"Though the problem most often occurs during the transition from Jr.
High to High School (kids ranging in age from 14-15 years old), I have seen internet overuse in kids as young as 12," says Dr. "If school performance is declining, if a child cannot leave the computer and becomes anxious or argumentative when internet access is limited, parents should be concerned," he advises.
Teens might be on-line because they are already depressed, anxious, and lonely.
Or they might become so, if forced to give up their habit.
"For an entire year I saw nothing but the back of my daughter's head," Melanie's dad explains. When she became inconsolable and accused us of ruining her social life--she couldn't update her Face book page--we knew there was a serious problem." Turned out, Melanie was down and out over a flirtation with a boy that had gone nowhere.
Once she and her parents began to talk about what was bothering her, their home situation improved dramatically.
Take Melanie (not her real name), a sixteen-year-old Greenwich Village student, who spent up to seven hours a day updating her Face book page and instant messaging with friends.
Was Melanie's a case of harmless teen tweeting and more, or a sign of a dangerous problem?Heavy users can be socially linked-in, popular adolescents who make good grades.They might spend hours chatting online with friends, posting photos and updates on social media sites.For people in this age group, internet use is frequently intertwined with sex, gambling, eating disorders, or drug problems, as well as depression or anxiety, according to Dr.Joanne Fishman, Clinical Director of the New York City office of Four Winds Hospital.