Can You Legislate Away Internet Addiction?

from the China's-gonna-try dept

A little over a year ago, China tried to limit how much time people spent playing video games by mandating that games get harder after 3 straight hours of use. After plenty of complaints, they backed down and said the rule would only apply to those under 18. Some of the reports noted that this was really a way for the Chinese government to try to keep people out of internet cafes, as they have less ability to control what people do online in the cafes (though, it doesn’t stop them from wandering around the cafes staring over peoples’ shoulders to see what they’re doing). The latest is that they’re now working on legislation to ban anyone under 16 from going into an internet cafe. The official reasoning, however, isn’t about the cafes, but about how this is a way to stop internet addiction. Of course, this is also the same country that set up a detox house for internet addicts — so maybe they’re onto something.

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Comments on “Can You Legislate Away Internet Addiction?”

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Ajax 4Hire (profile) says:

I'm first; legislation never cured anything.

You cannot legislate good behavior.
YOu can only punish bad behavior.

Legislation is only one of the steps to integration of an idea or concept into society.

Good Idea,
Early Adoption;
Wide Adoption,
Family and small group acceptance;
Commercial or Institutional acceptance;
Country-wide (Legislation) adoption;
Universally/Globally accepted;
Integrated into stories, lore, myths;
Acceptance into Religious circle;
Instituted into Religious beliefs.

Smoking cigarettes, Car seat-belts, Drug use; washing your hands; Prayer of thanks before a meal can all be slotted onto the scale.

Ryan (profile) says:

great idea

no seriously… if we banned the internet from everybody under 16, we wouldn’t hear about all these “protect the children blame myspace” type news articles.

We could remove 1/3 of every day’s newspaper cuz pedophiles couldn’t prey on kids, and kids couldn’t get in trouble.

This is a great idea.

Almost as good as locking them all up in jail until they’re old enough to serve in the military.

Jason says:

It is nobodies business but the person in question as to how much time they spend on the internet, or where they go and what they do for that matter. A government that censors/legislates everything is a government that fears its citizens. A government that fears its citizens is a BAD government, that has evil plots up its sleeve. You better get used to it, though. It won’t be long before we are sitting here in the USA thinking “damn, didn’t I used to have freedom? What the hell happened?” Government is the cause of all problems, and never the solution. China, good luck keeping your people in the dark. In the 21st century, it is going to be very difficult.

SimplyGimp says:

Pointless Legislation

We shouldn’t be writing laws to get rid of anything addictive. At the base of human behavior, we’re letting the government make choices for us, removing big points of responsibility from our lives. It’s because of this that we continue to even talk about allowing the gov to make legislation over this type of crap.

If someone is so damn pathetic that they are actually mentally addicted to THE INTERNET, so let it be. They probably belong online and off the streets anyway. And as for kids, I’m sorry, but the Gov shouldn’t be our kid’s parents either. It’s time for the REAL parents to maybe take some freaking responsibility over their children and MAYBE tell them “NO” when the kid wants to play longer on their game or online.

But of course all of this would require, like stated above, that people do things for themselves. Sadly, there’s not the road we’re headed down. We keep giving up responsibility in governing ourselves over to the Gov and we are now seeing what that’s worth. The problem won’t fix itself either. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see if this country starts growing up and acting like adults, instead of looking to the Gov like a bunch of children each time we’re presented with a problem.

misanthropic humanist says:

six of one

To pick up on a point I see recurring throughout the threads on this site…

Yes, we can learn a lot about the evils of our own authoratarian big government by reading between the lines of stories about China, Iran
and other favorite targets of the tin-pot America crusaders.

The double standards we employ when reading and writing about other cultures betray our own disaffection and contempt for the very values we make a show of upholding.

For example, when are we going to admit that the United States is no longer a “democracy”? After next week, or when the troops come out on the streets and Bush gets his martial law?

I think it is one of the greatest emerging myths of the 21st Century that we are a uniquely free, uncensored, and democratically empowered society while others are backwards and brutal.

The unrelenting reiteration of that message is I suggest part of a propaganda campaign to smokescreen the very erosion of those qualities of western life.

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