Do your kids suffer from Web-Addiction?

Beginning August 17th, children in China will be able to attend the “e Road Sunshine-Shanghai Teenager Network Addiction Comprehensive Treatment and Training Camp”, a 10 day summer camp event for youngsters addicted to the Internet. The organizer of the program reports if everything goes smoothly, they will set up a special hospital to treat the addicted group within the year.Top psychologists, network engineers and consultants will assist and diagnosis the 40 Internet addicted children. This particular program has a three-tiered platform which will hopefully cure Internet addiction within the year.

China offers tweens help for Internet Addiction – Internet Safety News – Internet Safety-For Our Children’s Sake

Mind-blowing, right?  While the rest of the world moves to web/internet inclusion through education, entertainment, marketing, socialization, etc… already we have wee younsters who need THERAPY for addiction.  Sigh.  Scary, scary.

To be honest, I probablly should go to that camp.  I’m online about 70% of my waking hours, and 80% of my waking hours using a computer (that last 10% is for offline work).  And when I’m not on my comp, I’m using my phone to check my emails, twitters, etc.  To be honest: my extended use of the internet is in direct reflection of my job, my enjoyment of my job, and the fact I’m wearing various occupational hats at my job.  I rarely answer my phone.  And I only use the internet from my phone if I’m stuck somewhere and need to check on work.  ANd as for the computer offline… I have a laptop that will never be connected to the internet, and is purely for writing (I think too fast for handwriting stories, but the time I finish a sentence, I’m already done with the chapter in my head). 

But I’m an adult.  I make the bed I lie in and am fully responsible for it.  The internet pays my bills (lol!!)

Kids?  Adults are responsible for kids.  Someone else is allowing a child to grow an addiction.  YIKES. 

There are a handful of children (one in particular) in my community that sign on in the morning, about 8ish, and don’t get off for longer than an hour until 10 pm.  Sometimes later.  On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day I had kids LIVE BLOGGING their holiday– what they ate for dinner, what their presents were, etc.  Yep.  10:30 pm on Xmas Eve, I’m online (instead of with my own family) screening comments for the wee ones chatting about their holiday excitement.  How exciting can it be when you spend the entire time online?  It’s a holiday!  Where is your family?  Sigh….

I know I should be one of the people encouraging kids to adapt wholeheartedly to the brand to help increase our stats & minutes & products & whatever… but at heart I’m a care-provider too… bonafied camp counselor.  And if a kid is spending far too much time doing one particular thing.. and not enjoying the rest that youth has to offer… I worry, and then I look at the parent.

Cell phones are already an addictive issue.  I watch the early 20-somethings.  They’re the first generation to have cell phones in high school.  I didn’t get mine until senior year of College– but I was one of few, and it wasn’t a fad (I did have a Zach Morris phone in my car through High School, but due to $$$ I rarely used it.  I learned to respect the restricted use.  Emergency only).  Anyway, so these 20-somethings will stop– MID SENTENCE in a convo with friends to answer their phone.  They’ll text while someone is talking to them.  It just baffles me.  Makes me feel old and crotchety, like “listen here youngster, I was talkin’ to ya…” 

Everyone I know my age, or older, are seperated enough from the cell phone to ignore it if it rings.  But these 20 somethings don’t even notice the fact they stop conversations to answer their phone.  They’re not being rude.  They’re obeying the technological call.  Instant gratification!  Tech is fast and needs me, real life is slow and can wait.  Phone 1st, real life 2nd. 

You can’t help but wonder if such behavior will also happen with the internet.  Sorry holiday… I got facebookin’ to do.  Sorry Grandma, I can’t listen to you speak because someone just twittered me. 

Anyway… sorry to ramble. Got on a tangent again.  It’s one of those Tuesdays. 

So what about you– what are your tech hang-ups… or inability to hang-ups (lol)??? What sayest thou regarding kid addiction?

  1. Internet Addiction
    August 8, 2007 at 12:33 pm

    You’re right, that is scary that kids would need therapy for an addiction. Who would have thought kids would be addicted to anything. It’s also very interesting that China of all countries has stepped up to curb the problem. This highlights the importance of family time. I grew up with a father that wouldn’t let me stay inside long enough to be addicted to any kind of electronics. Good post!

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