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Chinese "Web Addicts" Get Boot Camp, Therapy 279

Posted by timothy
from the wait-until-this-hits-your-block-committee dept.
itwbennett writes "A large number of Chinese parents are finding their teenagers to be exhibiting such psychological symptoms as depression, antisocial behavior, and slipping grades. The cause: Internet addiction. World of Warcraft and Counter-Strike rank beside Chinese role-playing games as those that hook the most patients, says Tao Ran, the founder of a youth rehabilitation center on a Beijing army base. Online chat programs more often hook girls, who make up a handful of Tao's current 70 patients. The teens are subjected to a 'strict regimen of military drills, martial arts training, lectures and sessions with psychiatrists.' And, most importantly: no Internet."
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Chinese "Web Addicts" Get Boot Camp, Therapy

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  • I can stop whenever i want.... just let me post one more time....
  • by jaxtherat (1165473) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @07:26PM (#28644135) Homepage
    Also a great way of recruiting for their already massive army...
    • When you've got a country with that many people and that much manufacturing capacity, you can get a huge army without resorting to oddball tactics like this.

      I think the real reason is genuine concern over a social problem that may be far more pronounced in China than it is here. They also have a heavy-handed government that doesn't mind creating a new social program at the drop of a hat, so they end up with all kinds of (wacky) things being done so that every branch of every agency can say "Look what we
    • Also a great way of recruiting for their already massive army...

      Something tells me the People's Liberation Army doesn't exactly have to do recruitment drives.

      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People%27s_Liberation_Army#Conscription_and_terms_of_service)

  • Boys and Girls (Score:4, Insightful)

    by arizwebfoot (1228544) * on Thursday July 09, 2009 @07:28PM (#28644157)

    World of Warcraft and Counter-Strike... those that hook the most patients (boys)

    Online chat programs more often hook girls

    Why am I not surprised that the girls like to talk and the boys like to play combat (remember cowboys and indians? cops and robbers?).

    Very indicative of our society as a whole. Just sayin' . . .

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Red Flayer (890720)

      "Online chat programs more often hook girls"

      Why am I not surprised that the girls like to talk and the boys like to play combat (remember cowboys and indians? cops and robbers?).

      I know, right? I mean, when I'm online on chat sites, it's amazing that all the people who are on all day are girls. Take last Sunday, for example. 4 AM... a bunch of girls are online, and some guys. 10 AM... the same girls but a bunch of different guys. 4 PM... still the same girls, and new guys. 8 PM... same deal.

      I mean

    • Why am I not surprised that the girls like to talk and the boys like to play combat (remember cowboys and indians? cops and robbers?). Very indicative of our society as a whole.

      Women are more social and emotional. Men are more physical and logical. Of course, there's always a rule to the exception. But on the whole, this is human nature. It's rooted in our DNA.

      If you ask me, I don't find this surprising in the least.

    • Why am I not surprised that the girls like to talk and the boys like to play combat (remember cowboys and indians? cops and robbers?).

      Very indicative of our society as a whole. Just sayin' . . .

      OUR society? You're chinese? You might want to log off now, I bet at those boot camps, the regular web addicts pick on the slashdotters.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 09, 2009 @07:55PM (#28644455)

    American - kill all your allies in 'friendly' fire incidents. Full auto on anything that moves, may move or have previously moved. Aw Hell full auto on anything.

    Chinese (according to the Geneva Convention on war ) Day 1 - One million unarmed troops invade Alaska and surrender.
    Day 2 - One million unarmed troops invade Alaska and surrender.
    Day 3 - One million unarmed troops invade Alaska and surrender.
    .
    .
    Day 5 - US economy collapses US surrenders.

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @08:03PM (#28644527) Homepage
    What's the grind like once you hit level 30?
  • by Mauzl (1312177) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @08:06PM (#28644549)

    .. exposure to girls.

  • Here goes his business model:

    1, Preach on media the harm of "Internet Addiction" on children.
    2, Tell irresponsible parents that it's not their fault (which actually is).
    3, Open an "Internet Addition" rehab.
    4, Charge rediculous fees.
    5, Abuse his patients untill they promise (or pretend to promise) they will never play World of Warcraft (or whatever their parents deem as harmful) again.
    6, Parents get pleased and more parents send their kids to his rehab.
    7, PROFIT!

    After all, I must say he's slightly
    • by node 3 (115640)

      2, Tell irresponsible parents that it's not their fault (which actually is).

      Do explain how it's the parents' fault? It's not like the parents were trying to get their kids addicted to the Internet. They (like any responsible parent should), gave their children access to the Internet. That the children became addicted to it is part of the child's psychological response. There's no way a parent can be expected to anticipate this and have the training to be able to redirect their kid's attention before the signs of addiction become apparent.

