Electric Acupuncture To Cure Internet Addiction?
from the ok,-i'll-log-off-now,-thanks dept
We're always a bit skeptical of stories talking about "internet addiction" as it seems like people have a bit of an addiction to calling people addicts about just about anything -- usually to boost a doctor's business in "curing" addicts. For the most part, the "addicts" in question are usually little more than people who need to learn better time and self-management skills. There are lots of things that people use all the time that are hardly worthy of the "addiction" label. The problem is only when any activity becomes destructive -- and that seems quite rare. Yes, there are a few examples of people staying online for days on end (and even dying), though usually associated with a game. In those cases, though, it usually seems like there are plenty of other indicators concerning the "problem" the person was facing, which may have been ignored. Over in China, for example, there's a story about popular new treatments for "internet addiction" that includes the story of a 13-year-old boy who often played a video game for two days straight, without eating or sleeping -- and then committed suicide. His father complains "I don't know how he got so lost." Well, leaving him alone to play a video game for two straight days without any food or sleep suggests that, perhaps, his parents weren't paying very much attention to him, and could indicate there were other issues in his life that he was trying to deal with. However, the rest of the article includes some other surprising statements about China's first internet addiction clinic -- which charges $1,000 for a two-week detox that includes electric acupuncture, counseling and drugs to help people quit their internet addiction. The article suggests this treatment is quite popular (and growing even more so over time), yet nowhere does it indicate how the clinic establishes if someone has a real problem, or if they're just someone who finds the internet, you know, useful.