Technology addiction takes a toll on children, ruining relations with family members

Published 28.11.2015 00:55
Updated 28.11.2015 01:00
Technology addiction takes a toll on children, ruining relations with family members

An increasing number of parents in Turkey worry about their children's Internet addiction. However, parents are at fault because children are left unsupervised while using online platforms. Experts say technology addiction worsens family relations

Tablet computers and smartphones given to children so their elders can have a peaceful dinner with friends has been cited as causing a decline in communication between parents and their children as well as possibly resulting in future addiction. Given as a bribe to silence children, smartphones and tablet computers have turned out to be a monster that is hard to control. The new study conducted by Kaspersky Lab and B2B International revealed that 32 percent of parents in Turkey think they have no control over their children's online activities while 46 percent of parents fear that the Internet browsing of their children has become an addiction. However, parents generally do not want to devote the time to find a solution.

No rules: Parents in Turkey usually do not set up rules for their children using tablet computers and those who do fail to monitor whether their children are following the rules or not. Most importantly, parents do not want to take any responsibility for the results of their children's online activity problems, regarding which they spend no time to solve. The only common phrase that comes out of parents' mouths is "Didn't I do everything that you asked from me, my child?" Children are left unsupported and unsupervised while using the devices. In other words, we are bringing up the street kids of the digital age online.

Threats on rise: More than half of the survey participants (58 percent) believed that the number of threats which their children might encounter online increase. The biggest worry of the parents (51 percent) is the risk of their children coming across inappropriate material on the Internet. Of the participants, almost two-thirds (55 percent) were convinced that children have limitless access to inappropriate content. Thirty-four percent of parents in Turkey worry about their children running into and contacting dangerous strangers online, while 40 percent fear that their children share too much personal information on the Internet. Of the participants, 33 percent fear that their children might be addicted to the Internet and spend too much time on online platforms.

Cyberbullying: Some 37 percent of the parents in Turkey are concerned that their children might come across malicious software and not recognize them. What is more surprising is that only 39 percent of parents list cyberbullying as a serious concern, though it can result in long-term and destructive problems to young people's lives.

Results affect budget: Aside from these threats against children, 24 percent of parents and other family members are concerned about the accidental deletion or loss of data. Twenty-five percent of the parents are also anxious about the fact that children might be adversely affected by online platforms and unintentionally purchase products while playing online games or surfing other related platforms.


Every day, bettor companies send unauthorized messages on sports news to cellphones without permission. Many international bettor websites have saturated mobile platforms and continue to send SMS messages each day. Although a law on trade communication and electronic messages was put into effect in July as part of the act on Adjustment on Electronic Trade, the flow of bettor SMS messages has not yet ceased. Most of these messages are sent by international websites, which makes the control process more difficult. It is also difficult for the Customs and Trade Ministry to monitor them.

Betting companies

Betting companies are customers of intermediary firms selling millions of SMS messages. A significant proportion of messages sold by operators are open to the use of betting companies. Because the company profiting from SMS and e-mail messages are based abroad, they are more difficult to control. It is also difficult to identify how and by whom the millions of messages sold by phone operators are used.

Penalty fines

A penalty fine was issued to seven companies in Kayseri for sending unauthorized SMS messages. This was the first penalty issued following the enactment of the regulation on trade communications and electronic notifications. The penalty covers companies that send SMS and email messages to customers without their permission.

Penalty issue process

To report a complaint on this issue, you can fill a complaint form on the website of the Customs and Trade Ministry. Penalties are issued by the provincial trade directorates. The ministry notifies trade directorates in the related city and checks whether the complainant and the company are based in the notified city.

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