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Gadget Addiction in Teenage
Start date: Sep 1, 2016, End date: Mar 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

In a digital era, a new gadget appears every second. In these conditions, gadgets addiction is installing very easily, especially among the youngsters. The causes are diverse: the society consumerism model, the stress, the need of freedom, control and self-trust, moments of existential crisis, or helplessness in changing the course of things. On long term, the effects of gadgets addiction are the dysfunction of movement abilities and biorhythm, a lower ability of self-control, the decrease of self-esteem, hyperactivity, exhaustion, loneliness, depression, anxiety, the decrease of focus ability, psychosis. At school level, missing classes, low school results and school dropout are alarming.Either it is a behavioral problem (according to the common point of view) or an illness (as many doctors and researchers in neurology state), opportunities for these youngsters or their families to receive help must be created. The help we can offer is an educational one. This is a reason why 15 organizations (NGOs, schools, parents associations, from 12 European countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and United Kingdom) conceived the project “Gadget addiction in teenaged”, whose goal is to familiarize 30 youth workers with a non-formal educational “therapy” so as to be able to help the gadgets addicted teenagers find alternative solutions to their problem.GATE objectives are: developing the knowledge in the field of gadgets addiction, finding out and experimenting solutions used in psychology/ psychotherapy which exist in a non-formal education or can be adapted to it, creating non-formal solutions (activities, exercises, instruments) to diminish the gadget addiction problem, planning and applying a Support-programme at local level for teenagers and their families/ community which will consist in informing and raising awareness of the community, creating GAF-Net (Gadget Addiction Free Network), educational counseling activities. GATE activities which will lead to the accomplishment of the objectives are: exploring the addiction concept, identifying the causes and effects of gadgets addiction as well as the already existing solutions (harm reduction programs, anti-gadgets etc.), exploring alternative solutions to gadgets use, analyzed according to the causes which provoke addiction, activities aiming the development of the youth workers creativity, designing a Support-programme for gadget-addicted teenagers.The selected methods are specific to non-formal education: icebreaking, knowing-each-other exercises, trust exercises, reflection exercises, oral and PP presentations, group discussions, seminar, graphic facilitation, open space, round table, mind-mapping, workshops, learning café, simulations, Disney strategy; watching short movies. We will also use psychological instruments and methods (behavioral activation technique, decision making training, narrative therapy), which can be “translated” in non-formal educational methods.Both on short and long term, the results will be significant: the systemic knowledge of addiction phenomenon, the ability of working with instruments able to diminish the gadget addiction problem, the development of creativity and initiative spirit by planning and adapting solutions of addiction reduction, the developing of a proactive behavior towards the gadget addiction problem. GATE foresees a large and sustainable impact. At local level, the participant organizations will positively influence the work with youths by applying the sport program and by initiating GAF-Net (which will become multipliers for the project idea - limiting the use of gadgets). The local community will become more sensitive to this problem. The impact will also be manifested upon the non-formal and formal educational systems (NGOs, schools) as well as upon other stakeholders (parents’ associations, local educational and administrative authorities) in order to develop common activities and programs for diminishing the use of gadgets by teenagers. The youth work will improve by promoting the ideas of equality, respect for the others, social cohesion and European citizenship.The project „Gadget Addiction in Teenage”, which aims to develop a prior successful project, „Reset Adolescence for Success!”, is original through its systemic perspective upon the gadgets addiction problem, through a better understanding of the relationship between psychology and non-formal education in youth work and through the Support-programme to be developed at local level for the gadget-addicted teenagers. All these will have a substantial benefic effect on long term and will contribute to the well-being of both teenagers and those who wish to help them.

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