Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

China Defines Internet Addiction

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the one-more-addiction-to-the-list dept.

The Internet 201

narramissic writes "Three years after the first clinic dedicated to Internet addiction opened in Beijing, Chinese doctors have now officially defined it as an ailment. Those afflicted with this ailment spend six or more hours a day online and exhibit at least one of the following symptoms: difficulty sleeping or concentrating, yearning to be online, irritation, and mental or physical distress. Do you meet the criteria? You're in good company: About 10 percent of China's 253 million Internet users exhibit some form of addiction to the medium, and 70 percent of those people are young men, an official Xinhua News Agency report said."

cancel ×

201 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

First psot (5, Funny)

burtosis (1124179) | more than 5 years ago | (#25711745)

Does this mean I am addicted?

Yes (2, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#25711843)

How to tell if you are addicted to Slashdot:

You your recent posting history has more posts than days.

Re:First psot (1)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712877)

... how did this get modded off topic? Not only is it really the first post, but he actually makes a humorous reference to the story...

Anyway, I'm online 8 hours a day at work, but I wouldn't consider myself addicted in any way (although it's different when it's your job since you're generally doing work related stuff and not just sitting around playing WoW or whatever.) I don't fit the other criteria though and I have seen people who do. There definitely exists a possibility of becoming addicted to the internet but I don't see it becoming an issue for everyone. I've gone months with no internet access at all, as long as I've had a cell phone to stay in touch with people I really had no desire to go online. I know people who are the complete opposite though, they can't function if you take away their PC.

Re:First psot (0, Offtopic)

isBandGeek() (1369017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715059)

I think so. And I think I'm addicted to H2O... I just keep coming back for more. I have problems trying to concentrate or sleep without it, and am quite distressed without it.

What did that say? (4, Funny)

Dripdry (1062282) | more than 5 years ago | (#25711765)

I read that as "China Defends Internet Addiction".
I hear they also have a problem with youth in asia, but I've been assured that the government has the problem well in hand.

Re:What did that say? (2, Funny)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712333)

It's a disease! Just like teh gay!

Re:What did that say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25714339)

I finally get it....
I'm Chinese...That explains everything

Just One More Way for Them to Stop You (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25711791)

About 10 percent of China's 253 million Internet users exhibit some form of addiction to the medium, and 70 percent of those people are young men, an official Xinhua News Agency report said.

News Anchor: And in today's news, an unnamed Chinese dissident has been treated in Beijing for <sinister sounding voice>internet addiction</sinister sounding voice>. After monitoring his internet usage and anti-government e-mails through his ISP, the government was able to find the man and get him the help he needs at a special government run institution at a remote location for his own good. Let's hope he has a swift recovery ...

Just One More Way for Them to Misinterpret... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25712119)

Or:

News Anchor: It's boring being in China, with a lot of old codgers running everything who believe in freedom only for themselves. That's why people spend so much time on the internet, the window to the outside world.

Wow work related injury here I come (5, Funny)

Coraon (1080675) | more than 5 years ago | (#25711805)

I totally hope they have this in North America, I could totally go on workman's comp as my job requires me to be online all the time.

Re:Wow work related injury here I come (2, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25711909)

six or more hours a day online and exhibit at least one of the following symptoms: difficulty sleeping or concentrating, yearning to be online, irritation, and mental or physical distress.

I guess they'd be irritated and in physical distress after 6 or more hours on the internet, unless they were surfing with their laptop in the washroom ...

As for "work-related injury" - no problem. You get fired, lose your internet access, problem solved.

Re:Wow work related injury here I come (1)

shinmai (632532) | more than 5 years ago | (#25711959)

I would've guessed it'd be illegal to fire someone just because they suffered an injury at work.. I'd hope that America would have at least the same standard employee-protection laws as us Europeans.

Re:Wow work related injury here I come (4, Insightful)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712297)

Sure, they can't fire you over your injury.

But, hey, these last few weeks your productivity has been rather low, and, well, you don't mesh well with our corporate climate. We're going to have to let you go.

Re:Wow work related injury here I come (4, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712527)

"Internet addiction" is no more or less real than "Television addiction." Both have the same cure - TURN THE DAMN THING OFF!

Ditto for "XBox addiction", "Playstation addiction", "Wii addiction", "Gamers addiction", "SMS addiction". Turn it off. Can't turn it off? No problem - it's currently a self-correcting situation, since you'll end up not being able to afford your habit.

It's like people who weigh 600 pounds and say "I can't help it - it's glandular." No, it's not. It's from shoveling food into your face regardless of the consequences. Same thing with smokers. They go from "I can quit any time" to "I can't stop." We don't excuse drunk drivers because they decided to have one to many, we should do the same for other "lifestyle addictions."

I'm all for helping people who help themselves, not those who want to hide behind the "addiction" label as an excuse to do nothing. Look at how many lardos say they need gastric bypass surgery to lose weight ... while scoffing down their 3rd box of Twinkies and washing it down with their 4th gallon of soda pop. Here's a thought - make it illegal for anyone who's obese to buy or possess junk food. Ditto for the enablers - you know, the parents who also weigh 500 pounds and insist on shoveling sh*t down their kids' throats.

As for the "internet addicts", who gives a frak? They're antisocial slobs anyways. In times past, they would have been hooked on TV, or crack, to fill their hollow lives.

Sounds mean? Well, you know something - life can be mean. If you want to spend all your life glued to the internet, don't be surprised if nobody wants to hang around you in real life. You made your choice to be ultra-booooring. Just don't as me to help subsidize it.

Re:Wow work related injury here I come (1)

machine321 (458769) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712777)

You insensitive clod!

