Japan: Netverslaving kinderen; digitale dementie
woensdag, 04 september 2013 - Categorie: Berichten Internationaal
Bron: www.idigitaltimes.com/articles/19638/20130827/internet-fasting-camps-web-addiction-kids-japan.htm .
27 aug. 2013
Internet Fasting Camps: Web Addiction Among Kids In Japan Leads To Digital Detox Program
Internet fasting camps are being planned by Japan's ministry of education as a solution to the country's problem of web addiction among kids. More than 500,000 Japanese children between the ages of 12 and 18 are believed to be addicted to the Internet.
''It's becoming more and more of a problem,'' Akifumi Sekine, a spokesperson for the ministry, told the Daily Telegraph. ''We estimate this affects around 518,000 children at middle and high schools across Japan, but that figure is rising and there could be far more cases because we don't know about them all.''
To combat the problem of web addiction among kids, the ministry is asking the government to fund Internet fasting camps, where children will have no access to the Internet. These immersion programs will be staffed by education experts to help kids overcome their dependency on the virtual world. Kids will be away from their computers, mobile phones and hand-held devices and encouraged to have ''real communication with other children and adults''.
At the Internet fasting camps, children will be able to take part in outdoor activities, team sports and games. Psychiatrist and clinical psychotherapists will also be on hand to provide counselling for kids who find it especially difficult to part with their computers.
The need for Internet fasting camps is sadly not a trifling matter. Internet addiction is being blamed for the rise of sleep and eating disorders among young people in Japan, while extreme cases have even led to symptoms of depression and deep vein thrombosis. Studies also suggest that a child's performance at school is negatively impacted by too much Internet usage.
Japan is not the only country where Internet fasting camps are needed. Last year, it was reported that South Korea is the world's most wireless nation, and the first to pass 100 percent wireless penetration. That means that for every 100 people living in South Korea, there are 100.6 wireless Internet accounts, bringing its own unique challenges. Internet addiction is seen as a real danger in South Korea. In 2002 and 2005, two young men died after marathon gaming sessions. The country began sponsoring programs to help those suffering from Internet addiction. In 2009, 975,000 people were treated. That same year, a high-profile story involving a married couple so addicted to online gaming they let their infant daughter starve to death shocked the country.
For those in the U.S. suffering from Internet addiction, there is Digital Detox, a tech-free retreat in California where people can go to get away from their smartphones and gadgets.
Would you send your kids to Internet fasting camps? Let us know in the comments.
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