The widespread accessibility and use of the computer and the internet has been one of the biggest developments in human history. It has opened up a world of information and commerce to a level never seen before. But along with the numerous benefits, the internet, has also had some negative aspects which merit some attention.
Especially worrying are the ever increasing hours that adolescents spend in front of the computer screen browsing the net. One study has now found a strong link between the use of Internet and risky behaviours in adolescents like alcohol consumption, drug use and engaging in unprotected sex.
The problem is that these young kids are exposed to behaviour which is inappropriate for their age. Unlike television, there are no strict censorship protocols in place for the Internet and consequently they can access Adult sites with ease and are also exposed to advertisements not meant for them (alcohol, cigarettes etc).
Today’s adolescents are much more tech savvy than their parents and can easily bypass any filters or blocking programs that their parents install on their computers. As this research shows; it has now become even more important for parents to monitor what their children are accessing online.
To do this they need not only to get savvier with latest website blocking softwares but more importantly they need to communicate with their child and explain them the pitfalls of indulging in risky behaviours especially about drugs and alcohol abuse and unprotected sex.
The parents need to understand that their child will be under tremendous peer pressure and that they need to help their child in coping with it.