      It's like saying the parents are to blame if

    • by Fluffeh (1273756)

      3, Open an "Internet Addition" rehab.

      Is that like asking Google to calculate something, or more like a rehab center for people who have done too much maths?

  • by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki&gmail,com> on Thursday July 09, 2009 @08:29PM (#28644703) Homepage

    50 years ago, going out was the norm. 20 years ago, occasionally going out was the norm.

    Today, spending an evening at home is the norm, where it's cheaper and you can connect with someone halfway across the world who you know will share your interests, and not spurn you(and if they do, you can find someone else). You're also not faced with personal problems such as personal performance, social anxiety, or the real fear of making an ass out of yourself, etc. There's people you never have to face, but will listen.

    Move forward 10 years, as the new kiddie-tech generation moves even further online? I see individuals who will prefer to remain connected at all costs because of this. We have people now who need to know all information at all times, need make sure that they're in instant contact with the world around them. And are experiencing this now.

    I don't see it changing, I see it increasing. China, US, Canada, any country in the world can do whatever they like to try and change it. But the more interconnected the world becomes, the smaller it gets. The smaller it gets, the more people want to remain connected to it.

    • by twostix (1277166)

      Fifty years ago my parents went to town once a week on a Sunday and once every second week on a thursday to do the grocery shopping. If they were lucky once every three to six months they'd do something "social" and that usually meant visiting relatives and staying with them in their house or vice a versa or going to a dance.

      70 years ago my grandparents would go a month or two without seeing anyone else except their neighbors - given that town was a three hour trip by horse and the nearest city two days...

      T

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by stephanruby (542433)
      The thing I'd like to know is. How much does it cost to send my own kids to China for a bootcamp? Do they need to know Chinese? I don't have any kids yet, nor a girlfriend yet. I'm just pre-planning.
    • by bogjobber (880402)

      I don't think you're right. I imagine that most people that stay home do so with their family and friends (the physically proximate kind), much like it's always been. I'm a young person and everybody I know is constantly on facebook, IM/chat, dating sites, etc. and we still go out and meet up constantly. The internet for our generation is a tool that facilitates physical interaction, not inhibits it.

      As for the people with social problems, these things have always existed. The internet may be an outlet f

  • If this works in China, it will be the next Obama Youth program...
  • by Dunbal (464142) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @08:33PM (#28644723)

    Take a bunch of kids that like to sit around playing games and browsing for porn, isolate them from friends and family, label them as "addicts", brainwash them, put rifles in their hands and train them how to kill people, then declare them "cured". I'm glad that society has its priorities right.

    • Take a bunch of kids that like to sit around playing games and browsing for porn, isolate them from friends and family, label them as "addicts", brainwash them, put rifles in their hands and train them how to kill people, then declare them "cured". I'm glad that society has its priorities right.

      Plus side: chinese army staging a coup demanding porn and WOW will be pretty entertaining in a few years.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      If you were really paranoid, you might speculate as to whether this was a drone pilot recruitment program.

  • Good idea. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by spyder-implee (864295) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @08:50PM (#28644867)
    Having gone through Boot Camp myself (Not in China mind you) I highly recommend it as a means of turning useless people into productive citizens.
    • by CarpetShark (865376) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @08:54PM (#28644891)

      Having gone through Boot Camp myself (Not in China mind you) I highly recommend it as a means of turning useless people into productive citizens.

      Of course, having gone through boot camp, you'll never know for sure if that's really what you think, or if that's what they told you to think ;)

      • by bitt3n (941736)

        Having gone through Boot Camp myself (Not in China mind you) I highly recommend it as a means of turning useless people into productive citizens.

        Of course, having gone through boot camp, you'll never know for sure if that's really what you think, or if that's what they told you to think ;)

        At my boot camp, they drilled into my head the idea that boot camps don't work. I now believe this notion only to the extent that it is false.

    • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @09:25PM (#28645109)

      Having gone through Boot Camp myself (Not in China mind you) I highly recommend it as a means of turning useless people into productive citizens.

      Productive you say? I can't help noticing you're posting to /. ...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Basically, you've been brainwashed to obey orders and view people who live their own lives as "useless." Ah, the military, gotta love 'em.

    • by gandhi_2 (1108023)
      I think the productive effect of said training is highly dependent on the degree to which it was voluntary.
    • You mean "useless" people that are the foundation for every economy? You mean "useless" people who invent stuff? "Useless" people who make music? Really, all boot camp does is tell you to follow orders. In the end, when you have a bunch of people following orders, you have basically useless people. In the end it is always the free thinking and creative people who change and alter the world that will make it a better place.
    • by twostix (1277166)

      What exactly is a "useless person"?

