Internet Addiction and School Burnout: A Bi-directional Risk
A Finnish study published in the May issue of the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, suggests that heavy internet use contributes to risk of school burnout but school burnout can also cause internet addiction.
Engagement with the internet including video-gaming, texting, and use of other forms of social media can totally consume older children and teenagers and literally demolish a student’s interest in school. Excessive use of the internet can also instigate depression. On the other hand, students who experience school burnout can turn to the internet and that excessive use of the internet can result in depression. Technology addiction or digital addiction is more likely to occur if a student loses interest in school and actually feels cynicism towards the curriculum and even their teachers.
Research suggests that keeping kids engaged with school is especially critical for kids ages thirteen to fifteen. Promoting school engagement is critical and that requires building up a student’s enthusiasm and motivation to learn.
The research looked at 3000 teens in Helsinki, from 33 lower schools and 18 upper schools, ages twelve to fourteen (lower school sixth graders in the year 2000), and sixteen to eighteen (upper school students born in 1997). The longitudinal study called Mind a Gap was interested in looking at the link between school burnout and internet addiction, with a special focus on depression and school engagement. Researchers have already identified school kids as “digital natives,” and recognize that this is the first generation of kids to grow up with mobile devices and social media accessible in the early, formative years. Digital use can provide education, social stimulation and even help kids to engage with science and technology. But the dark side of heavy technology use is that it can cause burnout, disengagement from school and even lead to depression.
The study found that it’s critical to intercept digital addiction and school burnout between the ages of thirteen and fifteen. That requires school professionals and parents to work together to engage kids and to instigate meaningful dialogue with kids to highlight the problem and danger, and to then figure out ways to engage kids in school with targeted tactics that help to reduce all the hours of tech device usage. Involvement in sports can provide another outlet for social engagement and getting a student to join a science club or project can also help with school engagement.