The Academy of Finland has funded a longitudinal research called Mind the Gap, which has established connections between the excessive use of internet and exhaustion in school. The study shows that burnout in school by overusing the internet can lead to depression and the addiction usually happens if one is not interested in school or has developed cynicism towards authority.
Researchers commented that internet addiction and burnout in school is most critical for 13-15-year-olds.
One of the ways of tackling the issue is by motivating students to get involved in school and develop an interest in learning to prevent burnout.
Symptoms of depression are more conspicuous among girls in their late adolescence than boys and interestingly, it’s the boys who are more prone to internet addiction.
The study included about 3000 Helsinki students from 18 upper secondary and 33 lower secondary schools. There were two groups of students: one consisted of 12-14- year olds born in the early 2000s, and another of 16-18- year olds born in 1997.The former group was 6th graders and the latter were high schoolers.
The kids of this generation are termed as ‘digital natives’ who have born in a digital world and have grown with the internet and social networks.
The digital world can influence in two ways. Initial studies on the impact of the internet on students show that it acts as a helpful source of information and provides pleasurable social experience. It also inspires youngsters to pursue technology and science.
Another aspect of internet use is an addiction to the virtual world, leading to a lack of communication and isolation in the real world. The study reveals that most adolescents who exhibit signs of depression are more interested in the digital world and suffer separation from the real world.
The findings of the study appeared in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.