When a screen is their world

‘; var fr = document.getElementById(adID); setHash(fr, hash); fr.body = body; var doc = getFrameDocument(fr); doc.open(); doc.write(body); setTimeout(function() {closeDoc(getFrameDocument(document.getElementById(adID)))}, 2000); } function renderJIFAdWithInterim(holderID, adID, srcUrl, width, height, hash, bodyAttributes) { setHash(document.getElementById(holderID), hash); document.dcdAdsR.push(adID); document.write(”); } function renderIJAd(holderID, adID, srcUrl, hash) { document.dcdAdsAA.push(holderID); setHash(document.getElementById(holderID), hash); document.write(” + ‘ript’); } function renderJAd(holderID, adID, srcUrl, hash) { document.dcdAdsAA.push(holderID); setHash(document.getElementById(holderID), hash); document.dcdAdsH.push(holderID); document.dcdAdsI.push(adID); document.dcdAdsU.push(srcUrl); } function er_showAd() { var regex = new RegExp(“externalReferrer=(.*?)(; |$)”, “gi”); var value = regex.exec(document.cookie); if (value value.length == 3) { var externalReferrer = value[1]; return (!FD.isInternalReferrer() || ((externalReferrer) (externalReferrer 0))); } return false; } function isHome() { var loc = “” + window.location; loc = loc.replace(“//”, “”); var tokens = loc.split(“/”); if (tokens.length == 1) { return true; } else if (tokens.length == 2) { if (tokens[1].trim().length == 0) { return true; } } return false; } function checkAds(checkStrings) { var cs = checkStrings.split(“,”); for (var i=0;i 0 cAd.innerHTML.indexOf(c)0) { document.dcdAdsAI.push(cAd.hash); cAd.style.display =’none’; } } } if (!ie) { for (var i=0;i 0 doc.body.innerHTML.indexOf(c)0) { document.dcdAdsAI.push(fr.hash); fr.style.display =’none’; } } } } } if (document.dcdAdsAI.length 0 || document.dcdAdsAG.length 0) { var pingServerParams = “i=”; var sep = “”; for (var i=0;i 0) { var pingServerUrl = “/action/pingServerAction?” + document.pingServerAdParams; var xmlHttp = null; try { xmlHttp = new XMLHttpRequest(); } catch(e) { try { xmlHttp = new ActiveXObject(“Microsoft.XMLHttp”); } catch(e) { xmlHttp = null; } } if (xmlHttp != null) { xmlHttp.open( “GET”, pingServerUrl, true); xmlHttp.send( null ); } } } function initAds(log) { for (var i=0;i 0) { doc.removeChild(doc.childNodes[0]); } doc.open(); var newBody = fr.body; if (getCurrentOrd(newBody) != “” ) { newBody = newBody.replace(“;ord=”+getCurrentOrd(newBody), “;ord=” + Math.floor(100000000*Math.random())); } else { newBody = newBody.replace(“;ord=”, “;ord=” + Math.floor(100000000*Math.random())); } doc.write(newBody); document.dcdsAdsToClose.push(fr.id); } } else { var newSrc = fr.src; if (getCurrentOrd(newSrc) != “” ) { newSrc = newSrc.replace(“;ord=”+getCurrentOrd(newSrc), “;ord=” + Math.floor(100000000*Math.random())); } else { newSrc = newSrc.replace(“;ord=”, “;ord=” + Math.floor(100000000*Math.random())); } fr.src = newSrc; } } } if (document.dcdsAdsToClose.length 0) { setTimeout(function() {closeOpenDocuments(document.dcdsAdsToClose)}, 500); } } }; var ie = isIE(); if(ie typeof String.prototype.trim !== ‘function’) { String.prototype.trim = function() { return this.replace(/^s+|s+$/g, ”); }; } document.dcdAdsH = new Array(); document.dcdAdsI = new Array(); document.dcdAdsU = new Array(); document.dcdAdsR = new Array(); document.dcdAdsEH = new Array(); document.dcdAdsE = new Array(); document.dcdAdsEC = new Array(); document.dcdAdsAA = new Array(); document.dcdAdsAI = new Array(); document.dcdAdsAG = new Array(); document.dcdAdsToClose = new Array(); document.igCount = 0; document.tCount = 0; var dcOrd = Math.floor(100000000*Math.random()); document.dcAdsCParams = “”; var savValue = getAdCookie(“sav”); if (savValue != null savValue.length 2) { document.dcAdsCParams = savValue + “;”; }



August 10, 2013

  • (1)
  • Comments 1

Wired: Gabrielle Jamison with her children Marcus, William, and Georgina with their electronic devices.

Wired: Gabrielle Jamison with her children Marcus, William, and Georgina with their electronic devices. Photo: Steven Siewert

Giving your child internet access isn’t damaging, but having no limits may be, writes Linda McSweeny.

Toddlers are navigating technology at a rapid pace, but left to their own devices, some of these tech-savvy kids could end up in a dark and possibly addicted head space by adolescence.

Psychologists say parents must pay attention to their children’s access to apps, online games and smartphones from a young age, to ensure they glean the benefits rather than the problems of our tech-heavy world.

The prolific nature of online gaming is such that psychiatrists in the US have listed Internet Gaming Disorder in their latest diagnostic manual, DSM-5, as a new condition warranting more research. They define it as a phenomenon where people become compulsively engrossed in online games, end up distressed and withdraw from other interests, education or jobs.

An Australian report on the impact of technology on young men’s mental health and wellbeing, by the federally funded Young and Well Co-operative Research Centre, shows males aged 16 to 25 are upping their average time online to three hours each day from two hours four years ago.

