Summer Camp for Chinese Internet Addicts

Internet Addicts

China is experimenting at ways of treating the massive problem of Internet addiction. The problem according to the Chinese state media (make of that source what you will) affects a staggering 13% of China’s 20 million Internet users. An experimental summer camp is being arranged to treat about 40 young and impressionable Internet addicts. At the camp they will be treated for a variety of personality problems that have stemmed from their addiction, including, “depression, fear, unwillingness to interact with others, panic and agitation (Reuters).” Chinese state media has not, to this author’s knowledge, given any form accurate definition as to what constitutes an Internet addiction. Certainly, the endless this author spends surfing the net would place him in serious need of some state sponsored reeducation.

Chinese authorities seem very concerned with the impact of the Internet. They have banned the opening of new cybercafés in addition to censoring video games and search engines. The Shanghai education commission, in an effort to boost the effectiveness of the camp has organized street patrols by groups of concerned citizens to prevent youngsters entering cybercafés.

While Internet addiction is a real problem for some people, 13% would seem to be a rather excessive exaggeration. It is without doubt that some people are afflicted with certain personality disorders that cause them to withdraw into the Internet and avoid human contact. Such behavior is exhibited by a very small number of people. While their actions do not harm other people, they do cause a degree of distress to their families. Perhaps a little summer holiday from technology can have a positive impact. You do, however, have to pity the poor kid who plays a couple of hours of World of Warcraft after school only to lose his Internet privileges and get hauled off to summer camp for his or her antisocial activities.

Source: Reuters 


About the author: C. S. Magor


C.S. Magor is the editor-in-chief and reporter at large for Uberreview and We Interrupt. He currently resides in a sleepy basin town in the Japanese countryside - where both his bank balance and the lack of space in his home are testament to his addiction to all things shiny.

Follow @csmagor on Twitter



Recent posts in Internet

  • Anon

    Probably because their life sucks. Like anything the reason is normally they don’t fit into society and need an escape. Or based on their personal abilities they are unable to conform to the rules of society. They most likely need more freedom and an ability to stand on their own two feet. After all that is what almost everyone wants, independence while maintaining ones integrity.

    Now though young people have to go to school and be very talented. If you are average there will be no job for you. If you are untalented it is expected that you cheat but not everyone wants to live that way. Most of the time it is the decent ones that will escape in games because they feel trapped in world they don’t belong in. It can be anyone, but it is because society lacks sustenance for their presence.

    You want a real cure that I know works. During the dot com boom everyone wanted to work. There was huge pay and business wanted anyone willing. I could have walked out of college average and found a decent job without fear. You could start on the bottom and be part of something special. If you did well you could make a lot of money and make your life better. You felt like you were going to make the world a better place. That is dead now in America. We don’t do anything anymore and you have to be the top of the class or very specialized with years of experience if you want a job. I hear it is the same in China now also, but maybe I am wrong.

    Today, the world is only for the super wealthy. They have the leverage to make more wealth, while the rest of us have none. We simply live to feed them their power. We carry them like parasites and I’m unsure there is any cure. Wouldn”t you want to escape prison?

    The only option left for most young Americans is to start their own business. That owe can work 3 to 5 part time McJobs in order to make ends meet. Or cut a few jobs and live in a commune like setting with zero personal space. It”s getting very old though. This isn”t living; it”s a half-life waiting to die.

    To bad. I miss the days when I dreamed I would be part of a team creating something. Now I dread waking up in the morning as I work for companies like WalMart. The games don’t work for me anymore. They kept me going for awhile through this half-life but not anymore. Something in society has to give or I’m simply going to break. Disgusting that the Chinese government interferes so much and know it isn”t to help them but to mold them into productive little workers to make China stronger. It isn”t about helping them, it”s about their power.

  • C. S. Magor

    Anon, I am very sorry that you feel that way about life. Sure, it is hard sometimes, but there are things that make it worth living. Just remember the old Fight Club mantra, “You are not your job…” and keep looking until you find something better.

    As for things like Internet addiction, I seriously doubt the Chinese government’s intention with “treating” it. It would appear that they are trying to demonize it and frighten the multitudes from ever using it. Think “Reefer Madness,” when you think about Internet addiction in China.

    As for me, I work two jobs. I am a high school teacher in Japan, I also write to make a few extra dollars, because teaching covers the needs but not the wants. I have done really horrible jobs in the past, now I have it fairly good.

    When it all gets to be too much, I go diving or mountain bike riding. I take a break from everything and come back refreshed.

    Now, while I doubt the intentions of the Chinese authorities in regard to the Internet, the concept in and of itself is not a bad one. Take kids who are spending a ridiculous amount of time online and get them doing some other things. Talk to them about why they feel the need to live out their lives at a keyboard. An online life is a poor substitute for a real one.


Post of the week