Cyber-dependence means a real dependence on the Internet, resulting in pathological use and abuse of the Web. As with all other types of addiction, compulsive behaviours which develop impact the social, professional and private life.
Children become addicted to the Web for the same reasons as adults. The interactivity offered using the Web allows a wide range of actions: it is possible to distribute very varied content, to share it, comment on it or download it. Thanks to social networks, young people have the sensation of being close to their friends, real or virtual, and being in a state of permanent communication with them. Finally, the large variety of content accessible via the Internet (online games, videos, articles, photos...) incites procrastination, which is always at the detriment of other activities.
The physical symptoms of misuse of the Internet are itchy eyes, headaches late in the day, insomnia and irregular sleep. The diet is no longer regular, often of poor quality and consumed on the go, in front of a screen.
In terms of behavioural symptoms, one of the most important indicators is the inability to manage connection time - in other words, the inability to voluntarily reduce the amount of time spent online. This inability is associated with a persistent sense of shame and guilt, which affects self-esteem and may, in extreme cases, lead to depression.
In adults and in children, the mechanisms of Internet dependence are similar and the psychological risks are very real. For the child, a Web addiction (online games, social networks) can, also, have consequences on their social development.
For the teenagers of today, the Internet has always been part of their life and they use it differently to adults.
Games, chats, social networks and entertainment sites in general are time-consuming, so it is difficult to only spend a little time using them.
Without control, the child is easily tempted to spend much time on these sites: play games, chat with friends, watch funny videos - all at the expense of study or socialising with family.
A parental filtering software allows the management of Internet usage for young people, by allowing Internet usage during certain scheduled times only.