ROLE OF TEACHERS IN ADDRESSING INTERNET ADDICTION IN STUDENTS
Internet addiction is defined as the overuse of the Internet which leads to impairment of the individual’s psychological state, both mentally and socially, as well as interruption in their scholastic or social interactions.
Internet holds a prominent role in the lives of students these days. With the evolution of technology, the access to Internet has increased a lot in the past 25 years. With the changing time and development of technology, students nowadays are more engrossed and dependent on internet. They use internet for completing every single task assigned to them. Be it searching for games, interacting with people across the world on social media, looking for their queries, learning for the exam and studying and completing their assignments, they are so much dependent on the modern technology and internet. No doubt internet has evolved for providing amazing benefits to everyone, but many students are misusing it too. They are taking advantage of internet and completely relying on it because of its easy accessibility. Instead of using their cognition, they are simply looking for the answers on internet. Some students engage in activities on social media that they completely forget the responsibilities assigned to them. They spend a lot of their time on social media that they do not focus on the academics, which in return, affects their academic performance. No doubt internet has helped many students in developing good communication skills and enhanced their social skills, but it has also resulted in poor performance in schools and in some cases, students are diagnosed with psychological problems. Severe addiction to internet has affected their health and daily life which resulted in severe medical treatments.
Several researchers have proved that addiction to internet is more seen in adolescents than elder people. They are even ready to sacrifice their education and likely to spend time online. Several factors were investigated which show the huge addiction towards internet. Students with low self-esteem, lack of confidence, low emotional stability, and ignorance from family are some of the factors which show that students are more prone to be addicted to Internet.
The majority of researches showed that internet addiction is mostly seen in children and adolescents. The possible reason behind such age group is that children and adolescents are in their formative years, where values and standards develop, and much value is given to Internet.
When we talk about the role of teachers in schools in addressing the addiction of students towards Internet, the teachers are finding it even difficult on how to deal with such problem.
In order to deal with the addiction of students towards Internet, certain roles can be performed by the teachers which can put an end to this addiction.
- Internet prevention programs should be implemented in the school, especially in elementary school settings because children are in their formative stage and are easily attracted towards things, without knowing their harmful effects.
- Proper and continuous attention should be paid to their close formative surroundings such as family, the school environment and what they do in extracurricular activities.
- Teacher must focus on the personality characteristics. It should be noted that how students behave in class and what is the source and cause of such behaviour.
- Special focus should be given on their relation with others. If a student feels lonely and stressful, then what is the reason behind that and why he/she is not interacting with others but spending time on social media.
- A teacher should indulge students in group activities and encourage participation in creative, exploratory and exciting healthy activities. This will help students to spend more time with people around them and less time on Internet.
- Workshops should be given to students on the positive and negative effects of Internet and how addiction towards Internet can cause severe health and mental related problems.
- Teachers should take time to explore what students are doing on Internet inside and outside the classroom.
- Children with low self-control are more likely to get addicted to Internet. Certain rules should be provided to students in order to limit the use of Internet and proper and continuous monitoring should be done.
- Workshops or training should be given to the parents by the school to address the issue of Internet addiction and how they can keep a check on their child’s activities.
- It is observed that children with low self-esteem or lack of self-confidence are more likely to get addicted to Internet. A teacher should involve such students in classroom activities to boost their self-esteem and confidence.
- Since it is the time of technology and teachers use ICT based education while teaching in a class. Less ICT based education should be used which will limit the use of technology at homes and more emphasis should be given to group activities which involve interaction with others.
Thus, with proper guidance to students as well as parents and following some strategies in classrooms, this problem of internet addiction can be solved which will help in upgrading students’ performance both academically and socially.