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One in 12 boys is a computer addict

Excessive media use
Excessive media use | ©: Sabphoto - Fotolia

Whether in research, at work and even in fighting phobias - computers are now firmly part of every area of our lives. Without any doubt, the use of computers does have its benefits, but they also pose a grave risk. After all, there are many people who are addicted to gambling. A DAK study (health insurance company in Germany) found that it is boys and young men in their 20s, which are most afflicted.

8.4% of young men and boys affected

According to the research of the DAK, 8.4% of all boys and men aged between 12 and 25 are computer addicts, addicted to gambling. Women and girls, however, are not as critically endangered. Only 2.9 % of them show a computer addiction.

Moreover, the study concluded that the computer addiction can affect other areas of their lives and the result is often relationship problems.6 % of those people admitted, they had problems with family and friends. 19 % are even at odds or fighting with the people closest to them. Even with good advice given, most boys and young men are not able to change their behaviour. However, it was observed that girls and young women respond better to appropriate help. In this category, only 6 % are resistant to counselling while in men it is 13 %.

Addicts can get lonely

To avoid all the difficulty with family and friends, the addict will retreat even more. Young adults between 15 – 17 years are at particular danger. 69 % of them admitted that they take little interest in family and friends. 34 % of them even skip eating with their families because to their gaming addiction.

How can the computer game addiction be curbed?

Rainer Thomasisus, one of the researchers and addiction experts involved in this study pointed out that children need to be protected from this media. Otherwise, the danger of abuse would be too high. He suggested keeping the “addiction potential” in mind when determining the age rating before releasing a game would be a great beginning.

In the USA computer addiction is long recognises as a disease. – Just to mention, this study above is based on the American DSM-5, a diagnostic manual for mental illnesses. However, German doctors have not taken computer addiction into their literature. Still, experts are not in accordance whether computer addiction was a mental ailment or rather a symptom. However, people with a computer addiction are treated in Germany. The recommended method is Behaviour Therapy. In those sessions, the client learns new and healthy routines as well as how to tackle the emerging need to play computer games.

Talking with each other, Mirroring and learning to observe yourself

On the, you will find more articles on this topic. Those studies mentioned above can be used to initiate a conversation in your youth group. You will find that some young people do not even realise that they are already addicted to the computer. They are so immersed into their games that they do not notice that they hardly have time for their family anymore or to meet up with friends in the real world. They might not even see that they indeed have fewer and fewer friends. To teach those young people learning to observe themselves and becoming aware how they are conducting their lives could be the first step.

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