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    We Must Control the Excessive Use of Cell Phones in Adolescents

    The Alpha generation grows up in fully digital environments

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    Internet, smartphones and social networks have revolutionized the way we interact in society. In addition to serving to communicate, content and messages arrive with few filters and with no other brake than the one we put on them. People of all ages find it difficult to use them without abusing them. In the case of children and adolescents, these difficulties are even greater.

    While psychology offices are increasingly filled with mental health problems related to cell phone abuse and social networks, such as anxiety, depression, self-esteem problems, relational difficulties, sleep disorders, families do not have the knowledge or the necessary resources for the education of their children in the use of these technologies.

    It is the same adolescents who understand more about how social networks and devices work. This situation leaves them without the protection of adults against the risks of inappropriate use of the Internet.

    What strategies and tools can we use so that young people and adolescents make good use of them? Whose responsibility is this? How to reconcile the role of the family and that of the educational system as the main educational and socializing agents of these vulnerable populations?

    Axis family – school – friends

    From the point of view of evolutionary psychology, the most immediate environments of the individual –in which family, school and peer group are counted– form “microsystems” that have a direct influence on evolutionary development.

    At a second level is the “mesosystem”, which is the interrelation space between the different microsystems that would enhance or harm development. Therefore, there is a need for a constant connection and communication between the three great educational and socializing axes – family, school and friends – so that the development of the individual is optimal.

    In adolescents there is a rise in social need during the consolidation of their own identity and personality. At that time, they go from looking for validation and support in the family to looking for it in peer groups.

    The competition when it comes to forming a stable group of friends and maintaining contact with them will mark the correct development, not only of their social skills, but of their own self-concept and personality.

    Very negative effects

    Knowing the great current change in the way and means of relating, and given the taxonomy of the new Alpha generation, characterized by being digital natives and children of the so-called millennial generation, incorrect management of the use of the Internet and social networks can have negative effects, devastating in the emotional development of these individuals who are taking their first steps in the construction of their adult personality.

    The Alpha generation grows up in fully digital environments, while their parents still hold the idea of ​​face-to-face contact more in mind

    The reality we face is that more than 12 percent of adolescents make abusive use of social networks in their day to day with a high incidence of cases of school failure at increasingly younger ages and the appearance of behaviors uncontrolled violence both in the family and at school.

    This same abusive use, statistically significant in the family environment, makes exhaustive work with families essential so that they become true factors of protection against this problem.

    The role of families and the school

    In terms of education, the family has a fundamental role. The modeling that occurs in the most private sphere of the adolescent’s life takes on superlative importance. Adolescents should learn to use these technologies and manage this digital content in their family environment, so that the use is transferred to school. However, it is not uncommon to find a family scene in which one or both parents or siblings answer calls, messages or emails during the course of a dinner or while watching a television series together.

    It is not so common for this to happen in the formal education system, where the use of mobile devices is usually prohibited and penalized. Thus, we find ourselves facing a generation whose first photo at birth is already part of social networks, but which does not have clear models on how to use them in their daily lives in a healthy and responsible way.

    Formal educational systems serve to reinforce and enhance the education received at home. They do not have sufficient capacity to implement values ​​that are not consistent with those that prevail in the family environment.

    Even so, the school has an essential role as a mediator between families and adolescents. Therefore, it is essential to provide schools with resources so that they can help families to contain this growth of disruptive and violent behaviors.

    Specialized training programs

    It is essential that the authorities bet on training programs developed by specialists in the field that help both the school and the families to face a reality that has already been imposed. Some pilot programs of educational workshops for the healthy use of social networks and communication technologies have already demonstrated their effectiveness and have aroused the interest of their participants.

    Scheduling talks with specialists who report on situations and their consequences, proposing spaces for dialogue between adults and adolescents that promote active listening and empathy, as well as workshops in which they acquire tools to work on reducing and improving use can be key to families, students and teachers learn to use social networks.

    https://gnosiscr.com/

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