Facebook, twitter, blog, facebook, email, online game, then blog, how long have you stayed online? If you have stared at your computer screen and clutched your mouse for over 6.13 hours a day (not including work time), you are, I am sorry, a person of mental disorder according to the latest official definition in China.
China will be the first country to define internet addiction as a type of mental disorder. The national Ministry of Health has accepted a manual by Chinese psychologists which categorizes obsession with internet as a mental disease, and it is expected to turn into a guideline for all the hospitals in China very soon.
Symptoms of net addiction, as the manual introduces, include impulsive use of internet, irritation and unreasonable distress when offline, and the failure to concentrate.
According to the leading expert Dr. Tao in the country’s first addiction treatment center, of the young group that takes the majority of 253 million netizens in China, about 10% have been inflicted by the addiction, most of them male. His research on 3000 patients shows they might have strong psychological dependence on internet, which undermine their normal social activities and daily life. It is pointed out that online games which now totally take up over 4800 million users in China, such as World of Warcraft, are a great problem that they weaken users’ ability to distinguish virtual world from the real.
Also, internet may contribute to crime rate. 76% of juvenile offenses in the capital city of Beijing are related to the Internet, said Dr Tao.
It is not the first time, however, for the Chinese government to regulate the booming online industry. It has ordered an “anti-obsession” system compulsorily installed on public computers to limit game players’ time online.
A great number of internet users are thrilled at their first glance of the definition, recalling their overnighters online.
Is such a categorization ridiculous? Someone think it not at all. An opinion published 4 days ago on New Beijing Daily justifies the regulation.
And the writer states why it should be taken as a disease:
In bullog.cn, blogger Xiaoyao 逍-遥 cited the opinion above with a title:
Netizen “Cold” replied:
Baiyongbing 白咏冰3 said:
And Li qingchen 李清晨 opposed the new categorization because the label might be a lifetime trauma to the kids:
It’s ridiculous to invent something called \internet addiction\. First, Most of those kids commit crimes usually lack parental guide. And Net Bar is a place where they can have self-confidence and acceptance from peers. Internet is not the real reason. Second, many netizens stayed on line like ALL DAY, but it doesn’t mean they are addictive because internet can almost do everything: study, search, communication, and business. It’s not wired for a student who writes a research paper to stay online more than 7 hours a day.
agree with what 李清晨said.
“If you have stared at your computer screen and clutched your mouse for over 6.13 hours a day, you are, I am sorry, a person of mental disorder according to the latest official definition in China.”
Initially I concur with Steven Tang’s comment. But as I went through the tranlation and the original article, I detected a obviously lost of meaning in translation.
The original article did exclude the time spent on work. And actually the “6.13 hours” the study came up with was actually based on a survey on 3000 Internet addics, indicating Internet addics typicall spend 6.13 hours per day online, which was also compared to a US-based research result of 6.14 hs/d as well). The article did not refer to regular Internet users.
While in the translation, my impression is different-if you spend on average 6.13 hours a day, you are dianosed with a new type of mental disorder. I suspect the translator would be so dumb as to misinterpret the Chinese article. I question his motives.
“According to the leading expert Dr. Tao in the country’s first addiction treatment center………….are a great problem that they weaken users’ ability to distinguish virtual world from the real.”
This piece of beautiful translation went further. It just took things out of the context and hoked up a phony bloney statement.Somehow I’m impressed wih the depth of intelligence/imagination the translator displayed (or his idoicy, depending on your outlook)
Next time, please DO NOT provide the link to the article. It is harder to convince your audience.
Being a person currently sitting at a bus stop with a laptop surfing blogs, while surrounded by college people partying at bars and nightclubs, I can certainly see where classification as an addiction would be appropriate. Feeling naked without a cell phone or computer isn’t a laughing matter, it’s frighteningly close to the dystopian cyberpunk vision of our future.
Interesting post Bob.
Trendsspotting reported long back the internet addiction in china vis-a-vis US
Also worth mentioning – Trendsspotting handbook of online china,clearly showing various uses & trends .
Interesting Tod! It is a great pleasure to have a reader of such scrutiny. And I have to agree, I should note that the 6.13 hours excludes work time.
However, I am confused by your other points.
You say, the 6.13 hour should only apply to internet addicts, instead of common users. But I wonder, isn’t time span of staying online exactly one yardstick to judge whether some one is addictive? Why can’t this ruler be used to measure common users? If someone has some symptoms of a certain disease, we decide he is ill, not that we first decide he’s ill than we are allowed to associate the symptoms with him, isn’t it?
Regarding symptoms, I do have provided “impulsive use of internet, irritation and unreasonable distress when offline, and the failure to concentrate” as a yardstick other than time.
Moreover, you say one piece of my translation misses the crucial context. Could you please make it more specific rather than just the hostile language?
If you are questioning my data, you can refer to the text. If you are questioning my approach to handle the data, please tell what’s wrong, and I would like to discuss it with you. If you question my way to synthesize the doctor’s point to make it easy to read, please tell me your understanding too.
But I am grateful you indeed alert me of sorting out more clearly the sources. And sorry, I add one more, rather than delete them as you advised. Please check it. Welcome more comments.
Great information, thanks!
I see a line says “More than one third of Chinese netizens spend 1-3 hours daily on BBS.” And some data suggest Chinese really are more obsessed with internet compared to Americans. So being alert might well be a good measure.
So as you see, you can also find in my post some people strongly argue for the “psychosis” definition.
A question I am thinking is why so? Our real life is so dismaying that we favor the virtual reality more? Does it have anything to do with our atheist orthodox? It is worth books…I think.