We’re seeing an increasing number of reports that mental health professionals are looking at Internet addiction as just that- an addiction, requiring assistance to break the habit. We’re also seeing a number of reports that various governing bodies are taking steps to limit Internet usage by young people. We’ve even seen a recent report that Bill Gates limits his oldest child’s on-line time to 45 minutes a day on weekdays and 1 hour a day on weekends, exclusive of homework.
Now comes word (via MSNBC) of some of the methods that Chinese authorities are using to reform Internet addicts and they range from banning young people from Internet cafes to what is described as mild shock therapy. The tough approach is no different there than how other addictions are treated. But it certainly makes you take a look at the issue in a different light.
So here’s the question for GBM readers. What are your thoughts on Internet addiction? Is it real? Is it a “grave social problem” as the Chinese believe? Does it require intervention like treatment? I’m just curious.