Teenagers' Internet Use: Moral and Psychological Impact - Paper Example

Published: 2023-10-29
Teenagers' Internet Use: Moral and Psychological Impact - Paper Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Psychology Internet Technology Moral development
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1468 words
13 min read


The impact of internet usage on various moral and psychological aspects among teenagers is profound. Ardi et al. (2018) argued that over the past two decades, social media had gained much growth and popularity around the world that many researchers are now interested in learning its moral and psychological implications among teenagers. Austin et al. (2011) further claimed that teenagers heavily focus on social life and, as a result, are well-adapted to the internet and social networking applications that enable them to connect with their peers. Because of this, teenage online morality has become a growing contemporary concern. For example, most teenagers have engaged in cyberbullying, online sexual solicitations and have also managed to watch harmful pornographic contents, and even jailed for digital piracy. Hokke et al. (2018) maintained that internet usage had perpetuated moral decadence as well as affecting academic outcomes most teenagers. The main focus of this paper is to examine the moral issues that arise from internet use among teenagers.

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Research Questions

  • How frequently do teenagers use the internet?
  • What are some moral issues associated with internet usage among teenagers?
  • Does the internet affect the teenager’s educational performance?
  • Research Objectives and Statement of Problems
  • To investigate how frequently do, teenagers use the internet.
  • To examine the moral issues associated with internet usage among teenagers.
  • To examine how the internet affects the psychological outcome of teenagers.
  • To investigate the effect of the internet on the teenager’s educational performance.

The researcher will focus on reaching the above goals as a way of solving the research questions. Finally, the study will have been successful in solving a major research problem; research on Teenagers' internet moral issues from the perspective of educational psychology.

Literature Review

How Frequently Do Teenagers Use the Internet

According to a 2017 study by the Royal Children's Hospital in the United States, young people between the ages of 13 and 18 spend an average of 43.6 hours a week on home screen-based activities; this is equivalent to 6.2 hours per day (Mami & Hatami-Zad, 2014). It has been reported that most teenagers in the United States between the ages of 13 and 18 have a smartphone or tablet that helps them access digital content.

Kakkar et al. (2014) argued that a relationship between teenage internet-time and that of their counterpart adults vividly indicates how frequent teenagers use the internet. The relationship indicates that teenagers register high levels of internet-based usage than that of adults. Kim (2016) further claimed that teenagers spend over 40% of the day on the internet hence consuming much of the time they could have spent on other constructive activities.

Moral Issues Associated With Internet Usage among Teenagers

Kirschner and Karpinski (2009) argued that the internet had become carnivores that lures young people under the age of eighteen into sexual acts such as homosexuality and other common sexual misconduct. The internet perpetuates moral decadence among teenagers by exposing them to the spread of pornographic content in certain social groups online (Kirschner & Karpinski, 2009). Pornographic videos influence teenagers, and this has been the root cause of early pregnancies among teenagers and consequently makes them drop out of school. Internet usage, therefore, exposes teenagers to early sex hence making vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV and can lead to the early death of our younger generation (Flores & James, 2012). Access to immoral videos and literature greatly tampers with their moral values.

Effects of the Internet on the Teenager's Academic Performance

According to Mami and Hatami-Zad (2014), the addictive nature of the internet makes teenagers vulnerable to its adverse effects. Some of the negative effects among teenagers comprise poor sleep patterns, social breakdown, poor mental and physical health; all these are agents of poor academic performance. Ngoumandjoka (2012) maintained that internet usage might be addictive and, if, unless wrongly used, might lead to poor academic performance among teenagers. Internet addiction consumes a lot of valuable time that teenagers could have used in other academic activities. Rickert (2001) argued that teenagers who spend a lot of time on the internet register lower academic performance than those who do not use it.

Significance of the Study

The completion of the study will extensively contribute to knowledge. The outcome of the research problem and the successive analysis will enlighten educators and parents in numerous ways. For one, it will increase an in-depth understanding of various moral issues associated with the internet by teenagers (Samuel, 2010). This can be measured in the perspectives of the probable application in various aspects of educational psychology. Besides, TĂĽrel et l. (2015) argued that the knowledge gained will be valuable in understanding the interplay between internet usage and moral issues among teenagers. This will be important in understating the general impact of the internet on the moral values of teenagers.

