Italy proposes to control by law the addiction of teenagers to mobile phones


And if they get to let him rest for his sake, they throw themselves on the tablet or start playing online.

Without a doubt, their use of the screens, often excessive, worries us a lot, but sometimes we feel unable to limit their use and more when they are also used in classrooms and away from home.

This is an addiction problem that Italians have been determined to eradicate. A bill presented in the Italian Parliament aims to ‘rehabilitate’ teenagers who spend dead hours in front of the mobile phone.

The abusive use of technologies is a reality

Mobile phones are creating problems for many teenagers, sometimes becoming a real addiction.

The World Health Organization (WHO) not only recommends limiting screen time since childhood but has also included addiction to video games, in the list of pathologies.

In addition, the National Strategy on Addictions 2017-2024 presented by the Ministry of Health, Social Services, and Equality, stated in its report that 18% of the population of adolescents and young people aged 14 to 18 use abusively the technologies of Information and communication.

And the figures do not seem to be reduced, but quite the opposite. In Madrid, there is already a pioneer center in Spain to help children hooked on technologies.

Now Italy tries to end this ‘disease’ through a tough bill taken to Parliament by Deputy Vittoria Casa, supported by her entire party, the 5 Star Movement (M5E). Among other measures, it also proposes rehabilitation centers for adolescents.

‘Nomophobia’, the fear of not being connected

It is the name by which mobile addiction is known. It comes from English, ‘no mobile phone phobia’ and mostly affects young people.

She is recognized for an uncontrolled fear of staying disconnected from the phone, a pathological dependence on the mobile and abuse of social networks.

You will know that your child is addicted to new technologies if:

  • He spends many hours every day hooked, so many that he does not perform other activities.
  • Stop interacting with your friends and family, much less than before or just interact in a virtual way.
  • Lower your school performance significantly.
  • Stop playing sports or abandon activities that used to attract you to stay connected longer.
  • You experience anxiety and irritability when you cannot connect to the Internet. Desperately looking for some way to access a Wi-Fi, recharge data, charge your mobile … to overcome your withdrawal syndrome.
  • Shows frequent mood swings and increased irritability.
  • Stay connected at night, which means sleeping much less or having trouble falling asleep.

Measures to be taken in Italy

According to ABC, the bill is justified because half of Italians between the ages of 15 and 20 check their mobile phones at least 75 times a day.

“We agree with studies that show that young people who wait for” likes “to comments or publications placed on social networks are triggered by a reaction in the brain. It is the same as with the game.”

Among the consequences that emerge from this addiction, the law-promoting party explains:

“There are teenagers who stay until dawn to exchange messages on the internet, send photos, as well as their thoughts and moods. They seem to live their own social life at night, then feeling tired, distracted and unmotivated during the day, just at the hours in which they should develop their true life as teenagers and young people, with repercussions in the personal, school and work spheres “.

And to solve the problem, they propose courses of recovery in socio-sanitary structures, informative campaigns of rehabilitation and support measures. It is a genuine action plan in which various ministries are involved.

The goal is to work first in schools “to train in the conscious use of the internet and social networks”.

The idea is to conduct specific training courses and programs aimed at parents to “allow them to understand when there are risky behaviors in their children.” They point out that it is a priority because:

“The use and abuse of internet and social networks by minors are increasingly obsessive and dependent, to the point that it seems that they do not have other leisure or expansion moments except virtual places and those they offer platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, losing more and more interest in the world around them. “

Mobile time, a universal problem

Unfortunately, it is not an exclusive phenomenon in Italy. France has already prohibited by law the use of mobiles in classrooms at the beginning of last year.

And in Spain perhaps we should also apply the lesson and start working very seriously from all institutions to eradicate this dependence that affects our teenagers. The schools and institutes of Asturias have had to prohibit students from recording with mobiles

Because it is no longer a problem only of addiction, but also of all the negative implications that this widespread and abusive use of smartphones implies and that negatively affects adolescents: cyberbullying, sexting, increased consumption of porn, dangerous viral challenges to get more ‘likes’. We have to do something, beginning to educate our children in the logical use of technology and practicing ourselves, parents, by example.

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