An addiction is more than just a simple compulsion or attraction. It’s a dependence on someone or something with no regard for the impact it has on that person, mentally or physically. As such Teen Internet Addiction is very real and is an emerging problem for teens around the globe. In Asia there have been cases where the problem is so severe the teens do not pay attention to things like hunger and end up so malnourished they die. Of course this is only in extreme cases, but it does serve to show you what a powerful force the internet can be..
Teens may use things like social networking to avoid physical interaction with other people; doing so online may allow them to gain friends and acquaintances that they would have never met outside of the internet. This could be for a variety of reasons; one of them could simply be that being online places them in control of the situation, or that the anonymity gives them a chance to brush off the shyness or awkwardness they may feel during traditional face to face interactions. You may find that their addiction isn’t actually socially based, a lot of games are played in a computer browser and you might find that gaming is compelling them to stay online.
Some signs you might notice when looking for internet addition include teens that spend the majority of their time on the computer, or that they avoid spending time with friends and family in place of time on the internet. You might notice that they neglect their physical hygiene by telling you that showers are unnecessary if they aren’t performing much physical activity or rationalizing that it is simply a waste of their time. Other signs might be teens asking for a laptop or smart phone or PDA so they can spend time online away from the watchful eyes of parents or other family members.