a strong involvement to the computer which interferes with daily life and the time spent on the computer. It involves cybersex addiction, offline addiction and internet addiction which can cause negative effects on relationships, academic studies, work and communication with family. Nicholas Rushby of British e-learning academy suggested in his 1979 book entitled “An Introduction to Educational Computing”, that people can be addicted to computer and suffers from withdrawal symptoms. It was also used by Shotton in his 1989 book entitled “The Computer Addiction”. In addition, there were an estimated 2.3 to 5.6 million addicted computer users in 1997. It increased from 11.3 to 18.9 million in 2005 and that existence makes it easy for individuals to feel no remorse for their crimes and believe that there will be no severe rebuke for committing them (Mental health of children today, 1999)
Generally speaking, these studies showed that computer dependency is really a threat to us and it is one of the main problems in our society nowadays. Most of the people ignore the effects of computers which can harm them as they grow older. We must know how to properly use the computers for us to avoid getting into a problem which leads to significant effects in our daily lives. We must also have self-discipline in able to achieve our dreams and accomplish things successfully. The goal of this research paper is to raise people’s awareness about their dangers when they are attached too much on the computer. Computer addiction has negative effects on the student’s life: affects physical health, changes academic performance and lessen social interactions (Saisan, Smith, Robinson, & Segal , 2014).
Affects the physical health
In a technological driven society, computer addiction including the offline and online addiction developed so much in the lives of many people especially the young ones and is one of the reasons why most of us experience negative consequences in life which affect the physical health. What is the importance of taking care of your health? We all know the popular saying “Health is wealth’’; this gives a large meaning to our life because health is considered the most precious and valuable for an individual. Good health is not just about the absence of disease in our body but it is how you react with your environment in a positive way (Chaterjee, 2012).
When we started browsing the computer and didn’t notice the time we wasted on it. We will just keep on playing with it until we feel something. We will notice that something is bothering our eyes which I think is the radiation. It is an energy that comes from a source or material like computer which has a serious effect on our health especially on eyes because of too much exposure on the screen which leads to poor eye sight that decreases our chance of seeing things better and the reason for wearing eye glasses at a very young age. Today, many students are working under stressful condition without any satisfaction which is detrimental to physical fitness. And as a result they suffer from many diseases. In order for us to be physically fit, we must do three important things: exercise, diet and sleep. Another effect of computers in physical health is the dramatic loss/gain of weight in our body. Severe weight loss can be cause by eating disorders like skipping meals and eating in front of the computer which is not necessary. While obesity is the condition wherein a person can’t handle his/her weight. What do you think are the reason of obesity? When a student just sit on the chair for long hours facing on the computer and doesn’t do any exercise, he/she may gain weight easily because not doing physical activities such as running, walking or dancing. Regular exercise reduces excess fats in the body and decreases our risks of having heart disease, kidney failure, diabetes and high blood pressure (Physical exercise, n.d.)
The third effect of addiction to computer in the physical health is the changes in a person’s appearance. Majority of the computer users are teenagers, adolescents and children but when you look at their faces and observe them you will notice the big difference between them and a child who is not a computer addict. What do you think is the consequences of this in your physical look? You will suffer from aging which is the process of becoming older. It represents the accumulation of a person over time. Aging is not really about counting birthdays; it is about how your body reacts and works in daily situations. A student who stays up all night using the computer will be exposed on ultraviolet rays which can cause wrinkles, eye bugs and pimples on the person who used it which leads to premature aging. In addition, computer users can develop skin problems which can lead to skin cancer (Charles, Reynolds, & Gatz, 2001).
Changes the academic performance
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” –Nelson Mandela. This quotation is simply telling us that having education is very important because it is crucial for the development of an individual and the society. But because of the benefits they get in the computer, the students forget about their academic studies which seriously affect their grades in school. According to Dr. Maressa Hecht Orzack (1999), director of the computer addiction, about 5% to 10% web surfers suffer from some form of web dependency. This means that the students always rely on the computer every time they need to do or to know something. In this case, students were not able to study on their own and understand the lessons in school. When the students spend more than eight to ten hours in playing games on the computer, they are already connected with it and ignore their homework for which they continuously play without any doubts in their mind. For example, students tend to play first, check their emails and browse social networking sites rather than reviewing for their exams, studying for recitations and doing their assignments on time. They sleep all day because they don’t have energy to do what they need to do and to finish the tasks that needs to be done (Kirkpatrick, 2010).
