China is the first country to have labeled Internet addiction as a clinical disorder. We don’t really know what the holdup is for every other country with broadband access to follow suit.
Let’s take a look at the facts: somebody wore Google Glass to walk down the aisle, children now have to be gently reminded to go outside by storybook characters, and Dogecoin exists. Check and mate.
Anyway, in China they are already recognizing Internet addiction as the body-destroying, time-consuming succubus it is. People have even died, News.com.au reports.
That’s why institutions like Beijing’s Daxong Camp exist. It’s a rehabilitation facility for teens who are addicted to the Internet. They’re forced to endure military physical training, medication, therapy sessions and controlled diet in order to get over their addiction.
Stop making pouty faces into the Snapchat cam for just a sec and listen up: Internet addiction is real, and treatment for it has officially hit the U.S.
No longer will you have to fly all the way to Japan to find a place that can help tame your WoW obsession. Fox News reports that on September 9th, Bradford Regional Medical Center in central Pennsylvania will open the country’s first-ever Internet addiction treatment center.
First World Problems
Now that boom times are here again, it’s not all that unusual to come across a company whose big swagging concept sounds like it was lifted from the pitch deck of Entertainment 720, the fictional startup from the sitcom geniuses at Parks and Recreation. (Should you ever find yourself in such a situation, it’s best to imagine Aziz Ansari’s voice squeaking tech jargon at you from the founder’s mouth. For instance, business development is definitely getting abbreved to bizzy-bizzy dev.)
Thanks to the b-plot of last night’s episode of Parks and Rec, however, you no longer have to wonder, say, who Tom Haverford looks up on Wikipedia (Ray J) or how he feels about that vaguely racist Indian guy with turban emoji (“Hold up, didn’t Japanese people invent this?”).
Parents love to gripe about how often kids these days are staring at screens — but new research from the UK shows that a lot of kids have the same complaint about their Facebook-obsessed parents.
Almost 70 percent of kids surveyed said their parents spend too much time on their phone, iPad or other devices, the Telegraph reports. At the same time, slightly fewer parents — 60 percent — had the same worry about their children.
From two people dying attempting to rescue a cell phone from an open-pit toilet, to the mother and son who drowned after a gaming-related argument, people in China seem increasingly willing to make major sacrifices for #tech.
A loving set of Chinese parents holds their tech so dearly, they were willing to sell both of their children to Fujian-based traffickers in order to commit more time and money to their online gaming, Games In Asia reports.
The love of a family is life’s greatest blessing, they say.
In other news, a completely grown-up UK woman stole over £1,000 (US$1,705) from her disabled mother to feed her crazy Candy Crush addiction, the Telegraph reports.
The 45-year-old woman, Sally-Anne Turner, had access to her mother’s bank account when she acted as her caregiver. The mother noticed money disappearing from her bank account between February 2012 and January 2014, coincidentally during the time that her daughter “became addicted to Candy Crush Saga and other online gaming sites.”
Forget That Fake Money
A newly betrothed Business Insider writer has a bone to pick with Facebook: Getting engaged ruined the social network for her. “Just like that, everything changed,” she reports. “Facebook knew I was betrothed. And it didn’t waste any time clogging up my news feed with ads” related to weddings, weddings and also weddings.
A few relatively-relevant ads are hardly going to make my Newsfeed any junkier than it already is. (Spotify! So-and-so shared a link! So-and-so likes Sprint!) As a newly-engaged woman, however, I’ve found the deluge of Facebook ads is only part of the story. The Internet and its advertisers, it seems, are all conspiring to make me a cuckoo-crazy-crackers bridezilla.
Here’s a brief guide to what happens once you make it official:
The Way We Live Now
“Any horse that has the name ‘Awesome’ in it? I bet on it!” Walter Hessert told us earlier this week from inside one of those noise cancel-ish sofa pods in the south wing of General Assembly. Also present in said pod: his brother Thomas Hessert. Along with a third brother (Bill) and their CTO Eric Gay (no relation), the Hesserts are the cofounders behind Derby Jackpot, an addictive online game that almost made Betabeat late for our meeting.
Showing up for an appointment seemed more professional than waiting to see if we’d parlayed the $2 offered to beta users into something more, so we sucked it up and hopped on the N. But it was a heady example of why companies like Zynga are counting on real money gaming to offer real revenue in the otherwise hits-dependent social gaming industry that relies on ad revenue or virtual sheep.
The Way We Live Now
There’s already email addiction, Facebook addiction and wholesale Internet addiction. Next up on the psychological disorders docket? Kickstarter addiction: people who are “addicted” to the rush of finding and backing fledgling projects on Kickstarter.
The notion of “Kickstarter addiction,” as defined by VentureBeat, encapsulates the do-gooder rush and risk-averse anxiety rooted in crowdfunding. Throwing money at half-formed ideas and projects is kind of like gambling, argues VentureBeat, except you don’t have to be situated on a sketchy boardwalk and coated in cigarette smoke to get your fix. There’s just one snag in their theory. The only evidence of this “growing number of people” addicted to Kickstarter is a single thread on the Geek and Sundry message boards.
Sometimes, it feels like the Internet is one big, never-ending challenge to one’s powers of self-control. Sure, you could sleep… or you could watch two hours of Say Yes to the Dress on Netflix. (Theoretically, of course.) Cleaning out your closet is one option… and this slideshow of “20 Dogs Who Don’t Want the Summer to End” is another.
But if ever you find yourself unable to disconnect for an entire day, perhaps you can take some solace from this report, which says that yes, Internet addiction is a real thing and, what’s more, it’s rooted in your genes. It is, therefore, not your fault that you can’t ignore your FarmVille game for more than a day without getting itchy palms.