CLOSE
Original image

Internet Addiction in Asia

Original image

There's some debate over whether "internet addiction" is even properly classifiable as a behavioral disorder, but if it is, there's certainly a not-insignificant percentage of folks in the U.S. that would qualify. For whatever reason, it seems that the most shocking statistics I hear about internet addiction come from Asia. South Korea boasts of being the most wired country in the world, with 90% of homes partaking of inexpensive, fast internet connections. Not coincidentally, Korean experts have said that up to 30% of their population under 18, or about 2.5 million people, are at risk for internet addiction. From the New York Times:

They spend at least two hours a day online, usually playing games or chatting. Of those, up to a quarter million probably show signs of actual addiction, like an inability to stop themselves from using computers, rising levels of tolerance that drive them to seek ever longer sessions online, and withdrawal symptoms like anger and craving when prevented from logging on. It has become a national issue here in recent years, as users started dropping dead from exhaustion after playing online games for days on end. A growing number of students have skipped school to stay online, shockingly self-destructive behavior in this intensely competitive society.

Though China has far fewer homes connected to the internet, it has identified similar problems: one study claims that more than 10% of Chinese college students are internet addicts. What both Korea and China have done to combat these addictions is to create a system of "boot camps," which have stirred a bit of controversy of late.

The Times describes one Korean boot camp:

During a session, participants live at the camp, where they are denied computer use and allowed only one hour of cellphone calls a day, to prevent them from playing online games via the phone. They also follow a rigorous regimen of physical exercise and group activities, like horseback riding, aimed at building emotional connections to the real world and weakening those with the virtual one. Initially, the camp had problems with participants sneaking away to go online, even during a 10-minute break before lunch, Ms. Lee said. Now, the campers are under constant surveillance, including while asleep, and are kept busy with chores, like washing their clothes and cleaning their rooms.

Chinese techniques have been known to be more aggressive. Until recently, some Chinese doctors administered electroshock treatment to net-addicted teens; the practice was banned after an outcry by parents (and after it was shown to have little or no effect). Net addiction boot camps are rougher, too, and often force unwilling participants to endure hours of military-style drilling and physical punishments for infractions. Two kids have died at Chinese boot camps in recent months after being beaten. Now China's government has banned physical punishment in such camps.

A treatment program called ReStart recently opened here in the U.S., in Redmond, Washington. Treatment doesn't involve drills or beatings, though:

The five-acre center in Fall City, about 30 miles east of Seattle, can handle up to six patients at a time ... and uses a cold turkey approach. Patients spend their days in counseling and psychotherapy sessions, doing household chores, working on the grounds, going on outings, exercising and cooking.

Whatever the approach, the effectiveness of such programs, in Asia or in the U.S., has yet to be proven.

Original image
iStock
arrow
Live Smarter
A Simple Way to Charge Your iPhone in 5 Minutes
Original image
iStock

Spotting the “low battery” notification on your phone is usually followed by a frantic search for an outlet and further stress over the fact that you may not have time for a full charge. On iPhones, plugging your device into the wall for five minutes might result in only a modest increase of about three percent or so. But this tip from Business Insider Tech may allow you to squeeze out a little more juice.

The trick? Before charging, put your phone in Airplane Mode so that you reduce the number of energy-sucking tasks (signal searching, fielding incoming communications) your device will try and perform.

Next, take the cover off if you have one (the phone might be generating extra heat as a result). Finally, try to use an iPad adapter, which has demonstrated a faster rate of charging than the adapter that comes with your iPhone.

Do that and you’ll likely double your battery boost, from about three to six percent. It may not sound like much, but that little bit of extra juice might keep you connected until you’re able to plug it in for a full charge.

[h/t Business Insider Tech]

Original image
iStock
arrow
Live Smarter
Trying to Save Money? Avoid Shopping on a Smartphone
Original image
iStock
Today, Americans do most of their shopping online—but as anyone who’s indulged in late-night retail therapy likely knows, this convenience often can come with an added cost. Trying to curb expenses, but don't want to swear off the convenience of ordering groceries in your PJs? New research shows that shopping on a desktop computer instead of a mobile phone may help you avoid making foolish purchases, according to Co. Design. Ying Zhu, a marketing professor at the University of British Columbia-Okanagan, recently led a study to measure how touchscreen technology affects consumer behavior. Published in the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, her research found that people are more likely to make more frivolous, impulsive purchases if they’re shopping on their phones than if they’re facing a computer monitor. Zhu, along with study co-author Jeffrey Meyer of Bowling Green State University, ran a series of lab experiments on student participants to observe how different electronic devices affected shoppers’ thinking styles and intentions. Their aim was to see if subjects' purchasing goals changed when it came to buying frivolous things, like chocolate or massages, or more practical things, like food or office supplies. In one experiment, participants were randomly assigned to use a desktop or a touchscreen. Then, they were presented with an offer to purchase either a frivolous item (a $50 restaurant certificate for $30) or a useful one (a $50 grocery certificate for $30). These subjects used a three-point scale to gauge how likely they were to purchase the offer, and they also evaluated how practical or frivolous each item was. (Participants rated the restaurant certificate to be more indulgent than the grocery certificate.) Sure enough, the researchers found that participants had "significantly higher" purchase intentions for hedonic (i.e. pleasurable) products when buying on touchscreens than on desktops, according to the study. On the flip side, participants had significantly higher purchase intentions for utilitarian (i.e. practical) products while using desktops instead of touchscreens. "The playful and fun nature of the touchscreen enhances consumers' favor of hedonic products; while the logical and functional nature of a desktop endorses the consumers' preference for utilitarian products," Zhu explains in a press release. The study also found that participants using touchscreen technology scored significantly higher on "experiential thinking" than subjects using desktop computers, whereas those with desktop computers demonstrated higher scores for rational thinking. “When you’re in an experiential thinking mode, [you crave] excitement, a different experience,” Zhu explained to Co. Design. “When you’re on the desktop, with all the work emails, that interface puts you into a rational thinking style. While you’re in a rational thinking style, when you assess a product, you’ll look for something with functionality and specific uses.” Zhu’s advice for consumers looking to conserve cash? Stow away the smartphone when you’re itching to splurge on a guilty pleasure. [h/t Fast Company]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios