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What does the web contribute to problematic adolescent behavior?

Problem behavior begins when someone harms or threatens to harm themselves or others. This can certainly happen in phases of upheaval, as young people are in strong processes of change in themselves and also in their environment, but it is not the rule.

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Some close themselves off, others harm themselves, still others tend to be aggressive. All of this can be related to media content and media use, but it almost never has its causes there. The reasons are to be found in the psychological development and the social environment of the child. However, there is also a digital component to this: young people communicate online, obtain information online and seek guidance. Problematic behavior is also shown, discussed and documented on the Internet. There are special forums and social media channels that address violence, self-harm, eating disorders, and dark thoughts. Here, young people can come into contact with others who feel and think similarly to them and get attention they don’t get elsewhere. Particularly unstable and insecure young people can thus be encouraged to do the same as others without questioning content and behavior. If you notice changes in your child and are concerned that he or she is visiting such sites, ask. Get help from outsiders if you get stuck. You can find help offline, e.g. from social pedagogues or psychologists at your child’s school, and from online counseling centers such as the bke.

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