Internet Effects on Children

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Effect of internet on teenagers

The Internet has become an indispensable element of life for most people in the contemporary world, and children are not excluded. Because of the ubiquitous availability of Internet access, in schools and libraries, children are increasingly becoming involved in this new technology . As of December 2003, 23 million children in the United States ages 6 to 17 have Internet access at home, which is a threefold increase since 2000 ). According to a survey conducted by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in July 2002, 78% of family households with children have Internet access at home. A survey by Yahoo and Carat showed that children ages 12 to 17 used the Internet an average of 16.7 hours per week in 2003 ). Given this extensive usage, the Internet has the potential to be a very powerful socialization agent. The Internet has a double-edged sword characteristic for children: providing many opportunities for learning while exposing children to potentially negative content . The Internet not only provides significant benefits for children, such as research access, socialization, entertainment, and a communication tool with families, but it also connotes negative aspects such as violence, pornography, hate sites, isolation, predators, and commercialism. The Web sites considered detrimental include those dedicated to negative content such as pornography, violent online games, online gambling, and so forth. For example, many children can easily access pornographic content on the Internet. They can also be accidentally exposed to numerous obscene pop-up banner ads and extensive pornographic content when they type seemingly innocent key words into a search engine, for example, the name of a singer such as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, or Madonna . According to Finkelhor et al., 25% of the respondents (n = 1,501, ages 10-17) reported receiving unwanted exposure to sexual materials while online, and 19% received a sexual...
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