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This day had to come! South Korea actually has a boot camp to cure youngsters from web obsession says the New York Times.

South Korea boasts of being the most wired nation on earth. In fact, perhaps no other country has so fully embraced the Internet. 90 % of homes connect to cheap, high-speed broadband, online gaming is a professional sport, and social life for the young revolves around the “PC bang,” dim Internet parlors that sit on practically every street corner.

Compulsive Internet use has been identified as a mental health issue in other countries, including the United States. However, it may be a particularly acute problem in South Korea because of the country’s nearly universal Internet access.

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.

Up to 30 percent of South Koreans under 18, or about 2.4 million people, are at risk of Internet addiction, said Ahn Dong-hyun, a child psychiatrist at Hanyang University in Seoul who just completed a three-year government-financed survey of the problem.

Apparently it is too early to say to what extent the camp has helped to wean youngsters away from the net. However, it seems to have made a good start. A youngster confessed that thanks to the camp he could cut his internet time to only 5 hours per day !!!

To me, this trend underscores the need to have a well-rounded personality with diverse interests.  Enjoying an activity is fine till you reach a stage when you cannot do without it. To one it is smoking, to another it is drinking, to another online gaming.

There is so much to gain from having a well-balanced approach to life. As the old nursery rhyme has it ” All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”.

I add” All play and no work makes Jack unemployed”

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