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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Easy supervision, or a witness to Internet Addiction?

A fellow teacher organized an after school activity time on Friday for the students, so out of the list of activities, I volunteered to supervise the "Computer Game Room." I knew I was in for an easy two hours of catching up on my own work, and minimal supervision. Those interested (mostly 7th grade boys) made a bee line into the lab equipped with 30 computers, logged on, and entered their Internet gaming world. Most never even noticed I, or anyone else was there. Some actually talked and yelled at their game characters for the entire two hours. Others came with friends and played games together for the whole time- apparently why it was worth paying the $3.00- to be in a room with four or more friends all on computers at the same time. Instead of grading my papers, I became mesmerized watching all these kids so immersed in this world. It made me wonder how healthy these kids are? Is this what they do with the majority of their time at home? They seem to know a lot about Internet games...
I soon forgot about it after coming home last night, but then I saw the NBC news tonight! China has apparently identified Internet addiction as a treatable disease now. They have a clinic established to "detox " these addicts! Most of the addicts are teenage boys whose parents had to trick them into this rehab. Activities there consist of exercise, acupuncture and medication. Check out http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8430811/
You've been reading my blog, and will no doubt read this article... how long have you been on the Internet today?