Shanghai addresses teen internet addiction

Teens in US, too, are spending far too much time surfing, chatting and viewing pornography.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor

Shanghai has recognized that the Internet can be an addiction like any other and has opened a facility where young addicts can go for counseling and spend the night, reports School CIO

Based on a program in Hong Kong, the program offers a place where teens can do something else beside surf the web and get a good night's sleep.

Most teens who can't moderate their behavior engage in activities including chat room discussions, role playing, viewing porn, shopping, and gaming, says Kimberly S. Young, founder of the Center for Internet Addiction Recovery and author of "Caught in the Net."

Online gaming addictions are common and clinics are starting to spring up in Europe and the U.S. as well. Although some professionals continue to debate whether there really is such a thing as "Internet addiction," there are cases of people losing control, neglecting family members, work, sleep and food to stay connected to the Internet.

Not surprisingly, the Entertainment & Leisure Software Publishers Association in the United Kingdom maintains there is no neurological evidence to support claims of gaming addiction.

No one claims to know, however, whether activities like gambling and porn viewing lure people with compulsive tendencies or whether they can "create addicts" out of ordinary people.

"From my research, I see that there are correlations with those who suffer from compulsive personalities and [Internet addiction] but there are no studies that examine cause and effect," Young explained Thursday. "Similar to other addictions, the causes are varied and not well defined."
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