Teenage Addiction to “chat sites” on the Internet

thumbaddicted_3Having taught children and young people for the last 35 years,especially children and young people with learning disabilities and behavioral problems,I want to touch on and discuss briefly a recent phenomenon,especially in developed societies,the question of teenage addiction to “chat sites”and “chat rooms” on the Internet.They spend incredible hours every day,chatting(written form) in front of a computer screen with strangers, distorting the basic social functions of interpersonal relationships,as well as the dialectic process in human evolution.This is once again,a perfect tool of “globalization”, promoting a “virtual reality” content in the minds and souls of young people.

When I talk about “chat sites”on the Internet,I am not referring to the hundreds and thousands of Internet sites where you can express your opinion or discuss with online users about themes and topics which affect concretely the quality of a person΄s daily life;science, politics,the arts,health,culture or even real human feelings in an impersonal “virtual”social environment.The “chat Internet sites”that I am referring to,and these seem to be the most popular worldwide,are the ones where what is being said,communicated or discussed,has very little to do with one΄s own everyday social reality or social behaviour.It has very little to do with the natural human instinct to socialize through verbal communication,and it has certainly nothing to do with the dialectic process,where each one learns and evolves through a synthesis of ideas,values and symbols.These addictive but popular “chat sites” on the Internet offer an impersonal forum where young people are given the opportunity to undermine the real nature of basic human communication which is to approach another human being on real existential terms(innate need to socialize),in order to better understand one΄s role in real mortal life,not society΄s “virtual reality”.To better comprehend one΄s own human nature and uniqueness through the exchange of ideas,emotions and constructive criticisms with others.

From what I have observed these last few years,and from what has been communicated to me by my students and young people in general,there is virtually little personal truth being expressed in those “Internet chat sites”,few words are use to express “ideas”,most of the words used are repeated again and again,while the essence of each written statement is to impress,to exaggerate and to provoke ,with no creative purpose in mind.It is an endless yarn of lies and distortions which legitimizes the “virtual reality”young people are living,and which they have accepted passively. In a sense,these young people using these “chat Internet sites”are punishing themselves for not having the courage and the spirit to react to a social environment that wants them socially impotent,exactly like drug addicts or alcoholics.That is the reason why these teenagers are addicted to these particular “Internet chat rooms”,and that is one of the main reasons why these young people are having problems or are afraid to communicate their real needs,their real emotions,their real fears and insecurities,as well as their real inner beauty and uniqueness- to society and especially to each other.They are afraid to socialize on real existential terms,with all the risks involved ,but also with all the opportunities for an interesting and creative life.