Parents, here’s why responsible internet use starts now!

Parents, here’s why responsible internet use starts now!

By Jane Kingsu-Cheng

Social media and technology are here to stay. Now, it’s up to us parents to make sure we teach everyone to be responsible when it comes to this.

Dr. Bernard B. Argamosa, a psychiatrist at the Department of Health-National Center for Mental Health relayed at a recent interview at the Philippine News Agency’s “Pros and Cons” forum, “Ang technology ay nandiyan na, wala na tayong magagawa diyan (The technology is already there and there’s nothing we can do about it). What we need to practice now is responsible use of technology. For example, social media, we’ve had many clients who became victims of bullying not only in school, but also in social media.”

No conversations in meal times

Parents, especially mothers, know this all too well. Haven’t we all encountered family members having dinner on the table and holding up their phones?

Basta may libreng internet lang may communication na pero saan nagkakaproblema? Kapag umuwi sila dito, kakain ang pamilya nang sabay-sabay pero hindi na sila nag-uusap kasi kaharap ang kaniya-kaniyang telepono (As long as there’s free internet you can stay connected, but where does the problem arise? When they go home here [in the Philippines], they’ll eat together but they don’t speak with each other because they’re busy using their phones) and that disconnects people,” added Argamosa.

“So, what am I trying to say here? Let’s go back to the basics. Ang basic unit pa rin ng community ay ang family at kailangang mag-usap-usap kayo (family is still the community’s basic unit and its members must speak with each other,” he added.

Online dependency

Another alarming cause is gaming addiction. “In 2008, we started treating teen gaming addiction, and not many people understand it because it seemed like a new concept. We first had a 17-year-old who got treated from addiction behavior, since then every year, we receive 14-year-old patients in our facility,” revealed Cel Gonzales, quality control director of One Algon Place, a rehabilitation center for those with drug and alcohol addiction.

“The youngest we had was an 11-year-old, na itinali na ng barangay staff maipasok lang sa facility dahil nananakit na siya ng mga kapamilya at nag-withdraw na sa (who the barangay staff had tied up so he can be brought to the facility, and because he’s already hurting family members physically and he has withdrawn from) school,” she shared. 

Taking actions

Thankfully, the mental health law has been passed. Argamosa explained, “The law, while it’s broad because it has many thrusts, strengthens the advocacy in what we call the big three — the community, the workplace and the school. Programs are created in coordination with the private sector to address bullying issues in the school and in the community, stress in the workplace, etc.”

Private establishments such as One Algon Place supports by providing the needed health professionals. Gerardo Rudin Gonzales III, executive director added, “So, it involves not just psychiatry, there’s allied health and we can help schools create a program for mental health, also the offices. For example, we help employees who are positive in random drug test, they will enter our facility for rehabilitation, and in schools, on the other hand, we work hand in hand with guidance counselors.”

Story from Philippine News Agency.