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March 12, 2007 5:16 AM   Subscribe

China is taking steps to curb Internet addiction. This isn't the first time they have moved to regulate use. Are you addicted?
posted by Gnostic Novelist (26 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
It'll be just a few years before I can get the internet in my cyberbrain and some white labcoat tries to blur the line between Internet Addiction and Physical Dependence.
posted by mr_book at 5:34 AM on March 12, 2007


"I gradually became obsessed," said Li Yanlin, a university student whose grades plunged after he became addicted to Internet games. But after several weeks at the Daxing facility, the 18-year-old said he "recognised the falseness of online gaming".

Cured... like Ted Haggard was cured. See you online, Li Yanlin.
posted by maryh at 5:36 AM on March 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


If wasting time on the internet to such an extent that I lose my job and my family is wrong, then I don't want to be right.
posted by DU at 5:38 AM on March 12, 2007


I can quit whenever I want to, Gnostic Novelist. WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE ME
posted by saraswati at 5:51 AM on March 12, 2007


I'm not addicted to the Internet. Just to MetaFilter.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:16 AM on March 12, 2007


The third Opium War will be fought over the internet.
posted by psmealey at 6:24 AM on March 12, 2007


Metafilter: Are you addicted?

Too easy - sorry.
posted by She Kisses Wyverns at 6:33 AM on March 12, 2007


On a more serious note, the whole bannig of new internet cafes and crackdown on minors seems to be a fairly transparent attempt at demonizing and restricting the places where you can go online with (some) freedom, no?
posted by signal at 6:37 AM on March 12, 2007


On a more serious note, the whole bannig of new internet cafes and crackdown on minors seems to be a fairly transparent attempt at demonizing and restricting the places where you can go online with (some) freedom, no?

It seems to me that public internet cafes would make it easier to regulate browsing and information exchange than at home.
posted by b1tr0t at 6:44 AM on March 12, 2007


I feel this notion of internet addiction pretty idiotic. Twenty years ago everyone worried for my generation's believed addiction to television, in the late 80s and 90s it was video games on PCs, somewhere in between the TV and home gaming, my older brother was regularly handed pamphlets on the addictions of Dungeons and Dragons... now the internet. I think people are just obsessed with creating social obsessions.

It will always be that some people can control themselves and some people can't. If all we had was books, some peple would never sleep and there would be the notion of 'over-reading.' I think it's just a bunch of people at the CATO institute getting freaked out over their perceived loss of the tubes.
posted by eatdonuts at 7:01 AM on March 12, 2007


Dungeons and Dragons is addictive. I started playing Neverwinter Nights a few weeks ago, and now I'm dreaming about it. So far it's fun, but I can imagine that slaying bugbears all night long might get a little tiresome after a while.
posted by talitha_kumi at 7:20 AM on March 12, 2007


Neverwinter Nights is not Dungeons & Dragons.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:52 AM on March 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Have you demonstrated "loss of control" when trying to stop or limit the amount of time on the computer? (Breaking promises to self or others. Promising to quit or cut down and not being able to do so)

Do you find yourself being dishonest or minimizing the extent of the time you stay on the computer, or covering up or being dishonest about what activities you participate in when on the computer?

Do you have feelings of depression or anxiety when something or someone shortens your time or interrupts your plans to use the computer?

Alright, fess up MeFi addicts.
posted by caddis at 8:19 AM on March 12, 2007


Guys, I have a problem. I'm addicted to blinking.

I used to deny it, but now....it's just ruining everything!

Do you know how much time you lose with your eyes closed because you're blinking!? It might possibly be over 15 months a year! Call 1-800-555-5595 if blinking is a problem for you or one you love.
posted by Cyclopsis Raptor at 8:33 AM on March 12, 2007


Why aren't people boasting about their scores the way they do with the games? 48 baby!
posted by gorgor_balabala at 9:09 AM on March 12, 2007



This shows very beautifully how socially constructed the concept of "addiction" is. This seems completely absurd to us when we think of the familiar "internet" but if you replace that word with "heroin" we would mainly be believing that the tough love was probably a good idea, the social disruption of the Internet cafes was caused by the pharmacology of the evil drug and its "bad influence" was destroying otherwise normal kids.

