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Open for Discussion: The Impacts of the Internet

The Impacts of the Internet

November 26, 2019

The impact of what you see or play online might not be your first thought when opening an app or grabbing a controller. However, experts say what people expose themselves to online has the potential for detrimental side effects. It's the age of electronic technology. Psychiatrists say more and more people are engaging in online gaming and social media.

"It's most of my day. Every time that I have to like, a break or something during school, I go on. I go on them and just check everything," said Bismarck High School student Raini Vorachek.

"At least, probably about 15 hours average," said gamer Kendrick Becker.

Overtime those hours can translate into more than just time spent gaming or scrolling through posts. Psychiatrist Kevin Dahmen says what we do and how we interact online can influence our headspace and actions in real life.

"I think it's made our generation sick a lot of the times because we don't understand how to be ourselves anymore. And that has made a lot of impacts on where we go, what we do, and how we live our lives," says Bismarck High School Student Cassy Flemmer.

Experts say time online has the potential to evoke potentially dangerous and violent habits among users.

"The more violence that you watch, the more violence you participate in, the more violent you're going to be. I mean, there's over 5,000 studies out there that're very very clear, the more violence that you watch, the more violent you'll become," said Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at CHI St. Alexius in Bismarck Kevin Dahmen.

While some gamers believe there might not be any link between violent video games and their tendencies.

"Absolutely not, no. No. There's no way. It doesn't influence me whatsoever. I get more competitive I guess," said Becker.

Doctor Dahmen says there's a connection. "You take a look at statistics, there's been about a 500 percent increase in the amount of assaultive behaviors over the last thirty years. That's right about the same time that violent video games have come out. So, the amount of violence that we watch is directly correlated with the amount of violence that we do," said Dr. Dahmen.

Dr. Dahmen says when you do something for hours at a time, you begin to model that. The best way to combat this, is to monitor what you expose yourself to online. Dr. Dahmen says if you suspect exposure to online violence is resulting in aggressive tendencies in you or your child, cut contributing factors completely from your everyday life.

Emmaline Ivy Reporting, KFYR

To learn more about behavioral health services at CHI St. Alexius Health, click here.