2010年 3月 18日, 星期四 - 格林尼治标准时间16:13

Children Internet Addicts 儿童互联网瘾君子

How many hours a day do you spend on the internet? Could you do without your virtual world for a week? A day? An hour?

Dog at a computer

Is your family so obsessed by the internet that even the pet dog is online?

If the answer is "no" then you may be hooked on 着迷 the internet.

This week in London the first dedicated therapy course 专门治疗课程 became available for children who have an online or gaming addiction 上瘾. The Capio Nightingale Hospital aims to treat children as young as 12 to wean them off 逐渐戒除(恶习)their obsession.

Dr Richard Graham, an expert in child and teen disorders 病症 says the symptoms 症状 include sleep problems, depression 抑郁症, not eating properly and fatigue 疲劳.

The consultant psychiatrist 精神病专家 said, "I've been contacted by parents who see their children going into a rage 大发雷霆 when they're told to turn off their computer. Some end up having to call the police."

Children will have to gocold turkey 断然戒掉(坏嗜好)in a residential unit to cure them of their compulsion 欲望,冲动. They will also be taught face-to-face social skills 面对面的社交技巧.

So have you got a problem?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How many hours a day do you use the internet?
  • Do you stay online longer than originally intended?
  • Are you losing sleep to surf 上网?
  • Have you lied about how much time you spend on the internet?
  • Have you missed meals because you want to stay online?

If the answer is yes to these, then try switching off for a day or even a week.

Two Korean families did just that for a BBC special season of programmes looking at the internet. In the most wired 互联网发达的 nation on earth, the volunteer families became internet free zones 无网区 for seven days.

After finishing my morning chores I spend between two and three hours online. That's time spent alone. But during this past week I've even had the time to drink tea with neighbours.

Mrs Youm Jung-a, Korean internet user

They found it inconvenient but their world did not grind to a halt 停止运转. One of the volunteers, Mr Yang said that being cut off 隔断 allowed him to "rediscover lost time". His wife, Youm Jung-a reflected that she would change her habits in the future.

"After finishing my morning chores I spend between two and three hours online. That's time spent alone. But during this past week I've even had the time to drink tea with neighbours".

Now happily reconnected, the family will continue to use the internet but say they will change their habits, "I'm going to regulate 控制,调整 time spent online from now on", said Youm Jung-a.

So our challenge to you is try to log off for a day or longer and tell us your experiences.


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