WHO recognize video games disorder as a public health problem

video game and public health

WHO recognize video games disorder as a public health problem

Video games, and especially online multiplayer games, occupy a large part of the lives of children and adolescents. But the time may come when they stop being a simple leisure activity. Become a serious problem of addiction and isolation.

7 years is the average age of beginning the Internet world Currently. Children begin to need to feel part of a social group when they are a little older. Therefore, they spend more time connected on social networks trying to interact with their friends or followers. Then eating, sleeping, or studying, for example.

From now on, we want you, mothers and fathers. To be aware of the latest data on the use of social networks in children and adolescents.

The Use of Social Networks in Children and Adolescents

The use of social networks in children and adolescents has increased exponentially in recent years. Thanks to the development of new social platforms and the new functionalities of existing networks.

Littles are browse social networks to chat/send messages to their colleagues, friends, or followers. And for entertainment, they watch photos and play video games. Anything goes to make friends, and that is why, on many occasions, they neglect the most precious thing: their privacy.

Regarding the sensitive information of minors, it is worth mentioning that around 45% set their profile on social networks as private. 30% limit their followers’ access to their personal information, and around 25% set it in public mode.

Among them, about 30% make the name of their school visible, and the older they are, the more data they provide. On the other hand, 90% of the youngest share their telephone number and 10% their name of their city.

But that is not all. A high percentage of children and adolescents display their own faces as profile images, their first and last names. The smaller they are, the more reluctant they are to display this type of information.

Do You Know Which Are The Social Networks Most Used By Children And Adolescents?

Social Networks and video game

The answer is WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and YouTube. Instead, Instagram adds Snapchat functions with the particularity that each user has a reserved space to post on their own wall.

In the “mobile” era, the smartphone is the device par excellence for the use of social networks in children and adolescents. Since many of the functionalities of these platforms are intended for mobile devices. The portability of such devices has favored the increase in the frequency of browsing on social networks. Among the smallest, also due to their needs for social acceptance.

Currently, minors spend more than 3 hours of their life daily carrying out any action on their social profiles. In addition, the connection frequency of a quarter of them is more than 10 times a day (much higher in social networks such as WhatsApp).

50% of the youngest are limited to exercising the role of the observer in their social profiles. However, 40% participate actively through messages, photos, or videos. The most alarming data, in terms of the type of content published, is the 20% of minors who have published their own content of an intimate nature. In addition, 10% have disseminated said content from third parties.

If we take into account the connection time to any electronic device in children and adolescents, it would be greater than 5 and a half hours per day. Speechless!

The risk with online video games is that they have an “addictive potential” because there is the possibility of playing at home, with easy access 24 hours a day, explains the head of Bellvitge. It is beginning to be addressed as a public health problem. In this sense, the category of Internet Gaming Disorder already exists. Its inclusion in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) will make it official and enter into force as of January 1, 2022. This means that those countries attached to the WHO (more than 196) will have to prepare different treatments and support measures for gaming disorder between now and then.

For its diagnosis to be valid, some of the symptoms of this behavior must be manifested repeatedly during 12 months, this period of time can be reduced if these symptoms are severe.

Those Affected Usually Have Associated Disorders

Studies indicate that between 9 and 14 years there is an important use of video games. And that around 14-15 years is when the most severe pictures occur. Those affected usually have associated problems such as behavior disorders, personality, or depression. (Unit of addictive behaviors in adolescents of the service of psychiatry and child and youth psychology of the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona).

These are young people who can spend four to five hours a day connected to the network. And who can do “sessions of 20 hours in a row without getting up from their chair”, says Susana Jiménez. Clinical psychologist and head of the pathological gambling unit and other behavioral addictions at Hospital de Bellvitge.

Early Detection of Gaming Disorder in Children

Dide, helps mothers and fathers to observe,  detect, identify the signs that indicate possible significant abuse of new technologies. It is important to prevent possible problems derived from the use of new technologies and video games in children and adolescents. So that they enjoy the well-being that corresponds to them in their growth stage.

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