Showing posts with label teenagers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label teenagers. Show all posts

Wednesday 17 April 2024

Social media tempts teenagers to skive and the family cat benefits!

High rates of school absence because of Internet addiction in teenagers leads to social media tempting teenagers to skive, stay at home, and as a consequence be company for the family cat. 💕😊 - if there is one.

If a person is prone to stay at home no matter whether they are a teenager at school or a worker at work, they will be with their cat more often and it would be an antidote to what I see is a major problem with domestic cats: separation anxiety as their owner is at work all day and the kids at school.

The story is about Internet addiction in teenagers concerns skiving and not going to school but for me this is as much a story about that as it is about keeping the cat at home company. 💕🙄

A study decided that teenagers skive as mentioned. It found that teenage girls seem to be more vulnerable to this than boys and more vulnerable to excessive use of the Internet. The more often a teenager uses the Internet the more likely it is that they are addicted to it.

The research took place in Finland. They took data from a national biennial survey. They asked children how much they neglected friends and family and failed to eat or sleep because of their time online. They asked how anxious they were when they weren't online.

Just over 2% of the more than 86,000 children in the school years eight and nine (aged 14 to 16) in Finland who participated were found to use the Internet excessively. Girls were 96% more likely than boys to fall into this category.

3 to 4% of the children reported high rates of absence from school. Those who spent excessive amounts of time on social media had a 38% higher risk of truancy. They also had a 24% higher risk of medical school absences.

The researchers decided that digital media may be tempting teens to stay at home and avoid school which affected their learning. The research is published in the British Medical Journal's Archives of Diseases in Childhood.

As you can see the study was based on self reporting from teenagers. They may have overestimated or underestimated the amount of time they spent on social media online.

Excessive Internet use is not the same as addiction. There is no agreed clinical definition of Internet addiction. It was suggested by another scientist that the research does not help understand the effects of Internet use in children.

But as mentioned above, I would suggest that there is one benefit if there is a family cat. They have some company and social media Internet addiction can remove the problem of separation anxiety for domestic cats.
P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Monday 22 February 2021

Have they found that narcissistic Asian woman who killed her cat in a washing machine?

In Oct 2017 I wrote about a pretty, young, narcissistic Asian woman who killed her pretty but not narcissistic white cat in her washing machine (click here to read it). I figured that she lives in the south of China where they have a dubious relationship with cats as they like to eat them en masse for superstitious reasons. Horrible. Mad.

Narcissistic Asian woman who killed her cat on social media for fame
Narcissistic Asian woman who killed her cat on social media for fame. Her social media page.

But have they caught this mad, pretty woman? Probably not. She committed a crime by normal standards. She should be arrested and punished. The trouble is that in China they don't have any meaningful animal welfare laws so she has not committed a crime in her country. Even if she had she'd get away with it because of police apathy.

She had the temerity to post her film of her killing her cat online, on social media. That is why I say she is narcissistic. It is that self-indulgent desire for 15 minutes of fame. Some youth of today can't bear to be anonymous. They want to be someone and they'll do anything even animal cruelty of the most henous kind to achieve those ends.

You know that one in fourteen (more than 7% actually) of British children have tried to kill themselves! Astonishing. It shows a deep malaise in the minds of British kids. They are suffering but why? Where does this mental health issue come from? 

It has been made worse by Covid-19. They don't see a future. The future is harder for kids today than it was in my day. I agree that. But it is not that bad. I think it is linked to expectation. Unrealistic expectations which are generated through using social media.

Back to the Asian woman. It is the same problem. She wants fame even if it is a negative version of fame: notoriety. Infamy. It is all the same to her. As long as she is not anonymous. This is part of the reason why British kids sometimes want to end their lives. They can't become famous. There is nothing worse for them than being ugly and invisible. An empty, meaningless future.

Saturday 13 February 2021

Are today's teenagers better for cat welfare than previous generations?

It's worthwhile asking whether today's teenagers, in developed countries, are going to improve cat welfare or not. They are the future. We depend upon them to make improvements in domestic and wild cat welfare and it needs improvement. So what is today's teenager like compared to past generations?

It seems to me that there are two major influences on modern-day teenagers: the internet and smart phones which has led one specialist on the subject to described them as 'iGens' -  and Covid-19.

Teenager with cat
Teenager with cat. Picture: Pixabay.

I know Covid-19 is a very recent event but it is so major and so impactful that it has to be included in this discussion. The pandemic also serves to reinforce the modern teenager's dependence upon smart phones and the internet. This in turn leads them to a less active, outdoor life and one which is more centred within themselves and at home.

But this in turn leads to poor emotional health. It is well reported that today's teenager tends to suffer greater mental health issues than previous generations. Some put this down to social media which has a competitiveness about it in terms of attainment and a person's image i.e. how they are projected towards the world. There is a lot of false messaging on the internet.

There is an increase in problems with self-image, dissatisfaction with their bodies and their standing in the world. IGens spend 5 to 6 hours a day using their smart phones hanging out online and texting et cetera. More than two hours a day can cause mental health problems, it is said.

IGens grow up more slowly. They hang out with their parents more, put off sex and the task of obtaining a driver's licence. Is this a consequence of being self absorbed and living within your head inside the home rather than going out and exploring the world and taking some knocks and learning about life? If they grow more slowly they are going to be less well developed emotionally and less ready to deal with life's problems. Isn't that a fair assessment?

It is believed that iGens are more caring for others. They are more aware of diversity and perhaps this is the woke movement which has caused a greater awareness of equality in society.

Perhaps it is fair to say that today's teenagers are more protected. Not by design but by consequence of being glued to a smart phone and the Internet and texting etc.. It creates a cosseted environment in which the girl or boy is removed sometimes from the reality of the world which in turn slows development and growing up to adulthood. The inability to buy one's own home exacerbates the problem. And career advancement has been damaged by Covid-19. This may last a long time.

Today's teens watch less television, drink less, use heroin less, use meth less, carry weapons to school less and so on (American survey). They appear to be better behaved but this may be because of a general trend in society and a greater awareness and education about the dangers of using these drugs. Teen pregnancy has declined rapidly apparently over the past really case. Is this in line with a failure of teens to grow up?

I sense, and it has to be a sense because the data is incredibly complicated and there are so many layers to this discussion, that today' teenager is more likely to be suffering from some to the mental health issue arising out of failure to engage the world because they are overly-engaged in Internet interactions and smartphone use which has been exacerbated by the Covid pandemic.

This in turn should result in better domestic cat care in the present because domestic cats are going to be with teenagers more often. In the long term there may also be a benefit in terms of animal welfare because the greater the interaction between teenager and family cat the more the teenager learns about the animal which should promote welfare in the future. Perhaps I'm being idealistic.

Cat welfare is about education above all else. The alternative point of view is that if modern teenagers are too engrossed in entertaining themselves using the Internet rather than educating themselves about the hard facts of animal welfare, both domestic and wild, then perhaps in the long term there will be a dearth of passionate and committed animal welfare advocates.

The bottom line is that the modern lifestyle of teenagers in the West is in general terms unhealthy.

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