Re:Wow work related injury here I come (2, Insightful)

shiba_mac (415267) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712837)

Same thing with smokers. They go from "I can quit any time" to "I can't stop."

Smoke 20 a day for six months. Then try to stop. Maybe you'll be able to, but you won't think it's easy anymore.

Re:Wow work related injury here I come (2, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713095)

Same thing with smokers. They go from "I can quit any time" to "I can't stop."

Smoke 20 a day for six months. Then try to stop. Maybe you'll be able to, but you won't think it's easy anymore.

Never said it would be easy for someone - just that there is NO excuse, and that it is up to the individual to stop, not hide behind the "I'm addicted" excuse as a "justification" to DO NOTHING ABOUT IT.

How many people do we know ho complain every day about their MARRIAGE, but DO NOTHING ABOUT IT? They stay in a loveless relationship, rather than either trying to improve it, or leaving.

How many people do we know ho complain every day about their JOB, but DO NOTHING ABOUT IT? They don't look for another job, they don't send out resumes, they don't try to improve their current job by making the work environment better ... just bitch bitch bitch and it's always everyone else's fault.

How many people do we know ho complain every day about their LACK OF A SOCIAL LIFE, but DO NOTHING ABOUT IT? You suggest they go volunteer at verious places, and they go "that won't owrk!" You tell them to stop spending their free time at home on the stupid internet, but they say "that's all I have." You invite them to a party, and they say "I don't want to go" or "I'm too busy" - doing what? Sitting at home doing sweet-fra- all

How many people do we know ho complain every day about their DEBTS SPIRALLING OUT OF CONTOL, but DO NOTHING ABOUT IT? They get a loan consolidation, then end up a few years later with twice as many debts ...

How many people do we know ho complain every day about their WEIGHT, but DO NOTHING ABOUT IT? They just keep shoveling it in like its' their last meal. To paraphrase Woodstock -

"It's 1, 2, 3, helpings, then ask for more.
I'm fat and I don't give a damn,
next up - 10 fish in a pan;

and it's 5, 6, 7, open up the pearly gates,
I'm just a fat slob and we know why
I'm gonna just up and die!"

It's a question of what people want. Do they want a better life bad enough to change their behaviour:? No? They don't want to make the sacrifice, do the dieting, go through withdrawal, whatever ... then they're just getting what, deep down, they really want. Whether it's internet addiction over a normal social life, or oral gratification instead of a healthier body, these are choices they make with every mouse click, every potato chip, every cigarette. If they don't care about themselves, why should anyone else?

It's always "I'll change ... maybe tomorrow. Next week. New Years." Never "It starts NOW!" Always one more cigarette, one more bag of Cheetos, one more hour on the web. Deep down, they know there's no reason, just excuses.

Re:Wow work related injury here I come (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25713339)

Smokers and overeaters would fix themselves up if they hadn't choked to death on your sanctimony first.

Re:Wow work related injury here I come (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713681)

Smokers and overeaters would fix themselves up if they hadn't choked to death on your sanctimony first.

Great. Problem solved.

And no, it's not being sanctimonious - it's being realistic. You can't change someone - they have to want it badly enough themselves. We can do our part by occasionally reminding obese smokers that they're smelly, gross, fat, disgusting tubs of lard. (okay, that covers a lot of sysadmins and slashdotters, so I'm getting my asbestos undies :-)

What would you propose? Glorifying the ultra-fat, same as we used to glorify the anorexic in fashion magazines, or smoking on TV and in the movies? Frak that! If you weigh 500 pounds, you're obese. I'd say "get over yourself", but that would be a physical impossibility.

Re:Wow work related injury here I come (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25714723)

How many people do you know who cant spell?

Well, I think they are all a##holes who are neglecting their lexical responsibility!

*Smirks*

Re:Wow work related injury here I come (2, Insightful)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712961)

Hey, way to completely miss the point on what addiction means.

Re:Wow work related injury here I come (2, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713267)

Hey, way to completely miss the point on what addiction means.

Hey, way to completely miss the point on what personal responsibility means.

A prime example is all the fat people who I see at the supermarket with shopping carts overflowing with junk. Are you going to argue that the boxes of crap just jumped magically off the shelves? Or that they had no choice in their purchases? Do we add "Junk fod shopping addiction" to the "pigging out addiction"? I don't think so. There is NOTHING stopping them from asking for or paying someone to help them - either by doing their shopping for them (they even sell fridges with a lock and an alarm, you know ...), or just abandoning the shopping cart before they get to the cash. Oh, right - we have to add "compulsive pay-for-inedible-crap addiction" to the list. There are plenty of points in the cycle where it can be broken - but they CHOOSE not to, just as others CHOOSE to.

Same with "internet addiction." If you've been sitting at the computer so long that your rectum has prolapsed (and ys, there are people who have done that), your ASSHOLE is telling you something - TURN IT THE FRAK OFF!

Same as people who wear Depends so they don't lose "their" slot machine - they made a conscious decision BEFORE they entered the casino.

The simple fact is that sometimes people have to hit rock bottom before they can accept that they need help, and they they'll also have to be a part of the solution, instead of just looking for excuses.

Re:Wow work related injury here I come (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25713459)

Hey, way to completely miss the point on what addiction means.

Hey, way to completely miss his point on who ultimately gets stuck footing the bill for treating shit like this.

Of course, if you voted for Obama, this probably doesn't bother you as much as it should.

Now go forth and work hard, millions of "addicts" representing the parasite-class are depending on your hard-earned dollars.

