Partner Post: Is the Internet Bad for Your Family’s Health

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In many ways, the internet is a wonderful thing. It’s packed full of so much information, much of which it would have been difficult, if not impossible to access in the past. It also enables people from all walks of life, all over the world to communicate and share ideas. It also means that this blog, and millions of other blogs can exist, allowing people to express their views and share information. However, many people think that the internet is bad for us and our families, at least in some respects. Is this true? Should we all be using the internet less?

If you’re worried about the amount of time you or your children spend on the internet, here are some things to think about:

The Bad Internet Addiction

There is mounting evidence that individuals can become addicted to the internet. Estimates suggest that around 5-10 percent of the population are currently addicted to the internet. This may be a small number or people, but if you or your child are affected it can cause problems such as a lack of motivation when it comes to homework, cleaning or really anything that doesn’t center around computers, tablets or smartphones.

To prevent internet addiction, simply set rules around yours and your children’s internet usage. Set a timer and don’t allow them/yourself to spend any longer than that. If you stick to this, it’s unlikely any of your family members will have a problem.

Sleep Deprivation

Another big problem that is facing many families is that of sleep deprivation, particularly amongst children. Kids who are allowed unrestricted access to their devices are far more likely to suffer from the effects of sleep deprivation simply because they stay up all night browsing the internet. This can leave them unable to concentrate at school.

Again, fixing this is as easy as removing devices or turning off the internet connection when bedtime comes around.

Cyberbullying

Social media sites can be a lot of fun, but they can also be bad for your mental health and wellness, children, in particular can find themselves being bullied by online trolls. Since social media is available at all times, this means they have little respite from the bullying and that can be really hard to deal with.

Tackling cyberbullying can be tough, but as a parent, you need to teach your child to value their own self-esteem, switch off when necessary and work to tackle bullying with the help of adults, whenever they can.

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The Good Health Information

It is possible to user the internet to get help with your family’s health. There are online therapists, tools to help you diagnose your symptoms, and even websites that enable you to test your hearing online. Sure, they can’t and shouldn’t replace your physician, but they can be very helpful.

Connection

Connection is so important for mental health and the internet – social media in particular – allows everyone to connect no matter if they can get out and socialise or not, which makes it a valuable tool to have.

Exercise

Youtube and other platforms offer great exercise videos and instructions which the whole family can use to boost their fitness levels and lead much healthier lives.

So, what’s the verdict? The internet can be bad for your health and the health of your family if it is used without care, but it can also be a great asset, so set some rules, use it responsibly, and stay healthy.

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