In today’s technology age, internet use is highly prevalent in our everyday lives. With high -speed connection and easy accessibility, the internet permeates the way we function at work, school and even in entertainment (i.e., social media, gaming). As we become more dependent on technology, excessive internet use can be a common issue today. In 2020, Singapore has the 3rd highest internet penetration rate in Southeast Asia (Statista, 2021). With higher internet usage, this brings the need for cyber wellness which refers to the positive well-being of internet users.
In this new era of technology and internet, it is here to stay and progress further. But as human beings we are becoming more and more dependent on technology. The change that internet is bringing into our lives can sometimes become overwhelming. Cyber wellness is a pressing issue these days. Cyber wellness refers to the positive wellbeing of internet users.
Affordable Counselling for Cyberwellness Issues Singapore
Affordable help for your cyber wellness issues
We need to understand the potential risks of harmful online behaviour and ways to protect ourselves from such behaviours. We need to learn skills that can help us create a positive climate and be responsible for our actions on the internet.
We need to understand the risk involving harmful online behaviour and ways to protect ourselves from such behaviours. The three main principles on which cyber wellness operates are:
The three main principles of cyber wellness are:
- Respect for self and others
- Safe and responsible use
- Positive peer influence
Cyber wellness issues may concern both children, youth, and adults with the younger groups at higher risk of these consequences:
In Singapore, a Global DQ Report in 2018 showed that children spend 35-45 hours weekly on their digital services. This gives more reason for parents to be aware of their children’s online activity. 43% of children were polled as victims of cyber bullying in Singapore. This effects adult also as much as it effects children. Most of the victims are not able to come forward out of fear and this results in adverse effect on their self-esteem to the extent that they may start experiencing social anxiety, depression and can even have suicidal ideation.
Mostly the cases related to children are highlighted but it is as much problem for adults as it is for children. Issues that can hinder cyber wellness are:
Overcoming cyber addiction is another main component of cyber wellness. This can be classified under different names like gaming addiction, phone addiction or internet addiction. This cannot be just indicated by counting the number of hours spending on some form of digital device as these days for most of the people, its their work requirement. Some sign and symptoms that can assess the negative impact are:
- Internet crimes
- Social media exploitation
- Privacy violation
- Internet addiction
- Identity theft
- Cyber bullying
- Malicious software
- Number of hours spent on cyber activities are affecting one’s real-life commitments.
- One’s physical health is getting effected.
- One’s emotional health is getting effected.
- The people around us are getting effected.
In Singapore, an annual survey on Info communications Usage in 2019 found that about 80% of children aged 7 years or less have used the internet. This percentage increased to 99% for those aged 14 and under. A Global DQ Report in 2018 also showed that children spend 35-45 hours weekly on their digital services. Given that children are highly exposed to technology, they are at risk of being cyber bullying victims. About 43% of children in Singapore were polled as victims of cyber bullying. As such, parents need to be more aware to monitor their children’s online activity. It is important that cyber bullying victims tackle this problem early as it may have adverse effects on self-esteem and other mental health issues such as social anxiety, depression and can even have suicidal ideation.
These symptoms can further affect us by triggering insomnia, Depression, Anxiety, poor anger management or poor grades/work performance.
Unfortunately, cutting us off from internet and digital devices is not a realistic option. But it is important to look out for signs and symptoms around us if someone is getting effected in their cyber space. Counselling programmes targeted at cyber related crimes are also considered beneficial. The exposure and engagement with internet brings its own risk however we should always keep in mind that help is available and many support channels are there to acknowledge it.
Cyber wellness also involves overcoming cyber addiction. Cyber addiction can involve excessive use over gaming, phone, or the internet. Excessive use may be indicated not just by the total number of hours spent in a day as people may also engage their devices for work purposes. Some characteristics of cyber addiction may be:
- Spending a significant number of hours spent on cyber activities outside of work or school
- Unable to control or limit usage even if they tried to
- Cyber activities interfere with completion of day-to-day activities (i.e., work, important decisions, socialising) resulting in poor work/school performance
- Physical health affected (i.e., insomnia, vision problems, body aches)
- Emotional health affected (i.e., sudden changes in mood, aggressive behaviour, irritability)
- Relationships get impacted as cyber activities take up more time than that spent on spending quality time with important others
Although these consequences are detrimental, simply cutting off from the internet and digital devices is not a realistic option. Instead, counselling programmes targeted at cyber well-being may be beneficial to helping us manage cybercrimes. Counselling may offer us the following skills to help us cope with cyber-related issues:
- Cope with problematic psychological content
- Cognitive behavioural therapy to manage negative thoughts about ourselves on the internet
- Improve self-esteem
- Learn effective ways to deal with negative comments or behaviours
- Emotion regulation
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Before it gets worst, let us help you process and validate your cyberwellness concerns and possible trigger factors that contributes to your cyberwellness challenges. We will explore effective coping skills, communication skills, addiction management as well as mediating the various miscommunication or misunderstanding that will help you excel better in your life to handle expectations or responsibilities effectively.
Before it gets worst, let us help you process and validate your feelings, identify triggers, stressors, and contributing factors that may have put you in distress leading to you engaging in your behaviour that influence your cyberwellness. We will explore effective coping skills, stress and behavioural management skills or solutions that will help you excel better to meet your daily life demands and responsibilities effectively.
This article uses material from WebMD and other useful references for cyberwellness issues. The article is for use of reference and information only, for specific diagnoses and treatment, please reach out to our licensed and/or certified professionals.