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computersafetyBe Aware of Internet Addiction
by Sophie
January 23, 2011


“Google it.” This is often my response to my daughter’s questions when I am not sure of the answers. I encourage her to search useful materials through the Internet, but I limit her time in playing Internet games.

Today, surfing the Web has become a common pastime. There are three members in my family, and three computers. I use the Internet everyday--doing homework, checking e-mails, chatting with my friends, skimming items of news, searching special recipes, online buying, online banking, or just playing games for fun.

Have I been an Internet addict? How to define Internet addiction?

但是如果你忽略了你的关系,在你的生活你的工作,或其他重要的东西,比你可能有一个网络成瘾无论名称是什么 - 上网成瘾,强迫性使用互联网,使用电脑的问题或不健康的 - 如果你的网上活动,是在您的离线生活方式之后,还的There has not been a simple and accurate definition of Internet addiction. Spending a lot of time online isn't necessarily a problem, but if you're neglecting your relationships, your work, your study, or other important things in your life, you may have a problem with Internet addiction, for your online activities are getting in the way of your routine life. It's time to strike a new balance.

According to CNN news on March 5, 2010, a young couple in a Seoul suburb allowed their prematurely born, three-month-old, unnamed daughter to starve to death, while they were obsessed with raising a virtual girl called “Anima” in “Prius Online”-- a popular role-playing game in Korea.

Internet addiction has become a serious social problem in some countries, and there has been an increasing amount of attention given to this phenomenon.

China has the world's largest online population at about 300 million people, and many young web users are inveterate participants in playing Internet games. Research by the Internet media company InterActiveCorp showed that 42 per cent of Chinese youngsters polled felt addicted to the Internet. They use the Web in an out-of-control manner.

When I was in China, my colleague Yu told me that his twelve-year-old son was engrossed in playing WarCraft. Sometimes he dropped classes to play the game in net bars. He spent so much time on the game that his grades slumped. He knew his fault but he could not abstain from the addiction. “My mind is full of those flying characters,” he told his father helplessly.

Fortunately, Yu’s son succeeded in getting rid of the addiction after the efforts of the whole family for two years, during which his mother quit her job to accompany and supervise him.

Not all the families in China, troubled by the Internet addiction, are as lucky as Yu’s. Their teenage children are lingering in licensed or unlicensed Internet bars day and night, losing themselves in Internet games. They have been hurt both physically and psychologically.

I read a sad story on the Web page of CNR.CN. Xiaobing was a thirteen-year-old boy, living in Tianjin, China. He was addicted to Internet games. On January 19, 2010, his mother dragged him home from an Internet bar, and then the mother’s persuasion turned into a bitter quarrel. Xiaobing was out of control, threatening to throw their pet dog from their balcony on the fourth floor. “Don’t hurt the dog! Let me go!” cried the mother. She was so angry and disappointed that she impulsively jumped off the balcony. She committed suicide to persuade her son to quit Internet addiction.  

The government of China has issued a series of regulations to standardize the market of Internet bars, but it perhaps would be an endless cat-and-mouse game. After all, it’s hard to prevent the private operators of Internet bars from putting profit above conscience.

What are the causes of Internet addiction? I found an Internet Addiction Test ( online. Some risk factors lead to Internet addiction:  suffering from anxiety, being depressed, being a teenager, lacking social support, having other addictions, and being less mobile or socially active than you are used to.

 My daughter likes to play games in her QQ --a kind of Chinese Facebook. Sometimes she makes appointments with her friends in China to play together. She is allowed to play the games about (mostly more than) one hour every evening. I use my mother’s power to prevent her from being an Internet addict.

 I admit that I have taken advantage of the Internet in a number of aspects. For many of us, it is an indispensable tool for work and study. What I would like to say is this: Be aware of Internet addiction, and use it wisely. It makes convenience for us, but it also offers some temptations.