Internet technology was not very common when I was a child in the early 2000s. Instead, I read books from the library to help with my homework. Also, I did not have access to social media, so if I wanted to talk with friends or family, I would call them directly instead of texting or video calling. Internet technology is common now, and many young people spend more time on social media than with their parents. According to the article, “This Dark Side of the Internet is Costing Young People Their Jobs and Social Lives” (Washington Post) by Harley Tsukayama, young people are becoming addicted to the Internet, specifically to social media. To combat this problem, some parents are sending their children to a rehabilitation center (reSTART) for help to reduce their addiction. Even though medical science has not agreed on a clear definition of an Internet addiction, people haven’t found a clear reason why internet develops addiction. However, I believe that the best solution for young people who might be addicted to the Internet and social media is to go to a rehabilitation center. The main reasons are to participate in outdoor activities and to become an independent person.
The first reason the rehabilitation center is a good solution for young people is that they learn to participate in outdoor activities. At the reSTART rehabilitation center, young people are forced to focus on participating in small programs and activities rather than social media. Tsukayama illustrates this by saying, “The center is a converted house on a five-acre lot with plenty of trails and a small brood of chickens” (Pg.4). The trails help young people relax, focus on nature and forget about checking on social media. Young people are encouraged to interact with and care for chickens found throughout the grounds. Keeping teenagers focused on the care and well being of animals distracts them from wanting to be on their phones and provides feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction. Therefore, being outside leads to a more physically active and healthier lifestyle. For instance, as a child, I participated in outdoor activities. I often went to the park or the beach with my family to relax. It did stop me from overusing technology because I was more focused in being active and exercising instead of using my phone. But now kids are more interested in staying indoors on their tablets and phones, watching movies and playing games instead of going outside. For example, “Alex, a 22-year-old who had been at reSTART for five days lived a common story: He withdrew from college because he put playing internet games ahead of going to class or work” (Pg.1). The outdoor activities at rehab might have helped him to stop playing games. He would meet new people when he went outside. He would reflect on himself about how long he wasted his time on being in his room, instead of going to college or work.
The second reason is the rehabilitation center helps young people become more independent. People can become independent by getting a job and an apartment and pay bills without an adult help. Tsukuyama illustrates this by saying, “They exercise, and they learn about goal-setting and balance, and how to handle the anxiety and depression that can feed addictive behavior. Residents learn to shop for groceries or do laundry; many come not even knowing how to clean a bathroom” (Pg.5). At the rehab center, they explain to people on how to set up their goals, also how they should balance their life and how to learn to control on their nervousness. Young people are taught to become more independent by doing chores such as, doing laundry. Also, reSTART officials stress to parents that teaching and developing independence must continue at home. The article mentions Peter, age thirty, who attended the reSTART rehabilitation program. He was homeless and unemployed and went there because he had a problem with alcohol. The article says that his addiction started when he was thirteen years old and lost his father. The article says, “He spent more and more time playing games, watching online videos, and getting into argument on social media and forums…. His physical health declined because he never learned to cook, to clean, to exercise or live an adult way” (Pg.2). Also, he needs to feel confident by himself. By learning to do things for himself, Peter would be more responsible. He would feel more confident taking care of himself and satisfied by doing things for himself. He would feel that he accomplishes a goal because he will never thought that many years ago, he had this type of confidence in himself.
In conclusion, young people should get more involved in outdoor activities and become more responsible individuals. People who go to the rehabilitation center have an experience that changes their living habits. I believe that a small percentage of young people use Internet technology responsibly, but most will spend too much time on it.