Many South Korean Children Have "Internet Addiction," Schools to Teach Dangers
November 28, 2012 7:52 PM
About 160,000 South Korean children between the ages of five and nine years old are addicted to the Internet via smartphones, tablets or PCs
As technology progresses, more and more devices find their way into the hands of people both young and old. The problem is that today's younger generations are exposed to technology from an early age, and over time, are
becoming addicted to it
According to a new report from
, children in South Korea are especially prone to internet addiction. The article introduced an 11-year-old South Korean girl by the name of Park Jung-in, who spends nearly every moment with her smartphone. This includes sleeping with it and taking it to school.
Why is South Korea being targeted specifically? Mainly because it's a technological haven, where 98 percent of households have broadband and about two-thirds have a smartphone.
This being the case, it's not uncommon for children to know how to play computer games or learn how to use mobile devices before they can even read or write. However, by the time they do read and write, they could already be addicted to this technology.
is not a recognized illness quite yet in most places, those in the medical and health professions are starting to say it's transforming from a social problem into a mental illness for many.
The National Information Society Agency (NIA) said 160,000 South Korean children between the ages of five and nine years old are addicted to the Internet via smartphones, tablets or PCs. There have been problems that range from forgetting to eat lunch at school to not participating in gym class because they're fixated on a mobile device. The article even mentions that addiction can start as early as age three.
To address this issue, South Korean children from ages three to five will be taught about the dangers of abusing digital devices and the Internet. The Ministry of Public Administration and Security will change the laws so that the dangers of Internet addiction is taught from pre-school to high school in South Korea.
Kindergarten teachers will start by teaching the positive things that can be done with mobile devices and the Internet, but from ages four to five and up, the dangers of overuse will be taught. Children will learn through new fairy tales where the protagonist becomes an Internet addict, and video games that have certain breaks where the kids are to play elsewhere before coming back.
China made Internet addiction an official disorder
in 2008, where it classified the addiction as someone who spends at least 6.13 hours online each day.
"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet. A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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