Lately I’ve been finding it hard to write about any one thing; there are so many ideas and stories passing in and out of my brain. This new technology-based environment is still in its infancy, and I think we need to learn how to live within it in a way that keeps ourselves healthy in mind, body and spirit. With the Internet has come twenty-four hour access to media of multiple varieties; there’s websites, blogs, podcasts, video and video blogs, online television, News sites, online shopping, video games, chat rooms, tutorial sites, wikis, forums, cybersex, porn…I’m sure the list goes on much further.
All this can be somewhat overstimulating if you dive in headfirst as I have. When I go to write about one specific topic a whole plethora of other meems invade my mind. The fact that a so-called developing country like China has camps to treat the younger generation for Internet addiction attests to the fact that I’m not alone on this issue. Have a look at this New York Times article, ‘Chinese boot camps tackle Internet addiction’.
‘Concerned by a number of high-profile Internet-related deaths and juvenile crime, the government is now taking steps to stem Internet addictions by banning new Internet cafés and mulling restrictions on violent computer games.’ On occasion, this virtual world seems to have gotten out of hand (or out of some people’s minds), ‘In 2005, a Shanghai court handed a life sentence to an online game player who stabbed a competitor to death for stealing his cyber-sword — a virtual prize earned during game-playing.’
In China, ‘with education perceived by many parents as the only means of advancement in an ultracompetitive society of 1.3 billion people’… it is believed by some that, ‘The main cause of Internet addiction is that parents’ expectations for their children are too high.’ ‘Internet addiction rates posted in Western studies vary wildly, with little consensus as to what constitutes addiction and whether the concept exists.’ What are your thoughts on the matter?