Good job parroting a popular sentiment. (2, Insightful)

booyabazooka (833351) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713007)

By what methodology do you judge which addictions are valid? The cure to "crack addiction" is STOP SMOKING CRACK, but saying it in capital letters doesn't make it easy.

You make a good point that not *all* addictions are true "addictions", but it's a point we already know. The question is - how to determine which are, and to what extent? It isn't helpful to try to oversimplify a potentially complex question in psychology.

Re:Good job parroting a popular sentiment. (4, Insightful)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713181)

You make a good point that not *all* addictions are true "addictions", but it's a point we already know.

All addictions are psychological addictions so anything that makes you feel good ends up rewiring your brain (this is why you constantly think about what you are addicted to, your brain is looking for ways to feel good again) - and hence your brain rebels against you when you try to quit (it literally becomes a civil war inside your head). So its not really a matter of what are "real" addictions - they are all real because you make them real - even if to the outside observer there looks to be no addictive component.

Re:Good job parroting a popular sentiment. (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713375)

As far as I'm concerned, if free will exists, then there are no psychological addictions, just people who refuse to take responsibility for bad choices. If, on the other hand, free will doesn't exist, then the question is pointless, since we're all just automata, and both our comments are predestined, and so are our opinions.

I'll opt for the existence of free will, since that is the only context under which any exchange of opinion makes sense. It's not hard to figure out - people do things because they get something out of it. In addictive behaviour, the "something" is an immediate fix, and damn the long-term consequences.

We've seen this everywhere, including with the people who went out and took isane mortgages so they could get their "piece of the American dream right now", and who gives a frak about the terms of the loan ... there's no "housing addiction." But there are a LOT of greedy, short-sighted people - and they don't want to face the consequences of their bad decisions.

Same with "internet addiction." Same with "TV addiction". Same with any other addiction with a social or psychological component.

You can't help an addict until *THEY* WANT TO CHANGE. It's their decision. By deciding not to do anything to change their lives at this point, they have exercised their free will.

Re:Wow work related injury here I come (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25713063)

calm down Dennis Leary!

Re:Wow work related injury here I come (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25713225)

So you should agree with what the Chinese government is doing then. They are simply providing a voluntarily way for people to get away from the internet so they can help themselves.

Re:Wow work related injury here I come (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713517)

So you should agree with what the Chinese government is doing then. They are simply providing a voluntarily way for people to get away from the internet so they can help themselves.

What - RTFA? Are you crazy?

Seriously, instead of calling them "boot camps", they could have at least called them "reboot camps".

As to whether I agree with what China is doing or not- that's immaterial to at least one of my points, which is that personal responsibility has to enter into it before the person is "so far gone". It's a "lifestyle disease", same as smoking, same as over-eating, same as TV, same as pr0n.

Re:Wow work related injury here I come (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714965)

*notes email address*

*figured there had to be something weird here*

Re:Wow work related injury here I come (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25713599)

The reason we hate drunk drivers more than people with "gamers addiction" is that (unless they have an Xbox in their glove and are playing it while driving) their video game habits aren't putting your life in danger.

People with SMS addictions are just as hated because they do it while they drive STOP IT!! I'd rather you were drunk and watching the road than texting and paying no attention to anything at all.

O.K. (1)

Chicken_Kickers (1062164) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713613)

"Internet addiction" is no more or less real than "Television addiction." Both have the same cure - TURN THE DAMN THING OFF!

O.k. I will listen to you and turn off my Inte

Re:Wow work related injury here I come (2, Insightful)

KoD7085 (1357011) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714047)

I have one question, have you ever been addicted and had to quit? Because, it doesn't sound like it; and the way you put your opinion seems overly simplified. As "easy" as it is to quit, there's a lot more to it than just stopping. I can personally say it's a tough road, that some people can't handle mentally. Then you have the case, with some drugs, of the body building a dependency on the drug. It becomes not only mental, but physical. If they don't get their fix they can have severe reactions. I'll agree that the person has to truly want to change for it to work; however, it's not something to take lightly (which is the tone I got from your post). Everything we do is a choice. We all must face the good and the bad. Those that choose to find the jagged path back to good have a better understanding of the hell some people go through. It may be sympathy on my part; however, it's a lot easier to help other people when you care more than to just say "Quit" and realize there's more to it than that.

Re:Wow work related injury here I come (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714623)

Plesae ... I never said it was "easy" to quit anything. However, there is an element of personal responsibility. For example, after major surgery and more than a month on a morphine drip, a few days after I was discharged, as soon as I realized I was looking forward to my 4x-a-day dilaudid, I stopped taking it. Immediately. By the next day, all the drugs that had accumulated in my body simultaneously released - while I was driving to the pharmacy for other supplies.

I felt AWESOME. No pain. No common sense, either. But for a couple of hours, I could WALK! It would be months before I could say that again. I *NEVER* want to feel that good again. Feeling *that good* scared the crap out of me.

I could have just "gone with the flow", rationalized it, excused it ... but I *CHOSE* not to. Better crippling pain for a month or two more. My body might have wanted it, but *I* didn't.

Look, we ALL make bad choices. No exceptions. And we pay for them. That's part of learning. Same as this whole "internet addiction" thing. Anything that interferes with your life to the point that it takes over your life better be worth it. Playing games online isn't. Living vicariously in second life isn't. But for many people, obviously, only hard-won experience is the answer.

Re:Wow work related injury here I come (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25714837)

I *NEVER* want to feel that good again. Feeling *that good* scared the crap out of me.

Do you mean you don't want to feel that good again due to a drug, or at all? Because not wanting to feel that good from ANYTHING, be it love, or your job, or your hobbies, seems kind of strange. I mean, I can understand that you would be afraid that the element that made you feel good would take over your life and make you shirk all other responsibilities, but what if it was the entire gestalt of your life made you feel that good? I can't imagine that anyone would shun that kind of experience, or way of life.

Re:Wow work related injury here I come (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25714719)

There is a huge difference between a bad habit & an addiction.

The difference is chemical, physical dependency.

Part of the problem is the US government using Orwellian Newspeak tactics to confuse the issue. Notice they use the term "Habit-forming" instead of "Addictive" when referring to many kinds of drugs.

EVERYTHING can be habit-forming, but only addictive things can truly form a physical addiction. The term "Mental addiction" is a smokescreen, it is just another way of saying "bad habit".

The internet might be habit-forming for people, just like jogging, going to church, or being healthy can be habit-forming.

It is in no way addictive in any real sense of the word, and any person who becomes severely 'addicted' to the internet has mental problem already, the internet is just their fixation of choice.

Re:Wow work related injury here I come (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25714803)

We don't excuse drunk drivers because they decided to have one to many, we should do the same for other "lifestyle addictions."

We don't excuse drunk driving because it can lead to physical harm or death of another person. Being addicted to food or the internet currently only harms yourself. Your point is a logical fallacy.

What's amusing is how harshly you condemn people with problems and yet it seems as though you have stress management issues. I guess that means no mercy for those people that can't manage stress...

I'm addicted (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#25711839)

Ok, so I know we're all biased here, but let me be the first to say that, "I'm addicted to the internet".

I think they're on to something however I don't think people should be forced into camps over it. I'm not hurting anyone with my addiction including myself.

Get a real addiction ... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25711929)

difficulty sleeping or concentrating, yearning to be online, irritation, and mental or physical distress.

Get a real addiction--I sucked dick for bandwidth!

Re:Get a real addiction ... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25712191)

The paraphrase is "I used to suck dick for bandwidth!"

Bob Saget doesn't get much love on Slashdot, so it's the least you can do to get it right.

Re:I'm addicted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25712367)

Really, you sound irritated. You should be locked up.

I can quit any time.. (1)

shinmai (632532) | more than 5 years ago | (#25711859)

but seriously, I actually do meet most of the criteria, but I don't think I'm an "addict".

This is simply because my supposed "addiction" causes no harm to me, or the people around me. I use the Internet, mostly just www, but other stuff too, for work, studying and social interaction with far-away relatives.

I do know people who just waste away their lives online, but even most of them still manage to do their work just fine, and lead rewarding social lives.

Re:I can quit any time.. (2, Insightful)

rhyder128k (1051042) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713723)

Don't forget that there is a huge mental health industry with a vested interest in creating (oops, I mean "identifying") new classes of illness that they will have to paid to treat.

I suspect that what's happening is that they are identifying something that has become a pillar of an individual's life-style and then claiming that this constitutes an "addiction" because the person suffers anxiety when the thing is taken away. A person with a normal social life would start to exhibit anxiety and yearning if socially isolated. How often do we hear someone who is trapped at home due to short term illness say something like "I need to get out, I'm going mad stuck here"? That person must be addicted to going down the pub or addicted to work.

I probably fit the Slashdot stereotype of being fairly dependent on Internet access. I had to go without Internet access for a couple of days recently and I found it frustrating not to have it. By the time I got onto the ISP customer support, I was sufficiently perturbed to be firm with them. However, I haven't watched live broadcast TV in over ten years. Instead, I watch things off-air from my video/DVD collection in addition to downloaded content. I suspect that most of the population of the UK would find it difficult to go any length of time without access to a TV with an aerial. Same goes for lots of them in regard to access to a mobile phone with text messaging. Actually, amongst poorer people in the UK, treatment for "pointless mobile phone use complex" probably would save them some money if nothing else.

Re:I can quit any time.. (1)

Inner_Child (946194) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714819)

See, there's the problem, You start out with just www, but http is the gateway protocol (well, figuratively) and soon you'll be into news and ftp and god help us all if you sink deep enough to get to gopher because it's a long road back from that, son.

Addicted to being human, wanting freedom (3, Interesting)

polyomninym (648843) | more than 5 years ago | (#25711883)

I think someone made this point a long time ago in a comment: If you were as oppressed in your daily life as the Chinese, you might spend a lot of your time where you can be "free" in some form of context, social, MMO, whatever. It's not always about escape, there is also immersion and just plain wanting interaction. We all know that anything can become physically addictive, and whether or not some term is coined for those things or not, it's simply human nature at work.

Re:Addicted to being human, wanting freedom (5, Interesting)

Sinbios (852437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712755)

Bullshit. Speaking as an ex-average Chinese, the average Chinese doesn't feel oppressed at all. Government control of everything is and always has been the norm, even before the communists. In fact, nationalism is so ingrained in the culture that the people often feel the government is justified in doing most of the things Western audiences get their panties in a knot over.

Re:Addicted to being human, wanting freedom (1)

polyomninym (648843) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713039)

I accept your call of bullshit. So you never felt oppressed there? Don't you think it is unjust for the government anywhere to limit your leisure activities, in this case not drug-related or pr0n-related. Secondly, do you think these 20 something year olds really represent the average status quo in China? I respect your insight, but why are you not still there if it's not so bad? Had to ask.

Re:Addicted to being human, wanting freedom (5, Interesting)

Sinbios (852437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713687)

I personally have never felt oppressed, and my parents have never complained about the government. In fact, they love it so much they could usually rationalize any negative press about the government away. Trusting the government to do the right thing was a way of life; for most people it was the only way they knew and they lived happily by it. Of course, the media usually projects the government in a rather positive light, but hey, it keeps the people happy. The only thing I dislike the Chinese government for is the education system, where nationalism and reverence of communist heroes were ingrained at an early age.

From TFA, the Chinese government is not limiting anyone's leisure activities, rather Chinese doctors have formally defined Internet addiction. This is likely a product of the cultural sentiment of abhorring excess in any form and living life by a framework of rules (three square meals a day, eight hours of sleep, etc.), which prolonged hours surfing the web obviously tends to disrupt. Another factor is since the Internet is a rather new development in China, most users are teens and 20-to-30-somethings. People beyond this age group tend to be very traditional, and tend to look down on all the shiny new technology stuff that they don't get (isn't this a problem in the West too? Maybe to a lesser degree.) I know my mother always bugs me when I'm watching too much TV/on the computer too much/reading too many books (I used to average about ten a week back in high school, so I guess that qualifies as excess for her), and it certainly doesn't have anything to do with the government.

I don't quite understand your question regarding the status quo.

My family left China because my father thought he could have better opportunities in America, and later Canada. How wrong he was. He's back in China now, and won't stop going on how about how his old buddies have all struck it rich during the rapid economic development, and how he could have been a lot better off it he stayed behind. Personally I think I've become a more well-rounded person than if I had stayed in China, but I wouldn't mind living or working there once I complete my degree, especially since fluency in English could apparently command quite a premium.

Re:Addicted to being human, wanting freedom (1)

polyomninym (648843) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713751)

Nice work. Thank you for the good insight. Very interesting to read, I may have learned something (gasp) :) I guess I was getting off topic. Thanks again. Cheers!

Re:Addicted to being human, wanting freedom (1)

rtechie (244489) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714581)

Government control of everything is and always has been the norm, even before the communists.

You weren't around before the Communists. All of those people are dead now.

Before the Communists, China was very loosely managed by the Ching Dynasty. Tibet, Manchuria, and numerous other territories were essentially independent. This is not to say that China has had a tradition of liberty and free expression. Far from it.

But that's no reason to defend the PRC as being somehow "normal". Most of the Chinese I know are from Hong Kong and Taiwan and they definitely feel oppressed by the PRC.

Even better than opium! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25711911)

The internet: it's way cheaper than opium, and way more effective at controlling the masses!

Re:Even better than opium! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25713539)

Not good at controlling masses. See forums and 4chan.

Looks like they have defined IT jobs as an ailment (4, Funny)

D4C5CE (578304) | more than 5 years ago | (#25711923)

difficulty sleeping or concentrating, yearning to be online, irritation, and mental or physical distress

Each of which is all too easily inflicted at the hands of a PHB [wikipedia.org] (cluelessly imposing impossible deadlines), without one single minute of WoW involved...

Re:Looks like they have defined IT jobs as an ailm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25713105)

At first, I read that as GHB... medicine for what ails 'ya?

Internet Addicts Anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25711951)

Hi, I'm Jason, and I'm an addict. I have been an addict for many years now, I don't even keep track anymore. My days consist of sitting in a comfortable office chair staring at two 17" wide screen monitors, carelessly "surfing" (as us addicts call it) the internet. I need help.

*steps down from the e-podium, and sits back in his chair next to a smelly, neck bearded nix user*

Step 2 (3, Funny)

Mordac (1009) | more than 5 years ago | (#25711963)

Step 1 is admit your addiction... yup, i'm addicted.

Well if step 2 is submit to a higher authority.

Well, I have submitted to the power of Google.

Now leave me alone, I got me some good internet.

The COMPLETE 12 Step for Chinese Internet Addicts (3, Funny)

BulletMagnet (600525) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712641)

I'll run your comment off right off the rail

1. We admitted we were powerless over the Internet (even the filtered one in China) - that our lives had become unmanageable (Communism is good).

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves (already defined as Google) could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God (Eric Schmidt) as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral database inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God...er Eric, aka EES, to ourselves and to another human being (Probably in the IT Department) the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have EES remove all these defects of using another browser other then Chrome.

7. Humbly asked EES to remove our IE8 Beta installs.

8. Made a list of all persons we had pwnd, and became willing to make amends to them all (China's really working on this list too, really, honest).

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, buy supplying them with stolen credit card numbers and boxed copies of the English show "The IT Crowd" except when to do so would injure them or others, or if they already own it.

10. Continued to rewrite our personal inventory database and when we were wrong promptly debug it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with EES as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out that we will no longer "Do Any Evil" .

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other Chinese Internet Addicts and to practice these principles in all our affairs on our brand new Android equipped devices.

(disclaimer: I'm in REAL 12 step program - if you are too and don't see the humor in this, tough shit)

Addiction (4, Interesting)

mfh (56) | more than 5 years ago | (#25711989)

Seriously conflicted here. Addiction should never encompass anything that the bulk of society uses every day. I would imagine that the fundamental definition for any addiction should include a majority of negative repercussion, or at least that the addiction would cause the person's ultimate doom.

Look at alcoholism. Approximately 2% of alcoholics get Korsakoff's Syndrome [wikipedia.org] , which ultimately destroys the person's sense of reality while Thiamine B6 is absent from the 3rd & 4th ventricle of the brain long enough for damage to erode/reconfigure brain cells. There is no parallel result in internet addiction, apart from mood swings and perhaps suicide attempts, but these are all mostly related to social mishaps online. Internet abuse does not cause anything like Korsakoff's.

Drug addiction, seems to all fit.

Alas, where a parallel could exist would be with sex addiction, although one could argue that the STD's cause your doom.

