As a follow up to some of the negative side effects of the Internet explosion in China I wrote about last year, here is a story that was posted to the CNN technology section yesterday:
BEIJING, China (Reuters) — Chinese teenagers are getting addicted to the Internet and taking to crime at a younger age than in any other country, state media reported on Wednesday.
Of China’s 18.3 million teen Internet users, more than 2 million were addicts, with “good kids who impress their parents and teachers” the most vulnerable to the affliction, the China Daily said, citing a study by the Communist Youth League.
“Internet addicts in China are as many as 10 years younger than those in the West. They are more susceptible,” the daily quoted Gao Wenbin, a psychology researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a top government think tank, as saying.
One of the main reason that’s given in the article as to why so many young people become addicted is “a lack of diversions at schools”, which makes me wonder what “diversions” would be needed to help curb the Internet addiction problem. China definitely has some catching up to do when it comes to providing technology for teaching and learning in schools, but even once that happens, they’ll still need to develop ways to teach kids to use technology in meaningful, ethical, and safe ways. Not too much different from other parts of the world where the technology is readily available for learning…
Image credit: “Internet Cafe”. draq’s photostream: