Web Junkie

When we think of China and the internet the majority of us will immediately think of censorship next, this tends to seem quite backward and is the opposite of what the internet stands for. But in at least one area of the internet revolution China appears to be setting taking the first steps forward, defining the boilerplate many other countries may soon copy.

China has become the first nation in the world to label overuse of the internet a clinical condition, a condition as real of an issue as alcoholism or any other form of addiction. Web Junkie is a fascinating film which follows three children who have been officially diagnosed as “Web Junkies”, because of this they have been set to a rehabilitation centre located in Beijing.

These facilities were set up by the government in an effort to combat what they believe to be one of the greatest crisis facing the youth today, curing teenagers of their online addictions.

Through unprecedented access to one of these facilities we witness how these teens were lured to the centre against their own will by worried parents. Once here they must take part in a military style boot camp and undergo emotionally intense counselling sessions. Over the course of the film we see the children begin to open up as to why it is that they feel more connected to virtual life than their families.

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  • Ron

    Why wouldn’t those adolescents prefer Virtual Reality compared to their life in the prison called China. They are not allowed to think for themselves, or do anything that is not monitored by the government. They are told what and how to think.

    It’s away to brain wash the parent’s to drop their kids off to be brainwashed with propaganda. this is so ridiculous.

  • silvestris

    Wow… where would you even begin with these people (all the adults involved)?

    First, internet is not the same as MMORPGs, or online gaming, or video gaming at all. I am using the internet now, as I was the entire time I was watching that video, but at no point during that time did I actually play any game. Would I be eligible for your lovely camp for doing that too much? What about the typical American youngster with their social media? Seems to me that all of the kids in this video were online gamers, not “internet” addicts.

    Their depression and anxiety is caused by their internet addiction, the good doctor says. I think you may actually have that backwards, pal.

    I especially like how he comments that playing online games doesn’t develop the social part of the brain, then tells all the staff that all the kids should be locked in solitary for ten days for “self reflection therapy.” Just make up some name and add the word “therapy” to it and it immediately becomes helpful! Reminds me of Nurrse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

    Look at how those parents act. One of them admits he beats his kid and once threatened him with a knife, but it’s the kid who has to go to prison (and, clearly, it is exactly that). Same for the kid whose father watched the kid approach a window and told him to go ahead and kill himself.

    Then the helpful staff member tells the kid that whatever his dad does to him, he’s still your dad (the implication of which is clear– you belong to him, so if he wants to beat you, it’s okay, and you had better not get upset about it, ’cause then you go to prison and get scolded by people like me who tell you that what you did to your abusive father is much worse than what he did to you).

    Holy freaking $diety…