So when should parents become concerned? One Sydney pyschologist says children often move through obsessive stages for two or three months without being addicted. But sometimes a love of playing can morph into a serious problem.

The psychologist cited a case where a boy in primary school accrued $1000 on his parents’ credit card by buying simulated products in an online game he played for four hours a day, two of which were in bed at night while his parents thought he was asleep.

Brisbane teenager Caelan Reid has had a glimpse of the dark side of internet use. He realised how dependent he had become on gaming and the internet after spending a couple of months with the net constantly switched on. A week without electricity did the trick.

“When you start getting to days where you get into this cycle of staying up until 2am every night and you wake up feeling tired and that goes on for a month or two months, the time starts to blur and you start feeling trapped in that cycle,” he says.

Reid, 18, who hopes to pursue a career in gaming development, now tries to cut down his time online. He also wants to develop less-violent games.

Spending a lot of time online can be isolating and can lead to bad habits.

“I have definitely been there, but I am trying to go to bed at good times and eat better,” Reid says.

“It doesn’t make you feel good. It was definitely hard to step away from it . . . I would always do something to sort of pull me back in – even something tiny like saying ‘I’ll just check this,’ and that would escalate and cascade into being on the computer for a long time.”

Evidence is emerging that males of Reid’s age are the most likely to be online often, with 99 per cent of young men aged 16 to 25 in a Young and Well CRC survey reporting daily internet use. Internet use after 11pm increased to 63 per cent of young men in 2012 from 44 per cent in 2008.

The survey shows young men with significant psychological distress spend longer on the internet than their lesser-stressed peers, at more than 10 hours a day. They also accessed the net after 11pm six to seven nights a week.

Interestingly, these men also report being more likely to access health information and listen to music and play games with others on the net than their lesser-stressed peers.

While researchers don’t believe gaming causes depression, they say it can add to feelings of isolation for those who are already depressed, as they spend more time alone.

The key, researchers say, is for parents to teach their children to take advantage of the many upsides to internet and technology use, without becoming obsessed.

“Video games have been shown to positively influence young people’s emotional state, self-esteem, optimism, vitality, resilience, engagement, relationships, sense of competence, self-acceptance and social connections and functioning,” another report into video games and well-being by the Young and Well CRC says. “Emerging research suggests that how young people play, as well as whom they play with, may be more important in terms of well-being than what they play.”

Gaming researcher and psychologist Dr Andrew Campbell, of the University of Sydney, sees on average two to three gaming addicts a month, ranging in age from eight-year-olds to people in their 30s. People are classed as addicts once they become socially isolated and have a combination of symptoms such as taking no responsibility for creating a future; giving up education or work, spending maximum time indoors and losing sleep.

But he says there are many beneficial games for education, socialisation, behaviour and mind improvement, even though the games market is primarily pitched at 18- to 25-year-olds.

Simply giving kids phones or tablets without parental involvement is “no different to handing them a packet of cigarettes if you don’t explain the dangers”, he says.

“Think about what your child is looking at,” Campbell says.

“If you give them a tablet computer, make sure the program or the app they’re using is child-appropriate, has some educational benefit and they know it’s a reward. If you can do those three things, the child will not always expect it, they will know it’s a privilege and you as a parent will know they are getting something that’s actually beneficial to their education and social development.”

Campbell says parents should be aware researchers don’t believe games cause depression but that mental illness can lead to isolating behaviour and “gaming is an isolating behaviour”. Compulsive gaming is considered a serious mental illness once gamers are all-consumed and become socially isolated, depressed, anxious and stressed, he says.

“We’ve just got to look at how we use technology effectively so it doesn’t actually interfere with our health,” he says.

Black Dog Institute researcher Dr Bridianne O’Dea says the question should no longer be whether young people are spending time online but rather what they are doing online and is it helpful or detrimental, and what are the consequences for their daily functioning and well-being?

O’Dea, who completed her PhD on social networking sites and adolescent well-being, believes it’s too soon to introduce blanket policies that attempt to limit the amount of time young people spend online.

“Before we jump into saying who or what is responsible for problematic online use, we need to get a greater understanding of usage patterns, ” she says.

“For example, if a young person suffering from anxiety, depression or insomnia finds the internet to be a resourceful coping mechanism for their feelings, trying to limit their internet use could potentially be detrimental. It is important we try to understand the nature of their use and other issues which may be underlying this.”

Gabrielle and Michael Jamison, of Castle Hill in Sydney, and their sons William, 8, and Marcus, 10, and daughter Georgina, 13, possess two iPads, three iPhones, a computer and Nintendo games among them.

They apply usage limits for their children, particularly for Georgina, who, like her peers, wants to be connected on social media such as Instagram, Snapchat and Kik.

“Times have changed,” Gabrielle says. “It’s a real conflict between worrying about how much time they’re on there and knowing that they need it for homework. I know all the guidelines say don’t have computers in bedrooms, but they’re given a computer at high school and they have to do their homework on the laptop.”

Georgina says it’s tempting to go online daily. “Sometimes you just get distracted from homework and just take a break,” she says.

William and Marcus like playing on their devices but they also pine for outdoor time after school.

“I think our kids are fairly balanced with their technology use … they have some times when they’re on it a fair bit and sometimes we confiscate,” Michael says.

Georgina understands her parents need to control technology use. “It’s good because sometimes you get headaches and stuff,” she says.


Your children may have a problem if they:

  • Seem happy online but angry offline.
  • Focus on being online instead of doing homework or dining with family.
  • Spend more time online than with friends.
  • Refuse to admit how much time they are spending online.
  • Lose sleep to go online.

Source: video-game-addiction.org

1 comment so far