About the only thing Internet Addiction could cause is An Hero Syndrome [encycloped...matica.com] (NSFW).

Medically, there could be serious degenerative disorders as a result of being fixated in one place for long periods of time, or perhaps dietary issues from eating and drinking the worst possible food in order to have more time online, but again that's all a bit of a stretch.

If I had to guess, I would say that the term Internet Addiction is a misnomer. This is more aptly that people who struggle to get back online crave attention because their own lives are sparse or deficient in areas of socialization, so they feel powerful online and therefore need it.

I think there is a long way to go on this subject and China's efforts, while interesting, are not quite there yet.

Re:Addiction (2, Informative)

mfh (56) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712045)

Thiamine is B1, I fudged that one up. FYI.

Re:Addiction (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712113)

Medically, there could be serious degenerative disorders as a result of being fixated in one place for long periods of time, or perhaps dietary issues from eating and drinking the worst possible food in order to have more time online, but again that's all a bit of a stretch.
It never seemed to bother my college roommate. He only really got up from DAOC for work. Since he worked at a pizza joint he could always bring back the worst possible food. He even slept on a pile of clothes in front of his computer.

I blame (1)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712063)

The *chan sites for all of this.

Not addicted (3, Insightful)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712127)

The Internet is simply ingrained into my life. Imagine a world without coffee. I wouldn't care much because I don't have a taste for it but I bet that millions will cry out in terror and will suddenly be silenced(faiting by lack of cafeine in their bloodstream :) ). Now imagine a world without the internet. I can't. I could. Around 10 years ago we got 33k dailup to get access to "this curious thing called the internet". We used it more and more untill one day we got a bill of 120+ eur and we knew it was time to switch to cable. Every since that moment I and the internet have been connected. If I want to look up an address or zipcode I go the right site and tada, zipcode and address. If I want to look up a term I go to Wikipedia, type the word in and tada, I've got the meaning and some deeper information about the subject. I check my mail every day to see if I have recieved any messages from people and institutions all over the world. If I want to know about technological development I visit tweakers.net or slashdot. I discuss on internetforums in many different countries and have developed my skills in some foreign languages that way.

I am not the only one. The whole world is addicted to the internet. Sending data is now something you do with a few clicks and a few lines of text. You can send huge amounts of data from Vladivostok to Bogota in a matter of seconds. People all around the world can check videomessages people leave on youtube.

Now imagine that somebody "turns off the central switch". I can only fear what would happen. Stock markets would probably go bananas because they are not being fed regular data. The most important letter exchange format in the world(e-mail) would cease to be and sending messages to eachother would become a matter of days not seconds. Distributed projects would die and it would cease to be effective. And that's only the things I can think of. Imagine the extra effects.

We are all addicted to the internet whether we use it or not. That's the paradox.

Re:Not addicted (2, Funny)

Knara (9377) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713879)

I personally have no idea how office workers lived with themselves before the Internet existed. Sitting 8 hours in a cube pushing paper around was a way of life for millions of people for around a century. I would have to do a job that involved "outside" stimulus were it not for the Interbutts (not to mention having a totally different job).

Re:Not addicted (1)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714431)

Knowledge is power. Knowledge shared is power lost.

"Knowledge is power. Knowledge shared is power multiplied."

Alternative interpretation for you there.

Where there is an addiction ... (1)

mi (197448) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712133)

Where there is an addiction, there needs to be treatment. Mandatory [jaapl.org] , if need be — for the betterment of the society, of course.

Regulation and Control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25712167)

Reeducate the lot of them I say. What better excuse is needed for regulating and controlling Internet users?

Redefining healthy (2, Interesting)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712307)

Yesterday they announced that taking cholesterol drugs when healthy is a good thing. I told my wife that no one is healthy anymore; we are all simply waiting for a chronic disease to strike.

Today 10% of China's population is declared "sick". So now we don't have to wait for a disease to strike us - we already are diseased, but the doctors haven't told us what we have yet.

Crackberry (4, Funny)

oGMo (379) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712337)

So if my blackberry is constantly connected to the internet and it's on 24/7, I guess that means

...

...

I'm ... what were we talking about? I was checking my mail.

And I thought 'Videogame Addiction' was bad... (1)

Zathain Sicarius (1398033) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712357)

Seriously what the heck? How can you be addicted to a form of communication? I dont agree with an attempt to make Videogame Addictions a real diagnosis either, but atleast that holds a tiny bit of water compared to this bull...

Pardon me, I have to sniff my router for a bit. Apparently I'll relapse if I don't.

It's no big deal (1)

SteveHencye (1400473) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712361)

I cannot understand why China has to make such a big deal about these types of things. Can you imagine how many people in the US are addicted to the internet? *raises hand* Why must they take control over the internet? The internet is a place to be free with no rules, where you can go anywhere and do anything. They need to calm down in my opinion.

Guitar (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712443)

Take the guitar away from my brother, and he'll show every one of those symptoms. Does that mean he's addicted to guitar? Or does it mean that internet addiction is bullshit?

Re:Guitar (1)

smart.id (264791) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712545)

Not to mention that the country of China had absolutely nothing to do with this -- it was a bunch of doctors at one clinic. Hasn't anyone heard of science by consensus?

Korea (2, Insightful)

Haoie (1277294) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712501)

The problem is just as bad, if not far worse there. The prolific MMO play-rate [plus localised social networking] doesn't help either.

But somehow, I don't see Korea classifying it as an illness anytime soon.

