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.