      People should learn their place as productive units in the larger social machine. Because after all, the group comes before the individual doesn't it.

    • by thegnu (557446)

      I think it's a good idea. I just think that the government doing it is a really unhealthy way of regulating society.

    • by node 3 (115640)

      Having gone through Boot Camp myself (Not in China mind you) I highly recommend it as a means of turning useless people into productive citizens.

      Having gone through Boot Camp myself, I have to say that I don't find myself more productive running Windows than Mac OS X. Quite the opposite in fact.

      As for being useless, I'm pretty much equally useless on either OS...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ihavnoid (749312)

      Having gone through Boot Camp myself (Not in United States, I live in a country where millitary service is mandatory) I also highly recommend it as a means of turning useless people into productive citizens. On the other side, it is a good way to turn useful people into far less productive citizens.

      My opinion is that, the main goal of the boot camp is to create an average person, not too smart, not to dumb, not too hardworking, not to lazy, etc. Transforming normal people into standardized soldiers.

      The pr

  • Let the Han kids and the Uighur kids duke it out on some deserted corner of Xinjiang. That'll teach them. Maybe they'll even come with some ideas to help their parents sort things out.
  • by hengdi (1202709) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @09:02PM (#28644939)
    Most students that I teach in China (18-22) can't afford the computer required, so they play WOW and CS at their Internet bar. These places are usually dark, dingy and full of second-hand cigarette smoke. They make some of my teenage hacker basements look positively healthy. So I think it's not that the parents are really worried about the length of time spent playing, it's the conditions they are played under.
  • by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @09:45PM (#28645245) Homepage
    ...re-education camps.
  • Let's see ... the symptoms are depression, antisocial behavior, and slipping grades. Except perhaps for the last one, that sounds like any teenager I've ever met.

  • better than ECT (Score:2, Insightful)

    by euyis (1521257)
    It's much better than electroconvulsive therapy, which they have used.
  • by Zakabog (603757) <john@nosPAm.jmaug.com> on Thursday July 09, 2009 @10:11PM (#28645427)
    I really don't think this is going to work, I've been through boot camp (USMC), and once I went back to civilian life (I had a shoulder injury that prevented me from finishing the last week of training and then going on to serve.) I was pretty much the same person. The only difference is when I came out I had military training, I feel more calm in stressful situations than I did before, and I'm more confident in my fighting and survival abilities. I still play video games and browse the internet as much as I did before I joined the Marines. So if you go into boot camp as an internet addicted teenager you're going to come out as an internet addicted teenager, with military training. Unless they're sending them into the army right after they're not going to keep in that mindset, they're going to go back to the internet and their video games. Perhaps sending them to a summer camp where they have many activities to choose from would be a better idea. Hikes through the woods, swimming, sports, and being encourage to speak to other people and socialize would be good for these people. The boot camp seems like it would be too much like work for these kids and they would just resent it rather than enjoy it.
  • ... where's my boot camp and interventionist therapy?

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday July 10, 2009 @03:31AM (#28646735)

    This is, btw, also why DARE is pretty much a waste of time and taxpayer money. But that's not the topic now.

    What is "addiction"? Basically that the body (or mind) wants some stimulus that you handed him for a long time. Why does it want it? Because the stimulus was/is positive and not getting it is subjectively negative.

    Which leads to the crucial question: Why did you start taking/using it in the first place? It's not like someone goes "Hey, it's Tuesday, it's colder than outside, let's start pumping heroin up our veins!" That's not how it works. Hell, by now pretty much everyone knows that addictive substances and behaviour are, in the long run, bad for you. Do you think anyone who started pushing thought H is "not really so bad"?

    Drugs are a last resort means for people who have no other way to get a positive stimulus to their system. The worse they're off, the worse the drug they'll be willing to use. Let's be honest here, anyone here pushing H? Anyone? Somehow, I doubt it. Maybe we have a few ex addicts here, in that case the question to you: Were you as "well off" back then as you're now?

    China, with its one-child policy, imposed an insane pressure on its youth. Parents only have one child to carry on their legacy, and that child has to PERFORM! Add a confucianist ideal and a booming market where anyone "smart working hard" can become rich and important, and you'll notice that not even a "western" only child can possible imagine what the pressure is like.

    So, to make a long story short, those "boot camps" (and similar programs all over the planet, albeit maybe not as brutal) will not accomplish anything. Worst case they'll make it worse. They try to cure the symptom, but that won't solve the underlying problem. Addiction is never the problem itself. Take away an addict's "substance" but fail to solve the problem behind it and he'll just search for something new.

Put no trust in cryptic comments.

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