I think a seperation needs to be made (1)

ParanoiaBOTS (903635) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712609)

I think there needs to be a distinction between an addiction and a problem. I think its fine to be addicted to something, as long as it is not a problem. We all have our "addictions" but as long as we function as contributing members of society I say leave the addiction alone. It's when that addiction becomes a problem we have...well...a problem.

I'm addicted (1)

ben2umbc (1090351) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712621)

I'm already addicted to Weed, television, and Rachel Ray, I might as well be addicted to the entire internet too.

Bad term? (4, Interesting)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712629)

IMHO, an addiction should have some physical counterpart. If it's strictly mental, it's just a bad habit.

For example, an alcoholic will get the DT's if they don't drink. A heroin addict will convulse and sweat if they don't get their fix. A cigarette smoker will get headaches, tremors, and an increased appetite without their smokes. I should also mention that alcoholics and some other drug users, when quitting cold turkey, can actually die from withdrawal.

Take away and addicts internet and what, they read the paper or watch TV instead? That's not an addiction, sorry. Take the internet away from an 'internet addict' for a week and they will have found other things to do. A drug addict will still be thinking about his drugs... for months and even years.

I should mention I smoke cigarettes, I'm a recovering alcoholic and have had various drug addictions when I was younger and stupider. I use the internet all the time and even play WoW, but it's hardly an addiction and don't see any possible way it could be classified as such unless there are marked differences in brain chemistry or something like that.

Re:Bad term? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712965)

Brain chemicals are brain chemicals. How you create the need for them to be activated is not relevant.

Yours is chemical. Someone else's is through constant ego-reward.

As for withdrawal, removal from a constant source of attention and validation will lead to a condition known as "grieving," which has distinct symptoms and can be physically painful as well as psychologically traumatic.

Some people may be genetically susceptible to these situations.

Never underestimate your brain's capability to do things to you that you do not intend and can not control.

Re:Bad term? (1)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713109)

Never underestimate your brain's capability to do things to you that you do not intend and can not control.

God grant my brain the serenity to accept the things it cannot change; courage to change the things it can; and wisdom to know the difference.

hehe

On a more serious note, I can see the argument for internet addiction, perhaps I'm conflating my real life experiences a bit. I have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that trolling forums or browsing the internet could destroy your life and the people who are close to you.

Re:Bad term? (1)

Aerynvala (1109505) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713689)

Yes, this. Exactly. When my hard drive failed and I was off-line for 2 weeks I went through a grieving process. I don't game, but I do interact with friends online every night. And suddenly I no longer had that. I couldn't even type down things to share later. I don't want to go through that again.

Re:Bad term? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25713019)

>unless there are marked differences in brain chemistry

How is that determined? I mean, do you check brain chemistry with a dipstick?

Re:Bad term? (2, Informative)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713179)

From wikipedia:

Acute effects

Acute (or recreational) drug use causes the release and prolonged action of dopamine and serotonin within the reward circuit. Different types of drugs produce these effects by different methods. Dopamine (DA) appears to harbor the largest effect and its action is characterized. DA binds to the D1 receptor, triggering a signaling cascade within the cell. cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) phosphorylates cAMP response element binding protein (CREB), a transcription factor, which induces the synthesis of certain genes including C-Fos.[4]

Reward circuit

When examining the biological basis of drug addition, one must first understand the pathways in which drugs act and how drugs can alter those pathways. The reward circuit, also referred to as the mesolimbic system, is characterized by the interaction of several areas of the brain.

* The ventral tegmental area (VTA) consists of dopaminergic neurons which respond to glutamate. These cells respond when stimuli indicative of a reward are present. The VTA supports learning and sensitization development and releases dopamine (DA) into the forebrain.[5] These neurons also project and release DA into the nucleus accubems[6], through the mesolimbic pathway. Virtually all drugs causing drug addiction increase the dopamine release in the mesolimbic pathway,[7] in addition to their specific effects.

* The nucleus accumbens (NAcc) consists mainly of medium-spiny projection neurons (MSNs), which are GABA neurons.[8] The NAcc is associated with acquiring and eliciting conditioned behaviors and involved in the increased sensitivity to drugs as addiction progresses.[5]

* The prefrontal cortex, more specifically the anterior cingulate and orbitofrontal cortices,[4] is important for the integration of information which contributes to whether a behavior will be elicited. It appears to be the area in which motivation originates and the salience of stimuli are determined.[9] '

* The basolateral amygdala projects into the NAcc and is thought to be important for motivation as well.[9]

* More evidence is pointing towards the role of the hippocampus in drug addiction because of its importance in learning and memory. Much of this evidence stems from investigations manipulating cells in the hippocampus alters dopamine levels in NAcc and firing rates of VTA dopaminergic cells.[6]

Re:Bad term? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25714495)

It IS a bad term. The terms to distinguish are "Physical dependance" and "Addiction".
Addiction is commonly defined as the continuation of a behavior despite harmful consequences.(Whether it's drugs or internet)
Physical dependance is the state in the usage of a substance that leads to withdrawl symptoms(these are physical) with cessation of use.

Now substance addiction exhibit both physical dependance and addiction, but in the case of internet addiction, you don't have physical dependance. However that doesn't mean it can't be as destructive.

I think the problem with addiction to certainly behavior patterns such as over-eating or over-gaming...etc, comes from a pathological over-reliance of a single behavioral source for pleasure. Playing WoW gives you pleasure, therefore you do more of it. Eventually a positive feedback pattern forms over time. However, if there are other things in your life that can fire up your dopaminergic neurons, it won't get out of hand.(Because you still like to hang out with family/friends, still enjoys a movie or a book, or have fun playing basketball or Catan.) It's the people who don't have other sources of pleasure in life, that becomes pathologically dependent on that one source that gives them joy, who becomes addicted.

