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Online Game Addiction to Teens and Wise Ways to Act

Online Game Addiction to Teens and Wise Ways to Act
Online games, or games that are accessed using the internet network, have developed rapidly and are popular with many people, including teenagers. In the usage limit that is not excessive, online gaming can basically be said as a means of entertainment or leisure time activities. However, there are also online game players who have difficulty controlling their playing habits to become addiction / addiction.

The phenomenon of online game addiction has been investigated in various countries, including in Indonesia. A 2013 publication in the Public Library of Science One journal (PLoS ONE) written by educational psychologists, Dr. Sri Tiatri, along with colleagues from Tarumanagara University, showed that 10.5 percent or as many as 150 people out of a total of 1,477 samples of junior and senior high school students who were active playing online games in four cities in Indonesia (Manado, Medan, Pontianak and Yogyakarta) were declared experiencing online game addiction .

Still as part of the research conducted by Dr. Sri Tiatri and her colleagues, playing online games basically can bring positive benefits, for example opening up opportunities to get to know many friends from other parts of the world through the internet, and can be a means of practicing pleasant English.

However, on the other hand, when it leads to addiction, playing online games can have a negative impact. For the past few years to date, for example, there have been reports of school skipping behavior until theft committed by junior and senior high school students in Indonesia because of the desire to play online games that are unstoppable. The stealing behavior is forced to do because they need money to play online games at the cafe.

Psychologists / psychiatrists can conduct an examination and provide a diagnosis of addiction to online / internet gaming games based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-V (DSM-V) criteria, which is if they meet at least 5 symptoms from the following symptom sets over a 12-month period:
1. The mind is constantly focused on online games
2. Feeling anxious, not calm, or sad when you can't play online games
3. There is a need to increase the length of time playing online games
4. Failed when trying to control the desire to play online games
5. Loss of interest to engage in hobbies or other entertainment activities, except online games themselves.
6. Continuing the habit of playing online games despite being aware of the psychosocial problems caused by online gaming behavior.
7. Lying about the behavior of playing online games (frequency and duration) to family members, therapists, or other people.
8. Play online games to escape negative feelings
9. The behavior of playing online games threatens or has lost the relationship / work / education.

Professionally handled

Online game addiction that tends to be severe and has been very disturbing should be handled by psychologists / psychiatrists who do have clinical competence to handle the case. This is important to note, especially because on the field it is often found that online game addiction in adolescents turns out to be closely related to other problems, such as family problems, so those who experience it need to be addressed comprehensively.

Apart from the handling carried out by professionals in the field of mental health, the fact that the high number of online game addiction in teenagers in Indonesia is certainly worrying and needs attention from various other parties. Parents and teachers in this case can be a line that can work together to monitor and overcome online game addiction in adolescents.

In dealing with online game addiction, beforehand it needs to be understood in advance that addiction is a condition that arises and develops slowly, so that its countermeasures cannot be done in the blink of an eye.Handling online game addiction requires a process that demands business consistency from those who experience the addiction itself, along with the support and supervision of those closest to them. For example, parents can design an agreement on the deadline for playing online games per day for their children, by agreeing also on the negative consequences if violated and positive consequences if obeyed. This strategy can also be accompanied by the effort to move the computer to the living room so that playing time can be truly supervised.

In addition, there are also preventive efforts that can be done in general, starting with providing education to those who experience addiction regarding online game addiction itself and the accompanying negative impacts, to provide alternative activities for them.

Alternative activities need to be designed to have criteria that can create a sensation similar to playing online games, but of course within reasonable limits, so that alternative activities will not be the object of new addiction!

Playing online games can provide a drifting experience or flow, and create curiosity and challenge in the players to make them unable to stop playing. Therefore, providing alternative activities that can accommodate these characteristics, accompanied by adequate supervision, can be a powerful strategy to reduce online game addiction.

In school, examples of alternative activities can be realized in the form of organizing photography / videography activities and regular sports tournaments. Thus, the time that was originally used to play online games can be transferred to this alternative activity. Meanwhile, at home, parents can think about and discuss alternative activities that are more adaptable to their teenagers' interests.

Last but not least, in responding to online game addiction in adolescents, as much as possible avoid labeling them as recalcitrant teenagers who cannot be regulated, because it is not uncommon to find that they really want to quit, but are not successful. Therefore, of course, embracing and helping them out slowly dispel their addiction can be the best choice of attitude.
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