4.18.2009

Social Issues and Online Addiction Among Teens

Sun-Sentinel's Education reporter Andrew Tran did a story on students and technology adaptation. Some of my students are quoted here.

The interview ran an hour and a half with a return trip for video a week later. I discovered some new things about my kids and put some more into new contexts.

There are a few things we need to address separately.

Number one, after viewing the Frontline piece on Korea, I think we can say that addictive behavior is probably limited to less than ten percent (between 5.5 and 10) of highly wired individuals. Let's let that problem plop into the laps of the psychologists. *plop* Now we can move on and not worry about the other ninety percent.

Number two, the remaining ninety percent have to deal with adaptation. Adaptation includes the temptation of addictive behavior. This is a real issue that should be dealt with explicitly. Although they don't end up with addictive behavior, they *are* the actual environment the addicts live in. The addictive behavior is socially immersive. But adaptation is much more than simply avoiding temptation.

The stories my students provided Andrew were about adaptation. It is about how to immerse yourself without drowning.

It seems that this, like every other part of adolescence is about learning. Maybe we can figure out how to help them learn rather than standing to one side screaming.

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