Another thought, Perhaps the prevalence of such "Internet addictions" is really just the unmasking of the increasing number of people who are at risk for clinical depression. Thoughts?

You're Posting this on Slashdot? (1)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712635)

If you're reading this comment, then yes, you are addicted to the Internet.

Double points if you respond to it so that you can argue with me.

What if you spend the same time in front of the TV (1)

JoeSchmoe007 (1036128) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712829)

Is that an addiction too?

What about: Nothing To Do Once Online?? [n/t] (1)

Jizzbug (101250) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712849)

What about: Nothing To Do Once Online??

Haha! (2, Funny)

blair1q (305137) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712931)

6 hours a day?

L4|\/|3rz.

Thanks to virtualization, I spent 6 hours on the Internet in just the past 40 minutes!

So the 30%... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25712949)

30% of them are female... what are their emails?

They forgot pizza and coke!!! (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25712957)

As far as I'm concerned, if you don't spend your time coding or connected to a MMORPG, and living on pizza and coke you're not net addicted!!!

On a more serious note I find it interesting that they don't distinguish between work and play. An addict is online because he or she wants to be, and will not take the opportunity to do other things. A worker may jump at the chance to get away from the computer (provided that doesn't mean they have a hell of a job trying to catch up when they get back).

As a Replacement for Romantic Love? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25712995)

Many of these "symptoms" can be found in those who have fallen in love: "difficulty sleeping or concentrating, yearning to be [with the loved one]" etc.

Given the high ratio of young men to young women in China, this could be seen as a transferrence of affection by men who can never hope to have a girlfriend or wife.

The Internet seems a rather benign place to transfer these interests, as long as China's "Great Firewall" keeps them from exposure to incorrect thoughts.

Re: (1)

clint999 (1277046) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713257)

difficulty sleeping or concentrating, yearning to be online, irritation, and mental or physical distress.

Those Are Symptoms, Not the Disease (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713277)

Those are symptoms of people who aren't high-functioning addicts.

Any addiction is defined by one simple criterion: can the person exercise self control over the behavior?

The question can become existential: what if they don't want to quit? If they're high-functioning, they might never have call to exercise self control. In which case what's the difference whether they're addicts or not? The only question then is whether something might change requiring their quitting, and they might not be able to, which could be a problem.

Besides, everyone is "addicted" to food. Few complain about the addiction, except people who can't afford to eat, who have some other compulsion/obsession that conflicts with eating, or who have a compounded problem of eating too much. But we all live with our basic addiction to food, which isn't really a problem, and is even celebrated. Why should any other addiction matter, if there are no bad symptoms?

I think I'd better go and do .... (1)

chris_sawtell (10326) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713417)

...the shopping before the thought police turn up and haul me off to boot camp in the forest, because I have a 24/7 on Cable connection to the Internet.

Leave it to bored government researchers... (1)

NumenMaster (618275) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713463)

Leave it to the Government of China to classify the desire to read information not published by their own news outlets a disorder. On a separate note, it is commonly held that young men often think of sex, usually every few minutes. I can't wait to see what they'll classify that as.

I have ALL these, but NONE of the negatives (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713869)

how about that ? the clinic any whomever did that research in china should shove their results up their asses in my opinion.

what they define are stuff normally found in any average home in the modern world in people that are watching daily tv broadcasting after a long day's work. so our modern life is also an ailment too ?

give me a break.

Addictions are an escape route (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714143)

to escape the realities of life. people who see that there is little hope in future, or too much effort, too little gain, try to escape the reality.

its natural. its an instinctive reaction. computers, games, internet is the best addiction in that regard, because they are not directly lethal to the biology, or psychology. just, excessive tiredom, or distancing from the physical social life existing around the person.

chinese society should ask itself, what is wrong with their modern way of life, and try to remedy it.

Statistics! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25714715)

"About 10 percent of China's 253 million Internet users exhibit some form of addiction to the medium, and 70 percent of those people are young men."

This means that .1*253000000*.3=7590000 women on the internet, as a lower bound.

Clearly these statistics cannot be trusted.

Since I am a doctor (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714749)

I suppose I can now declare and define a new and dangerous addiction - Air addiction.

      My research has shown that people deprived of air for as little as 30 seconds will present "difficulty sleeping or concentrating, yearning to breathe, irritation, and mental or physical distress." Do YOU meet these criteria?

      Yawn. The problem isn't the internet, caffeine, nicotine, heroin, crack, meth, etc. The problem is the underlying psychology of the individual. People who become "addicts" aren't victims of the substance/behavior. Rather the behavior is a manifestation of serious psychological problems like depression, anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, etc. There's a REASON they're seeking that dopamine.

      Perhaps the Chinese will soon announce a melamine-laced cure. Or maybe powdered rhinoceros horns will be involved somehow in the treatment.

Why Godaddy.com was blocked by China without tear (1)

jack fopston (1404313) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714851)

Some twitter users reported Godaddy.com can be accessed again in China from last night on. It's not surprising thinking of Sourceforge and Wikipedia's sufferings back and forth. For more information click here... [pawst.com]

very convinient for the chinese gov. (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714925)

I'm sure lots of people in China do surf a lot. Hardly suprising when its probably the only way they can get access to actual news rather than heavily biassed and censored proaganda.

If I was cynical I'd say this is simply just a made-up study for the chinese government to justify further censorship or even a total ban on internet access to all people of china except presumably, government officials.

Outsourced? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25714931)

It used to be America which came up with these laughably absurd concepts, guess that outsourced that as well.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>