Great conversations - Last CEP Telepaed 2017

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

What we’ve been talking about: Internet & Pornography Addiction

Increases of problematic pornography and internet use have been found across New Zealand. Scott Turnbull of Mirror HQ Whakaata Tohu Tohu, brought this important issue to the forefront.

“We’ve seen an increase of problematic pornography use for 16-18yr olds in Dunedin” Scott said. “Some of our staff recently attended training, which they found really helpful to support youth facing these challenges.”

He added, “We’re aware of fluctuation across the country, but encourage CEP services to consider including pornography and internet addiction in screenings.” 

Altered High working throughout Waitemata DHB, and the Kari Centre in Auckland DBH, also voiced the need to support internet and social media addiction in these areas.

Children and youth are particularly susceptible to both pornography and social media addiction. In 2017 Auckland University found most youth were not looking for pornography online, but found it on Facebook, pop-ups or links.

Last December, Facebook also launched ‘Messenger Kids’ for under 13s, and this month 100+ child development experts requested its withdrawal. While it has limited access to Facebook, they believe it encourages children onto platforms they are not ready for highlighting that 50% of US children feel addicted to phones.

Former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya recently spoke out against the “dopamine-driven feedback loops” social media can create. He echoed initial investor Sean Parker’s comments arguing these sites exploit “a vulnerability in human psychology”.

Mirror HQ and others encourage services to consider screening for these addictions during assessment, and for organisations to provide support where they can.


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