If your teen is more interested in spending a beautiful weekend adjusting their Facebook page than spending time with the family outside or having a carefree day with a friend, they may be exhibiting signs of Internet addiction. Teenagers growing up with technology, Internet and smart phones are no longer thought to be naïve to the world of technology. Now they are the individuals parents and adults often refer to for advice and information when it comes to new advances and trends in the technological world. This leads many teens clever and slick in hiding their past visits to web sites that can be considered unsavory and inappropriate for their ages. If your teen’s browser history is filled with countless visits to adult-oriented web sites, they may have a case of addiction.
The Internet is a seductive place for anyone looking to escape for a couple minutes, but for some teens this translates to hours. The online world draws teens who are far more likely to write on their friend’s Facebook wall than to make the effort to visit them in person.
There is the problem. The Internet is the perfect place for teens. Through social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, teens have the rare opportunity to control their environment and represent themselves as whomever or whatever they choose. For most teens, middle school and high school years can be the most trying and difficult times. They are ripe with feelings of insecurity and those frustrations of discovering one’s identity. With social networking, teens can present the individual they would like to be or represent. All the material on these sites are edited and filtered through by the teens themselves and presented to the world as a face they want viewers to see. It’s come to the point where if a specific aspect of their lives is undesirable, their photos or their friends, one simple click can take care of that.
Many parents can feel torn by wanting to limit the amount of time their teenager spends online. If a teen is struggling socially, some parents see the Internet as a beneficial source for human interaction. However, there are often better solutions for teens that are struggling.
Teenagers may think that living a full and productive life means a life online. This is not the case. Spending one’s time out in the world and experiencing different activities and adventures can help teens break out from their isolated cocoons. A wilderness therapy program can be an answer to breaking your teen away from that computer screen or smart phone.
When a teenager attends a wilderness therapy program they are placed in a wilderness environment that removes the technological distractions. This allows teens and young adults to focus on themselves and delve into the underlying reasons why they choose the solace of the Internet as opposed to a richer and fuller world that is out there for them.
Nature offers these teens a facet of their lives they may never have experienced before. With only the environment and themselves, students gain independence and a sense of identity. Teens learn to cast away their destructive learned behaviors and habits and begin with a clean slate.
While at the wilderness program, teens learn:
- To nurture a healthy relationship with family, community, work and purpose
- About the five pillars of health: nutrition, sleep, movement, breathing and the body/mind connection
- About their caregiving role and responsibilities
- To empower themselves with life skills
- A greater self-awareness and ways of interacting in the world
A wilderness therapy program can be a life-changing agent in a teenager’s life. Pacific Quest helps teens and young adults transition into the next stage of life with a sense of confidence and accomplishment. They are provided with tools to help take on any form of adversity and skills to help them contend with difficulties with struggling times, an aspect of life that cannot be learned from a web site, profile post or tweet.