Internet as a Haven and Social Shield. Problematic Uses of the Network by Young Spaniards
Keywords:Internet, social networks, young, addiction, adolescence, cyberpathologies, digital behavior, familiar relationships
Universal access to the Internet among young people has been accompanied by new opportunities associated with online developments and practices, but the problematic use of the digital environment also involves threats. In the current scientific literature, there is no clear consensus on the definition of the behaviors that could arise from inappropriate use of the Web, which, as an attempt, is defined with the term addiction. This article combines a qualitative-quantitative approach, based on a competitive national research project, aiming to identify the main threats posed by digital immersion of Spanish youth between 12 and 17 years old. On the one hand, results obtained from this research confirm the discomfort experienced by young people when they have to be offline during a certain period of time, especially in those intensive users of social networks. On the other hand, it has been shown how damaged or conflicting family relationships lead individuals from 15 years old to spend more time connected to the Internet in an attempt to supplement or protest against their family interactions. This study confirms several trends already mentioned in the specialized literature, and presents new findings that suggest possible future lines of investigation on early detection of cyberpathologies..