Web Surfing, Watching TV, Video Gaming & Depression Among Youth
- By Sam George
- Published 03/8/2009
Sam George is the Executive Director of PARIVAR International - a non-profit initiative to address the needs of youth and families of Asian Indian origin in North America and to the Asian Indian community worldwide. Parivar means family in many Indian languages. Sam George also serves as one of the founding directors of Urban India Ministries
www.UrbanIndia.org Sam George and his wife, Mary have spoken at premarital and family events in many countries. They are parents of two boys and make their home in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Sam is the author of the book “Understanding the Coconut Generation: Ministry to the Americanized Asian Indians." Check out this website www.CoconutGeneration.com Coconut (brown on the outside, white on the inside) is a metaphor for the Americanized Asian Indians. Sam George can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Family advocates and scientists have long debated puzzled over whether video gaming, watching TV, and Web surfing are healthy or harmful. Here is another recent research finding. Read the report in US News.
All parents and youth workers are aware of the increasing consumption of television, music and web activity among young people. This research also confirms prevalence of depression and addictive behaviors as a result of media intake. They warn adult care givers to wise to take a look at how their children use media, not just how much.
There’s good evidence that kids get fatter as they watch more TV and that lots of gaming can increase a teen’s aggression and anxiety. But it’s been harder to tell if watching TV and gaming play a role in depression, which usually first surfaces in adolescence or young adulthood and is the leading cause of disability worldwide. The evidence already out there suggests that people who watch lots of TV tend to be more depressed, but that could just be because unhappy people like to watch TV.
The reason behind depression risk with TV dosage is that it keeps kids away from activities known to reduce the risk of depression, such as time with friends and family, sports, and exercise. Kids do not need entertainment and kept busy, but they need adult relationships. Loneliness as they get isolated from others and not acquiring relational skills is bound doom young people in their development. Research also has linked increased screen time to obesity—but parents can work to keep their own kids from getting too fat. Get rid of the TV in the bedroom, for one thing. Kids with TVs in the bedroom gain more weight than kids who watch with the family.
Media is not all bad and we should not throwing television out of the windows. There is lots of good information and early schools are also using many of online resources in education. Adult caregivers should watch for signs that tv, web or video gaming is becoming an unhealthy addiction.
The solution to this complex problem of balancing between whether to allow or not and how much is healthy greatly depends on several other factors. The world of nutrition provides us wisdom - use in moderation.