Research Methodology

The research will employ a quantitative method of data collection, as the method revolves around the statistical and numerical analysis of data in addition to objective measurement (Martin and Bridget, 2012). The quantitative methods of data collection that will be used by the researcher include surveys and questionnaires. The main reason for the choice of quantitative approach depends on the realism of the whole process, which emanates from the fact that the quantitative research method exploits the primary data as opposed to the qualitative method, which makes its results more reliable and accurate (Teo, 2014). The development and application of theories, mathematical models, and hypotheses related to teenager's internet moral issues will be the main objective of the quantitative approach. According to this case, the measurement process will be necessary because it proposes a substantial relationship as well as a relationship between empirical observations and quantitative relationships that can be expressed mathematically (Martin and Bridges, 2012).

Furthermore, a review of published articles will be conducted to enhance an effective comprehension of the closest relationship between internet usage and moral issues among teenagers. Moreover, in-depth research will be performed on the internet from recognized sources to assist in understanding the impact of internet usage on moral values among teenagers.

Quantitative research will be significant as it will assist in the comprehensive investigation of various aspects of internet usage among teenagers as well as the associated moral issues (Teo, 2014). The meaning of the result will then examined and expressed through text and data.


Ardi, Z., Viola, K., & Sukmawati, I. (2018). An Analysis of Internet Abuses Impact on Children's Moral Development. JPPI (Jurnal Penelitian Pendidikan Indonesia), 4(1), 44. https://doi.org/10.29210/02018192

Austin, W., and Totaro, M. W. (2011). High School Students’ Academic Performance and Internet Usage. Journal of Economics and Economic Education Research, Vol. 12(1); pp. 41-54. Retrieved from https://www.alliedacademies.org/articles/high-school-students-academic-performance-and-internet-usage.pdf

Flores, A., & James, C. (2012). Morality and ethics behind the screen: Young people’s perspectives on digital life. New Media & Society, 15(6), 834-852. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444812462842

Hokke, S., Hackworth, N., Quin, N., Bennetts, S., Win, H., & Nicholson, J. et al. (2018). Ethical issues in using the internet to engage participants in family and child research: A scoping review. PLOS ONE, 13(9), e0204572. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0204572

Kakkar, N. Ahuja, J., and Dahiya, P. (2014). Influence of Internet Addiction on the Academic Performance and Mental Health of College Students. An international peer-review and referred. Scholarly research journal for interdisciplinary studies. Vol-3/21. Retrieved from http://www.srjis.com/pages/pdfFiles/14671930947%20NIDHI%20KAKKAR.pdf

Kim, H. (2016). The impact of online social networking on adolescent psychological well-being (WB): a population-level analysis of Korean school-aged children. International Journal Of Adolescence And Youth, 22(3), 364-376. https://doi.org/10.1080/02673843.2016.1197135

Kirschner, P. A., and Karpinski, A. C. (2009). Facebook® and Academic Performance. The Open University of the Netherlands, the Ohio State University. http://personal.denison.edu/~matthewsn/facebook%20and%20academic%20performance.pdf

Mami, S., and Hatami-Zad, A. (2014). Investigating the effect of Internet Addiction on Social Skills and in High School Students' Achievement. International J. Soc. Sci. & Education. Vol.4 (Special Issue), pp; 56-61. ISSN: 2223-4934 E and 2227-393X Print. Retrieved from http://ijsse.com/sites/default/files/issues/2014/v4-i4-2014/Paper-7.pdf

Martin, E. & Bridgmon, K. (2012) Quantitative and Statistical Research Methods: From Hypothesis to Results, 1. Aufl. edn, Jossey-Bass, Somerset. Retrieved from https://b-ok.africa/book/2557032/307df9?regionChanged=&redirect=1673765

Ngoumandjoka, U. (2012). Correlation between Internet Usage and Academic Performance among University Students. University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Retrieved from https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/39671756.pdf

Rickert, B. (2001). Adolescent cyber surfing for health information: a new resource that crosses barriers. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 155, 813- 817. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/11905843_Adolescent_cybersurfing_for_health_information_A_new_resource_that_crosses_barriers

Samuel, N. O. (2010). An Evaluation of Internet Usage among Senior Secondary School Students in Public Schools in Lagos State. Retrieved https://core.ac.uk/reader/158318932

Teo, T. (2014) Handbook of Quantitative Methods for Educational Research, Brill | Sense, Rotterdam. Retrieved from https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9789462094048

TĂĽrel, Y. K. & Muhammet, Toraman, M. (2015). The Relationship between Internet Addiction and Academic Success of Secondary School Students. Anthropologist, 20(1, 2): 280-288. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=5094&context=libphilprac

Yesilyurt, E., Basturk, R., Yesilyurt & Kara, I. (2014). The Effect of Technological Devices on Student’s Academic Success: Evidence from Denizli. Journal of Internet and Application Management. Vol. 5(1), pp; 39-47. Retrieved from https://academicjournals.org/journal/ERR/article-full-text-pdf/292023541377

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