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Internet Addiction: An emerging epidemic?

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Electronic Heroin: internet addiction in China and the truth about its brutal “cures”

 

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“The accessibility of the Internet is always a double-edged sword for not only providing convenient access to information but also creating an entirely new addiction: Internet addiction disorder (IAD). This condition has caused serious trouble for netizens of all ages it has impaired social interaction, created financial debt and caused academic failure and in China there are few more terrifying things than academic failure. This is the main reason why IAD has provoked extensive concerns in China, where parents care so much about how many A’s their child can get on their grade sheet.

 

After persuasions and violence fails, parents ironically turn to the almighty Internet itself, hoping for a solid answer. But simple research online leads to pages of advertisements for “Internet addiction camps.” These camps are an expensive last resort for many parents who have no idea how to deal with their child’s growing addiction. The documentary Web Junkie gives us a peek to one of the most famous of these camps, China Youth Psychology Development Base, located in Beijing. It’s a tough movie to watch and shows the extent that Chinese parents and doctors are willing to go to cure this addiction to ‘electronic heroin.’ ”

 

From  http://haogamers.com/blog/2015/06/30/electronic-heroin-internet-addiction-in-china-and-the-truth-about-its-brutal-cures/

 

 

Also…..

 

Internet-addicted South Korean children sent to digital detox boot camp

 

South Korea has the highest rate of internet addiction in the world and it is increasingly the country's children who are spending every waking moment immersed in fantasy role play or gaming.

 

The government sees it as a national health crisis and is now taking drastic measures to help the country’s 2 million addicts. They have set up a network of boot camps across the nation to offer the kids of Korea a digital detox. In the remote and pristine mountains of South Korea, about as far away as one can get from the country's high-tech cities, teenage internet addicts are turning up for a 12-day boot camp.

 

Kyle Won's addiction is out of control. He spends 10 hours a day on the internet. He was top of his class and now he has dropped out of his final year of high school. His mother Han Jin Sook brought him to the camp as a last resort. "He's become aggressive and angry and stressed towards people. He used to listen to us but now he doesn't," she said.

 

Kyle's smartphone is taken away, locked up for safekeeping and then it is goodbye to his parents and to cyberspace. "I'm really worried because I won't have my phone for 12 days but I trust other things will fill my time," he said.

 

About a dozen teenage boys live, eat, sleep at the camp and every day starts with exercises. At first the councillors encourage human interaction to get them socialising again; for many the only friends they have had are online. Kyle, 18, said this was a problem for him. "I have relationships on the internet and a real distance has grown with my personalised friends and I know it's not good," he said.

 

One of the basic ideas at the camp is to rebuild connections back to the real world and weaken ties to the virtual one to reclaim a childhood lost to the computer. The job of the councillors here is to get the kids to think about a future beyond the smartphone or iPad; to show them other possibilities and ultimately to try and bring back dreams and hopes that have been buried by their addictions.

 

Councillor Shim Yong Chool said what the boys learned at camp had to be applied back in the home environment if treatment was to be successful. "We teach them methods to self-manage their emotions and the desire to use the internet so they can continue to use them when they go back home," Shim said.

 

The boys also undergo intense one-on-one counselling to work out any underlying causes of addiction like family conflicts or personality issues.

 

One in every 10 South Korean child an addict

 

South Korean psychiatrists are urging more action as they are finding evidence too much screen time is damaging developing brains. Professor Kang Seak Young from Dankook University said the addiction was damaging critical thinking. "It effects the frontal lobes which are important for critical analysis," Kang said. "Reading a book where one is guessing what happens in the story next shows activity in frontal lobes but playing internet games shows no activity."

 

The camp may not offer a cure but after just two days Kyle said it was helping. "It's a step forward, I'm living without the internet and I do have an expectation, through the group exercises and counselling, that when I go home it will have an impact and I won't use the internet as much," he said.

 

South Korea is most wired nation on Earth. Virtually every home is connected with cheap high-speed broadband. But it does have a cost — one on 10 kids are addicts — so the country is now learning how to manage and moderate its high-tech future.

 

(from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-13/south-korean-children-seek-help-at-digital-detox-boot-camp/6769766 )

 

 

And from the medical profession…….

 

Internet addiction: a 21st century epidemic?

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2972229/

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One thing that has led me down a dark hole during my more anxious periods in the past is the similarly emergent "cybercondria" i.e. one punches in a symptom and uncovers a myriad of "experts" on the internet who have literally no idea what they're talking about. Nonetheless, one trusts them and, very suddenly, "has" an incurable disease....