There is 15 year-old boy who asked for the help of a psychiatrist “Dr. Orzack”, for his problem about failing grades. He said that when he was 11 years old, his weighted average is 1.3 which easily fell down into 3.8 because of uncontrolled usage of computer. He didn’t manage his time wisely and did not use his computer properly. To be specific, this boy has no self-discipline which is an important tool in handling daily challenges. What will happen if we failed our subjects/courses? We will enroll in that subject again, pay tuition fee and waste a lot of time on studying it for the second time. Repeating a subject has a lot of effect on us especially on our personal feelings. We will be shame to attend classes because of being irregular. I want to emphasized that the reason of failure is not because that person is stupid hence, it is about laziness and being irresponsible for the all the things he/she must finish. We just need to motivate ourselves and start to do right things (Smith, 2007)
Lessens social interactions
Good relationship is something we want and something we need in our life. It is essential to fulfill our goals and to be successful. There are three important relationships in life which includes relationship with your family, friends and God. What is a family? For me, family is the most important people in our lives. I believed that they are the ones who will accept me no matter who I am. It means to feel loved, secured and appreciated. However, there are big changes that will occur in your family when you get addicted to computer. Although computers bring joy to our lives, it can also be the reason for being isolated with your family. For instance, if a person spends so much time on the computer, other areas of life will be neglected. He/she may grow distant from her family (Hartley, 1999).
Another is about handling friendships. Do you consider you online friend as real friends? Real friends are the people that you can trust and share your emotions personally while online friends are the people that you don’t know and you don’t interact verbally. Verbal communication is very essential to a good relationship. It is the act of sharing ideas by using speech/words. Nowadays, people are enjoying the benefits that they get in the computer. They think that with the used of different networking sites, they can create better relationships rather than the real world. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the examples of it, which are very popular in different countries. Using computer is not as bad as the drug addiction, we just have to discipline ourselves, balance life and avoid conflicts (Neher & Sandin, 2007).
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” –Isaiah 41:10, this bible verse is simply about believing and trusting God. He is the person who strengthens us. No matter how hard the challenges we’re facing today, he will always pull us up to continue our life. But when we observe our society today, we will notice that very few people go to church and talk to God. Why? It is because they are busy doing things that are not important which can be the hindrance of their dreams and wishes for themselves. Computer addiction has a big impact on each individual. Many people forget to thank God for all the blessings he gave us and ask for his guidance in handling day to day situations just like computer addiction (“Kids addiction,” 2010)
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According to Dr. Philip Tam (2010), a psychiatrist at Rivendell, he has seen a teenage school boy playing 37 hours non-stop with only toilet breaks. In this case, that boy spends almost one and half of his day in front of the computer. The computer affects his mental behavior and attitude towards other people. For example, when the students are caught by their parents, they will defend themselves and feel guilty about it. For these reasons, they develop negative behavior that results from being isolationist. Computer users are afraid to talk with other people.
We cannot blame computer addicts if they don’t want to stay in public places because of being uncomfortable. For them, dealing with the outside world is very hard and complicated because they are already immune with their life inside their house or the computer room. In order to overcome this addiction, they need to find alternative ways and consider the suggestions of the professionals. The theory of Dr. Maressa Orzack states that one of the most effective methods to deal with computer addiction is the “Cognitive Behavior Therapy”. This therapy teaches the patient to identify their problem, to solve their problem and to learn coping skills to prevent relapse. It is also a way to encourage the students to join social gatherings, school activities and different organizations that will help a lot for making new friends, discovering skills, enhancing talents and exploring the world (Orzack, 2001).
Computer addiction is really dangerous to our lives and has consequences that affect our physical health, academic performance and social interactions. The effect of computer in our physical health includes poor eye sight, obesity & weight loss and premature aging. These are all about your physical appearance and health. The second effect of computer addiction is on our academic performance. Studying is very important to a person’s life and if we don’t study well we can experience having trouble in completing tasks at school, failing grades and of course repetition of a particular subject. The last effect of being an addict is about social interactions. Being alone and not communicating with the outside people can cause isolation from family, friends and God, afraid to talk with other people and not comfortable in staying to public places.
In addition, there are also ways to avoid, lessen and overcome computer addiction. We need to seek professional counselling, ask help from our parents and motivate ourselves to change because it is the bridge to goals, accomplishments and dreams in life. To be specific, computer addiction is not a lifetime problem. It can be change as time goes by and by having good attitude towards trials and struggles in life. Always remember that God is always at our side and will guide us for every decision we make (Rizetto, 2005).
Furthermore, I conducted this study in order to raise people’s awareness about the serious causes and effects of computer addiction on life. I also thought that this is currently happening in our generation nowadays that will serve as a warning to the users of computer. I also want to help the parents and the computer addicts to cope up with this addiction and start living healthy. This study will be also beneficial about convincing others to properly use computer even if they are stressed, depressed and lonely. For the most part, I strongly believe that computer addiction is a threat in our lives and has many effects on us and the people around us. We must learn how to use computers responsibly and learn how to appreciate what life God has given to us
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Saisan, J., Smith, M., Robinson, L., & Segal , J. (2014, November). Internet and computer addiction. Retrieved from http://www.helpguide.org/articles/addiction/internet-and-computer-addiction.htm
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