Chinese Authorities Start To Understand That 'Internet Addiction' Is A Sign Of Deeper Issues

from the put-the-shock-treatment-away dept

Chinese authorities have long viewed "internet addiction" as a real problem for the country's youth, even though some research says that in and of itself, internet addiction isn't really a clinical disorder. The government classifies 13 percent of the country's 20 million internet users under 20 as addicts, and it's tried some radical approaches to "curing" them, such as shock therapy and detox units with electric acupuncture and drugs. It's also tried some other, less invasive, ways to get kids offline, by limiting net cafes and forcing game companies to cut back the points games award after certain periods of time. The problem with all of these methods, though, is that they only seek to stop people from spending a lot of time online; they don't attempt to do anything about the underlying reasons and problems causing them to want to do so. When a halfway house for young internet addicts was opened in China, their first visitor was a 17-year-old with some problems at home, so he talked to a psychologist and the house's staff went to his house to talk with him and his parents. It seemed like the kid was going online as a means of avoiding or dealing with the issues in his home life, and fixing those issues is where the focus should be, not on trying to keep him offline through aversion therapy. It now looks like this message might be starting to sink in, as word comes that authorities in China are opening an experimental summer camp for 40 supposedly net-addicted kids, where they'll be treated for depression and other underlying issues that could be prompting them to spend inordinate amounts of time online. So-called internet addiction, in many cases, isn't an ailment, but just a symptom of some deeper problem. Working to solve that problem is the real solution, rather than the band-aid approach of "curing" the addiction.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  

    'Internet Addiction' , Sign Of Deeper Issues?

    Hello:

    This is one of the glaring hallmarks of a totalitarian regime: it is always seeking absolute power over its people because it never gets enough.

    Speaking of addiction, what can be more addictive than power?

    So, it is an irony that the Chinese government claims its
    13% of its citizens are internet addicts who need a cure, whereas the truth could be that it is the government who is driving its citizens mad and the internet is simply one outlet for them to get fresh air.

    Chinese government should stop abusing the rights of its citizens or else the whole world should begin boycotting Chinese made goods and cut off trade relationships.

    Although human beings belong to different ethnic groups, races, countries and political ideologies but we are all parts of one humanity and when anyone anywhere is abused in any way, the rest of the parts of humanity should rise and speak up and take action to stop it.

    Human beings are all connected together.

    We are all one, living in different bodies, regions, countries and political systems.

    We must look out for each other and protect ourselves from political criminals addicted to power, who enjoy abusing its citizens in every way.

    Ikey Benney

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    A L Flanagan, Aug 8th, 2007 @ 4:52am

    They need to get off the #$@#@!@# Internet...

    and start planning a damn revolution.

    Oops, did I say that out loud?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2007 @ 5:20am

    Akward...

    For a country with a leadership structure like China to experiment with such a way to help these kids. But I do wonder what happens to the kids that blame the government's oppressive methods for why they do the things they do...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Ajax 4Hire, Aug 8th, 2007 @ 5:38am

    Shock the monkey; shock the monkey tonight.

    Pain will only teach you ways to avoid pain.

    A new pathway is found once the connection to the desired is reached without pain.

    Using pain as a motivator is like pushing a pencil.
    It will work in the short term, moving the pencil in the right direction but it is not stable.

    Pain will only teach you ways to avoid pain.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Amazed, Aug 8th, 2007 @ 8:35am

    HOLY CRAP! The Chinese figured out the problem before the United States did! In the U.S. we are still claiming that computer addiction and whatnot is a disease just like gaming causes violence. This really is a shocker!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Shalkar, Aug 8th, 2007 @ 11:15am

    My Opinion is:

    I completely agree with Ikey Benney. Honstely, I think China should be treated like Cuba. I honestly don't understand why it wasn't done at the same time other than the fact that China is actually strong. As opposed to Cuba anyways. We're having to recall all kinds of stuff from China. Look at all the toys that come from there. It use to be only the cheap, one dollar toys that you would have to worry about being recalled for things like lead paint. now it's going on to other things! We need to at the very least heavily tax things incoming from China. Want your factories in China because it's sooooo much cheaper? Guess what. You're going to get reamed with taxes that more than make up for the money you're "saving".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Shihku, Aug 8th, 2007 @ 10:50pm

    Re: 'Internet Addiction' , Sign Of Deeper Issues?

    Trade embargoes hurt regular citizens, not the government. See Burma, Iraq , Cuba, etc. Better find another way to protest the government, dude.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    TJ, Aug 14th, 2007 @ 3:12pm

    Trade embargoes FTW!

    I think the US should stop trading with China, and Canada, and Mexico, and France, and everybody else... then dissipate into nothingness...
    I'm sorry, but I find the attitudes in some of these comments completely ridiculous.
    None of these articles have said anything about these programs being forced upon unwilling citizens with the guise of being for "addicts". From what I've read they are for teens with concerned (and often wealthy) parents.
    And although I agree that China certainly has some issues with their governmental policies, you Americans should be looking in your own backyards before you start calling other countries 'totalitarian states'. I mean, your forcing governments on other countries, and your practically living in one yourself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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