"Internet addiction to be named a disease - Sun, Mar 28, 2010 China Daily/Asia News Network
Addiction to the Internet, which has plagued many users among young Chinese, is expected to be regarded as a disease, Guangzhou Daily reported.
The Ministry of Health is conducting research on Internet addiction, which is to be named 'pathological Internet use', Shen Jiahong, director of the Guangzhou Baiyun Psychological Institute, said.
Nearly 50 percent of teenaged delinquents in south China's Guangdong province are Internet-dependent, according to Deng Weilong, head of the Guangdong team on the prevention of teenaged crimes."
An interesting development. I wondered what type of crimes do the 'Internet addicted' teenagers commit that made them teenaged delinquents or most of them just missed school and failed at school examination. Subsequently turned to crime to maintain their addiction just like the drug dependent addicts and other addicts of gambling, drinking, etc...
Lessons for me are:
1. Internet is one of the greatest invention in the past decade. It has really fundamentally changed a lot of people lives' with the ease of accessing information anywhere and anytime. It applies to people contributing to the body of information - validity not guaranteed. At the same time, it also allowed many unscrupulous but technical savvy people to explore the young and innocents, the greedy, the weak minded, and/or the uninitiated;
2. young people must be educated on the danger of addiction and how to detect the sign of an addict and how to help himself of herself from being sucked into it. The parents and teachers must also be taught the same things so that the young people and their minders are on the same page for Internet addiction prevention and treatment can be done effectively without creating a 'they vs. us' situation!;
3. forming an unhealthy habit is easy while breaking one will be very difficult. So, prevention is the best solution. In China, the proliferation of Internet cafes can be policed if the local security (police) really want to set curfew and limit on when the customers can patronize such establishment. Of course, the operators must want to play by the rules too. It will have to be an integrated and holistic approach involving all participants in the 'commercial value chain' to work as partners. Attitudes like: 'you are cutting off my customer sources' must not be allowed to take root. Business people in this field will have to realize that 'addicted Internet young users' is NOT good for the community. Don't suck them dry! Make some money on them but NOT all day long!!