That's not to say that heroin doesn't have a pharmacological effect or to claim that addiction doesn't exist-- but the pathologizing of it is highly related to whether we see the "addicts" as "us" or "them."

When they are "us" we ridicule the idea of harsh treatment and isolation of users and see the harm as being related to misuse of the substance or personal weirdness-- when they are "them" we see both the substance and "them" as evil and leading to decay and collapse.
posted by Maias at 9:15 AM on March 12, 2007


The best thing about your job heavily involving the internet and your friends being mostly online is that nobody's gonna complain.
posted by katillathehun at 9:18 AM on March 12, 2007


Are you addicted?

I'm here now, aren't I?
posted by malaprohibita at 9:57 AM on March 12, 2007


It goes back further than being "addicted" to TV. There have been proclamations of tragedy since the advent of any new technology, from automobiles, to the telephone, to the radio. Imagine all that time people spent glued to their radios every evening! They must've been addicted to them.

So it's very convenient for a government which already has issues with free, uncensored information to fall back to a nonexistent disorder to justify further actions.

A decade from now, we'll look back at these things with a fond smirk.
posted by docjohn at 10:02 AM on March 12, 2007


Why aren't people boasting about their scores the way they do with the games? 48 baby!

30. But I have a strong suspicion that I am in deep denial/lying to myself about it.
posted by psmealey at 10:04 AM on March 12, 2007


I agree with signal... the free exchange of information (i.e. the internet) is a threat to the stability of the current regime. It makes sense that they would make do what they can to limit its spread. This is pretty transparent.
posted by mert at 10:22 AM on March 12, 2007


I've been using the Internet for so long now I can barely feel it anymore.

It'll never be like that first time again.
posted by The Straightener at 10:44 AM on March 12, 2007


I'm with you, The Straightener! I keep on having to increase my bandwidth just to stay on an even keel. And that's just the porn.
posted by Sparx at 2:23 PM on March 12, 2007


How often do you prefer the excitement of the Internet to intimacy with your partner?

Does Not Apply is damning enough, but they forgot a possible answer there.

"Oh, my Pleasure Extender means I never have to leave the keyboard." That one's an automatic 200 points, of course.
posted by pernoctalian at 6:50 PM on March 12, 2007


Maias writes "That's not to say that heroin doesn't have a pharmacological effect or to claim that addiction doesn't exist-- but the pathologizing of it is highly related to whether we see the 'addicts' as 'us' or 'them.'

"When they are 'us' we ridicule the idea of harsh treatment and isolation of users and see the harm as being related to misuse of the substance or personal weirdness-- when they are 'them' we see both the substance and 'them' as evil and leading to decay and collapse."


This may have been true of earlier generations of people with no experience of illicit drugs, but I'm not at all convinced that it holds for today's under 50's, most of whom either do have personal experience, or who will have friends with personal experience.

I'd challenge the claim that people see addicts as 'evil'. Most surveys of the general population support treatment rather than punishment, so 'weak' or 'sick' are much more common responses than evil. But this generation pathologizes addiction because in almost all cases it actually is pathological -- and for many people, it really *does* lead to decay and collapse.

The twenty eight sex workers that I interviewed to on Friday night weren't standing on cold street corners, selling their bodies to buy internet access. All but one of them admitted that they were selling sex to buy either crack or heroin or both.

When people start selling sex to fund their internet habits, then I'll accept the analogy as an appropriate one, rather than just the complete bollocks that it actually is.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:16 AM on March 13, 2007



Actually, i wasn't trying to argue in favor of internet addiction, which i agree in most, perhaps all, cases is indeed a ridiculous concept. it just struck me how you could replace the words and have the same exact rhetoric and claims.

but i think the us has a more extreme hatred of addicts than the UK -- and i think it's far more confounded here by race.

so we are happy to have treatment not punishment for white people, but when it comes to poor and dark and when it comes to actually funding it as opposed to funding prison and when it comes to actually changing the policy to reflect this supposed belief, it doesn't usually actually happen.

so i think the "us" and "them" thing is still valid-- and this is also reflected in the support for "tough love" for addicts that is not supported for the mentally ill.
posted by Maias at 9:04 AM on March 13, 2007


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