A modern phenomenon that has been recorded in recent years is internet addiction Disorder (IAD). Internet addiction is described as an impulse control disorder, which does not involve use of an intoxicating drug and is very similar to pathological gambling. Some Internet users may develop an emotional attachment to on-line friends and activities they create on their computer screens. Internet users may enjoy aspects of the Internet that allow them to meet, socialize, and exchange ideas through the use of chat rooms, social networking websites, or “virtual communities.” Similar to other addictions, those suffering from Internet addiction use the virtual fantasy world to connect with real people through the Internet, as a substitution for real-life human connection, which they are unable to achieve normally.
Internet addiction has become of the main problems that European secondary school students are facing so our community has to deal with the source of the problem and its impacts. There is a tentative need to investigate the phenomenon and its impacts to all partners’ countries.
The Log On Back To Life project will cover a number of gaps concerning the phenomenon of addiction to the internet and will detect others that will arise from the social research of the project and form the recording of the phenomenon. The project will contribute to the scientific approach to the diagnosis of the factors that lead to addiction and help in the development of policies that will lead to prevention and treatment of the phenomenon in all its aspects, as they have been emerged from the scientific research so far.
Through the activities of the project, participating organizations, especially those involved with education will have the opportunity to study in depth the phenomenon of students’ addiction to the use of the Internet and its impact. Participating organizations will have the change through the project activities and results to highlight those initiatives, educational methods and activities that will lead in both timely and valid revelation of the problem and in the proposal for implementation of all those policies and scientific methods that will lead to an effectively address of the problem. By the end of the project participating organization will be able to offer special training and information sessions to both their teachers and staff and to their students regarding Internet addiction Disorder (IAD) in terms of identifying, preventing and dealing with the phenomenon. That will be done by using the dedicated material and analysis that will arise as project’s results and by using the special eplatform of the project developed for this kind of activities.
Special mention should be made on:
- the social research to be carried out in the framework of our project using specially designed questionnaires by specialized scientists. The questionnaire will be based on already developed and internationally recognized relevant questionnaires, (such as The Internet Addiction Test (IAT), which is one of the most utilized diagnostic instruments for Internet addiction), but will be a customized version of these, according to the requirements and needs of our proposed project
- the Reference Handbook on Assess, prevention and Treatment of Internet Addiction to be developed in the framework of our project. The Handbook will not be a simple document (e.g pdf) file but also an ebook which will be available for all kind of mobile devices (e.g laptops, tablets, smartphones etc). Special mentioned should be made in the new approaches of prevention and treatment which will be proposed under the framework of your project and be included in the handbook
- the new cooperative methodology for the assessment and prevention of internet addiction of Secondary school students that will be developed. The proposed methodology will focus on non pharmacological interventions as these methods cannot be applied in the school environment in an easy way. The methodology is going to be based on the concept of cooperative learning in which students and teachers form discussion teams in order to explore a significant question or create a meaningful project.
We hope that the proposed project will be the starting point and an opportunity for academic exchange between partners and the associated partners, which will highlight the benefits of the Internet, as well the risks arising from abnormal use of the internet. Through the planned activities of the project we expect to have an integrated as possible knowledge of the effects of the use of new technologies, for shielding and empower of secondary school students regarding early diagnosis and addressing of the problem.
Our ambition is to influence, with the results of our research and our activities, institutional and policy makers so to start a dialogue and a thorough investigation of the problem at European level with the participation of the school community.