The results of the “We Protect Our Children from Virtual Enemy” project are frightening: 61 percent of children are addicted to the internet and games…

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Added On: 02 July 2021, Friday, 16:26
Last Edited On: 05 July 2021, Monday, 11:30

The results of the “We Protect Our Children from Virtual Enemy” project are frightening: 61 percent of children are addicted to the internet and games…

The results of the project “We Protect Our Children from Virtual Enemy”, carried out by the Near East University Lifelong Education Center (YABEM) and the Prime Ministry Anti-Drug Commission in cooperation with the municipalities and the Education Joint Services Department of the Ministry of National Education and Culture, have been announced.

The results of the “We Protect Children from Virtual Enemy” project which was carried out under the leadership of the Near East University Lifelong Education Center (YABEM) and the Prime Ministry Anti-Drug Commission, with the support of the Ministry of National Education and Culture Education Joint Services Department, Gönyeli Municipality, Kyrenia Municipality, Değirmenlik Municipality, Beyarmudu Municipality and Nicosia Turkish Municipality, were announced at the press conference held at Near East University.
Within the scope of the “We Protect Our Children from Virtual Enemy” project, trainings were organized for teachers, students and parents in many schools, and surveys and researches measuring the extent of technology use in children were carried out.

66 parents, 271 teachers and 978 students attended the trainings
66 parents, 271 teachers and 978 secondary and high school students attended the trainings held in 5 different regions of the TRNC. “We protect our children from the virtual enemy!” trainings were carried out by 3 experts from the field of Computer and Instructional Technologies and Psychological Counseling and Guidance. In the trainings, information about the dangers in virtual environments was conveyed, and awareness-raising activities were carried out to protect children from virtual enemies. In addition, awareness was raised by providing trainings on “cyberbullying, cyber predators, publishing confidential information, phishing, fraud, malware, information security and breach, personal data and personal information security, family protection software, settings on social networks”.

“We protect our children from virtual enemy!”
The project was carried out in three phases. In the first phase, which started on November 3, 2020, parents were given face-to-face training, and then survey studies were conducted to determine their children’s internet usage levels, their internet addiction status and the problems their children experience regarding internet use. In the second phase of the project, teachers were involved in the study. As of February 8, 2021, training and survey studies have been carried out with teachers from different branches. In the third and final stage of the project, studies were carried out to determine the computer game addiction levels of the students and the data collected from the students were converted into statistical analysis.

84.6 percent of children use the internet actively
All of the parents participating in the study said that their children use the internet actively. 84.6 percent of them said that their children use the internet actively. One of the most striking data is the daily time devoted to internet use. 61.3 percent of children use the internet for three hours or more a day. Children use the internet for academic study, communication, making new friends, listening to music, using social media, watching movies, documentaries, videos and playing. However, children whose daily internet usage time exceeds three hours, use the internet more intensively for playing games.

The results are frightening!
51.9% of the families participating in the study are uneasy with the amount of time their children spend on the internet and resort to limiting this time. 55.8 percent of them think that their children prefer to spend time on the Internet instead of spending time with themselves, and 44.2 percent think that children interrupt their daily work to access the Internet.

According to the results of the project, 61.8% of teachers believe that most of their students are addicted to games. They believe that this situation harms students’ mental and physical health and social relations. Teachers participating in the research think that game addiction causes problems such as insomnia, distraction, forgetfulness, fatigue, inability to communicate effectively with peers, incompatibility, irritability, and impatience.

Internet use of more than 8 to 10 hours a week indicates addiction. According to the results of the research, most of the children spend more than 3 hours a day and 21 hours a week on the Internet.
At the meeting where the results of the “We Protect Children from Virtual Enemy” project were announced, Vice-Rector of Near East University Assoc. Prof. Dr. Murat Tüzünkan, Director of the Near East University Lifelong Education Center Assoc. Prof. Dr. Çiğdem Hürsen and Chairman of the Prime Ministry Anti-Drug Commission Hasan Karaokçu delivered speeches.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Murat Tüzünkan: “Parents should be aware of their important duties and responsibilities so that our children can socialize and not be exposed to cyberbullying”
Emphasizing that the use of technology has increased in all areas of life, Near East University Vice-Rector Assoc. Prof. Dr. Murat Tüzünkan emphasized that this situation causes serious internet and game addiction in children and make them becoming distanced from sociality. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tüzünkan said that the results of the “We Protect Our Children from Virtual Enemy” project, carried out by the Near East University Lifelong Education Center and the Prime Ministry Anti-Drug Commission with the support of many municipalities, reveal this fact in a striking way.

Reminding that the conduct of education online due to the COVID-19 pandemic significantly increased the time children spend in front of computers, tablets and similar devices, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Murat Tüzünkan stated that parents and teachers have great responsibilities so that children can use technology more consciously.

Hasan Karaokçu: “Parents may be insufficient to protect their children from the negative effects of technology and may not follow them”
Saying that technology addiction has become a type of addiction that can cause at least as serious consequences as substance addiction, Hasan Karaokçu, Chairman of the Prime Ministry Anti-Drug Commission, said, “With the We Protect Children from Virtual Enemy project, we aimed to raise awareness in families, teachers and children, and to reveal the dimensions of the problem.”
Karaokçu said, “Parents may be inadequate to protect their children from the negative effects of technology and may not follow them,” and thanked the Near East University Lifelong Education Center for their contributions, saying that they receive support from science and education to raise awareness.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Çiğdem Hürsen: “The results of the survey reveal a terrible addiction”
Commenting on the results of the “We Protect Children from Virtual Enemy” project in her speech, Near East University Lifelong Education Center Director Assoc. Prof. Dr. Çiğdem Hürsen said that they obtained important results regarding the dimensions of internet and game addiction by reaching parents, teachers and students with the project they carried out throughout the country.
“80% of the teachers think that their students, whom they think are addicted to the internet and games, behave in a problematic way in the classroom, cannot communicate effectively with their friends, and this situation negatively affects their academic success,” saying Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hürsen, continued her speech as follows; “Our research reveals that families do not have sufficient information about their children’s internet use.” Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hürsen also emphasized that children are not aware of the dangers they may encounter in the internet environment.

Pointing out that content that will raise awareness about internet and game addiction should be added to curricula starting from primary school, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Çiğdem Hürsen said, “The way to reduce the time children spend in the virtual environment is not through prohibitions or restrictions. It is necessary to direct children to real activities that will fill their time on the Internet. It is very important to support children with branches such as social activities, arts and sports. For this, efforts should be made to reveal the interests and talents of children from a young age with the cooperation of parents and teachers.

Süreyya Geylan Gürdal: “The data revealed by scientific research shows how dangerous internet addiction has reached among our children.”
Süreyya Geylan Gürdal, the representative of the Ministry of National Education and Culture Department of Educational Joint Services, said that as the Ministry of National Education and Culture they attach great importance to being a part of such an important project for the children of the country, “The data revealed by the scientific research carried out within the scope of the project shows how internet addiction affects our children, shows how dangerous it is. I hope that all the institutions contributing to the project will continue to work in cooperation in the projects to be developed to solve this problem.”