 

There was an HBO documentary awhile back about a young South Korean couple whose baby starved to death while they were in a gaming cafe for hours and hours. It sounds so heinous, and indeed it is, but when you watch some of it you really see that these people are just inept, entranced zombies. 

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I think this says a lot more about the deep-seated drive people in modern societies have for escapism than it does about the internet itself.

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There are certainly a lot more things to distract young-uns (and not so young-uns) from dealing with "Real Life" these days.

Social Media/Video Games/Constantly Downloading Music or Videos !!!

 

Here in the UK, the Authorities are thinking of Banning kids from taking their Mobile Phones into School, as too many pupils get distracted by texts etc during Lesson time !! :blink:

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a big problem is the snapshot nature of scanning things on the internet and the ease at which we can have pretty much whatever we want at the click of our fingertips is leading to a breakdown of our concentration faculty. the instant gratification issue is a big problem for people's ability to have patience, tolerance. we're in our own little worlds so much that many are losing their connection to reality, let alone what truly matters.

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Re:

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"Here in the UK, the Authorities are thinking of Banning kids from taking their Mobile Phones into School, as too many pupils get distracted by texts etc during Lesson time !! :blink:"

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In many places now, children are being given iPads by their school district.

 

This iPad is basically a big cell phone/wireless device.

 

"School" is actually the State and the State is actually Corporations - will they truly interrupt themselves in their electronic access to your children?

 

Or, will it increase?

 

 

-VonKrankenhaus

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Uh, who are the parents, who are the children?  As a parent I can take away my kids smart phone.  I can make make sure they don't have one in the first place.  I can take away there ipad, computer and turn off the internet in the house. 

 

I see this as a fault of bad, overly liberal parenting.  Say no, earlier.  If you are strict, and your children know they can't have everything they want, that there are rules they have to follow as long as they're living in under your roof, you may avoid such problems.

 

We're slipping now with our 3rd kid, but we mostly had a no electronics except for homework, meaning no TV, computers, tablets etc., Monday through Thursday. 

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"Uh, who are the parents, who are the children?  As a parent I can take away my kids smart phone.  I can make make sure they don't have one in the first place.  I can take away there ipad, computer and turn off the internet in the house."

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The scene I described consists of the school district signing on to a program (and getting tax reimbursements & other incentives for doing this) to give children iPads which they will use for almost all school work they do.

 

If the parent takes away the iPad, the kid loses access to their school work.

 

Of course, like a Trojan Horse, this gives the children access to games, facebook, and all the stuff kids are being trained to essentially become addicted to in this concept of "internet addiction".

 

Programs like this always seem to start with "under-privledged" areas where giving a kid a trendy wireless computing device is seen as all kinds of good things it may not really be.

 

After tossing it into a context like that, it will no doubt be expanded to other areas and become standard procedure.

 

Very much this messes with parental control of internet use.

 

Meanwhile, in an interview Steve Jobs and his wife said their children had never used an iPhone and were not allowed to, and that they did very much restrict their access to technology products theirs and other companies make.

 

So here we have low-end school districts foaming at mouth to get something that the guy responsible for it would not even let his own children use.

 

 

 

-VonKrankenhaus

Edited by vonkrankenhaus

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Some Busy Parents used to let the vids watch the (only) TV in the Living Room, whilst they cooked etc.

These days almost every kid has a TV or a PC / Tablet or Mobile Phone which they can watch in their own room, or almost anywhere else.

Luckily all of my (step) children are now Adults themselves.

 

Their kids will probably come with in-built HUD's !! :D

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My youngest is an avid gamer.  At a certain time I take his Ipad away (Our school district has gone ipad, personally I don't like it) and he cannot use the computer.  I don't allow computers or TV's in bedrooms.  He needs to get his homework done by then or explain why its not, and get an extension.  If he doesn't and gets bad grades there are consequences.   Its a parental discipline thing. 

 

As the parent.  Its my job to explain expectations, support dreams and set up boundaries. 

 

What I'm getting at is if we're playing the blame game.  First I blame the parents, they should set up rules.  Next the kid himself.  Schools, corporations, society, may share some blame, but they are not the top 2.  Plus it does little to blame them anyway.  I can't change them, but I can remedy the situation myself by making rules and enforcing them. 

 

When we did the no electronics (cept for school) Mon thru Thursday, it was a pain to enforce, until it got through to them, then it made life much much simpler. 

Edited by thelerner
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