Recent research shows that 7.1 per cent of Asia’s population is addicted to the internet. Some countries have passed laws to address this problem, while others have resorted to military-style boot camps.
For example, Taiwan has banned kids younger than two years old from using electronic gadgets like iPads and smartphones. Parents who allow their children to use these devices will have to pay a fine of $1,000.
Under the new law, kids under the age of 18 must also use such gadgets for a “reasonable” duration only, although what is meant by “reasonable” is not specified.
Nevertheless, Taiwanese MP Lu Shiow-yen said his objective in authoring the law was to prevent children and adolescents from using such gadgets for more than half an hour at a time.
In comparison, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents to limit the online playtime of their kids to just two hours.
Meanwhile, more than 250 military-style boot camps have been established across China to rehabilitate the estimated 24 million children and adolescents who are addicted to the internet.
Commenting on this trend, Hilarie Cash, founder of reSTART, an internet addiction treatment centre in the United States, said: “Technology itself is extremely addicting because it provides immediate feedback. Children are growing up with so much Internet exposure that they are becoming dangerously uncomfortable without it.”
Furthermore, a study conducted by the University of Leeds revealed that internet addicts are more likely to suffer from depression.