In recent years, newly created internet, gaming and technology addictions have forced adolescents, teens and young adults to adopt a more sedentary lifestyle than children of previous generations. With a myriad of electronic temptations indoors, today’s sedentary teens are suffering in areas of physical and mental health and well-being. The solitary existence has created a generation of youth with issues such as depression, anxiety, bullying, isolating, lack of communication skills, poor grades… the list goes on. Thanks to wilderness therapy and outdoor programs like Pacific Quest, there is a solution to this very sad situation.
Internet Addictions Side Effects
Internet and technology dependency inherently promotes a lifestyle that is not conducive to exercise and physical activity. Many teens tend to become so enthralled in games, Facebook, chats etc… that peeling them away from the phone, computer, TV or tablet can prove to be an ominous task.
Compounding the inactivity is the fact that teens who sit more, eat more …and this increased food intake isn’t usually made up of healthy food choices. More youth today are eating highly processed foods, rich in calories and often deplete in nutrition. It’s no secret that a sedentary lifestyle coupled with poor food choices is adding up to an epidemic of childhood obesity, replete with the potential for early onset of chronic health conditions, a shortened lifespan and a decline in physical fitness. Other side effects of internet addictions of all sorts can include carpal tunnel syndrome, dry eyes, migraine headaches, a decline in personal hygiene and backaches.
The convenience of doing everything from home has been known to cause some people to recoil from social situations. This trend has especially negative consequences with teenagers, for whom positive (and negative) social interaction help to form valuable personality and life lessons. In fact, replacements for real-life socializing may be resulting in higher cases of depression. (There is debate as to whether depression results from, or is a cause, or internet overuse. A study published in the “Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine” found depression, as well as ADHD and social phobia, to increase the chances of excessive Internet use in adolescents.)
There is also evidence suggesting that internet addictions & overuse can contribute to sleep disturbances… Later bed times, later waking times, less restful sleep and an overall decrease in sleep.
Obviously, parents could and should encourage their kids/teens to use the internet for school projects and some degree of entertainment, but limit the time that they are allowed to spend on the computer or with technology. They can support involvement in sports teams at an early age and make outside activities fun and interesting. (The earlier a child is introduced to the mental and physical benefits of outside activity, the more likely he or she is to avoid inside amusements such as the internet, TV, and video games.) However, what are parents to do when all else has failed and their children’s lives are dangerously getting worse?
What to do: Wilderness Therapy & Outdoor Therapy
The solution to sedentary and solitary addictions can be found in uniquely created outdoor therapy and wilderness therapeutic programs like Pacific Quest: Pacific Quest’s innovative Sustainable Growth model incorporates Whole Person Wellness, Individualized Clinical Care, Rites of Passage, Horticultural Therapy and Healthy Community Living in an outdoor, experiential environment. All of this facilitates health, awareness, healing, growth and life skills benefitting teens and young adults with internet addictions.
“We create life-changing experiences for struggling adolescents and young adults. Our outdoor therapy programs help young people to make better choices and live healthier, more productive lives. Pacific Quest is an internationally recognized wilderness therapy program serving families from all over the world. Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, Pacific Quest goes beyond traditional wilderness therapy programs, cultivating change by teaching sustainable life skills in a clinically innovative and nurturing environment.”
The bottom line is that at it’s core, the newest trends in internet addictions are a community issue, not just and individual problem. Helping teens and young adults clear away the side effects of Internet Addictions takes a group effort. The programs available at Pacific Quest can jump start the change that might otherwise never happen! Young people leave the program seeing their purpose and potential more clearly, with a renewed sense of self. What better way is there to being a healthy contributing member of society?
To learn more call us at (808)937-5806 or visit: Pacific Quest