Sunday, August 8, 2010

Internet Addiction, Our Children, And Us

August 7, 2010 - Internet Junkie Children Have Parents Worried

PETALING JAYA: Parents and teachers have been left in a quandary as the onslaught of Internet games and social networking sites are bringing out a rebellious streak in many children.

“Why are you controlling my life?” – is the question often thrown back by children to their parents or teachers when they are confronted with their obsession with the Internet.

Teenagers playing online games at a cyber cafe in Kelana Jaya, a common scenario at almost any cyber cafe. - AZMAN GHANI/THE STAR
Norton, an Internet security company, produced a family report in 2010 which stated that Malaysian children spent an average of 64 hours online every month.

National Union of the Teaching Profession secretary general Lok Yim Pheng described the students’ obsession with the Internet as a silent killer which was “killing off” the interest of students in class.
There had been reported cases of students falling asleep in class after a whole night of playing Internet games and on-line chatting.
Lok had been ringing the alarm bells over this issue for the last five years.

She said there were also students who starved themselves during recess time because they wanted to save up for trips to cyber cafes.
“There have also been cases where stealing is involved,” she said.

Public complaints go-to man, Datuk Michael Chong said many parents had come crying to him saying they were at a loss over what to do.
“Their children spend countless hours on the Internet – with some cases involving primary school students surfing pornographic sites,” said the head of the MCA Public Service and Complaints Department.

Psychologist Dr Goh Chee Leong said the Internet was enticing because it was “very engaging and stimulating.”
“This problem is more prevalent in the middle and higher class families because they can afford to buy computers,” said the vice-president of HELP University College.

Mary (not her real name), an ex-addict, said that at the height of her obsession with online games, she only slept once every two days.
“I was 16 then. I was having teenage angst and like my peers, I needed a world where I could be in control and I could win,” said the undergraduate.
Luckily, she grew out from the phase when she was 19. Her bad grades were a nasty wake-up call, said the 21-year-old.

Father of three and marketing manager Simon Lee worries that his children will neglect their studies if they spend too much time on the computer.
But he could soon have a solution.
Software engineer Wayne Koong has invented a programme which slows down Internet programmes tremendously, to make the viewers get impatient and lose interest.
To know more about it, you have to log on and go to
- The Star

Aug 3, 2010 - Depression Linked To Net Addiction

HONG KONG - Teenagers who spend excessive amounts of time on the Internet are one and a half times more likely to develop depression than moderate web users, a study in China has found.

Researcher Lawrence Lam described some of the signs of excessive use spending at least five to more than 10 hours a day on the web, agitation when the teens is not in front of the computer and loss of interest in social interaction.
'Some spend more than 10 hours a day, they are really problematic users and they show signs and symptoms of addictive behaviour ... browsing the Internet, playing games,' said Mr Lam, co-author of the paper which was published on Tuesday in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

The study involved 1,041 teenagers aged between 13 and 18 years in China's southern Guangzhou city who were free of depression at the start of the investigation.
Nine months later, 84 of them were assessed as suffering from depression and those who were on the Internet excessively were one-and-a-half times more vulnerable than moderate users.
'Results suggested that young people who are initially free of mental health problems but use the Internet pathologically could develop depression as a consequence,' wrote Mr Lam, who co-authored the paper with Zi-wen Peng at the Sun Yat-Sen University's School of Public Health in Guangzhou.

The depression might be a result of lack of sleep and stress from competitive online games, he explained. 'People who spend so much time on the Internet will lose sleep and it is a very well established fact that the less one sleeps, the higher the chances of depression,' Mr Lam said. -- REUTERS


Jul 2, 2010 - Internet Addict Killed Mum

SEOUL - A South Korean court on Friday sentenced an Internet addict to 20 years in prison for killing his mother after she criticised his online gaming habit.

The 22-year-old was arrested in February on charges of clubbing his 53-year-old mother to death at her home.
Prosecutors had sought the death sentence.

In March, a 32-year-old man died after playing on the Internet for five days with few breaks.

A similar incident was reported involving a 28-year-old man in 2005.

In May, a 41-year-old man was sentenced to two years in jail after he and his wife left their daughter to die while raising a  'virtual child'  on the Internet.

Official data estimates the highly-wired nation has two million web addicts, or almost one in 10 online users.
South Korea has announced tougher rules to combat Internet gaming addiction. -- AFP


偉曹琬 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Uncle Lee said...

Hello Ummie, its happening here too....and lots of our friends grumbling, their kids return from school, fool around on the Net till before sleeping. They hardly get the sun.

I guess there are pros and cons to this Internet....but for the very young, they not getting any exercises, except their eyes....
Unlike the old days.

My time not many homes had even radios, and I saw my first telephone when 6 years old.
When 1st traffic lights installed in KL, people brought stools and chairs to watch the lights changing.
How time has changed.....
You have a nice day, Lee.

Ummie said...

Your traffic light memory really tickled me (I'm thinking of Charlie Chaplin right now).
Thanks for sharing.

But the online game addiction really affecting everybody.
An illiterate 11-year old boy, who ran away from his abusive parents, was taken in by my neighbour since the boy was 8.
He was trained & taught with life-surviving skills for his future.
In return, my neighbour was slapped with money stolen around RM300, beside the boy's few hundred in his piggy bank, all to feed his online gaming, which the machine was operated by another neighbour.
Now he's running away from home again.