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Internet addiction defined in China, entire Engadget staff now officially certifiable

Tim Stevens

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While American psychiatrists continue to debate whether an unhealthy affinity for all things online is really an illness or just a passing fancy, their Chinese counterparts have made up their minds. After creating halfway-houses and clinics to wean netizens off of their dependency, doctors there have now drafted an official classification of internet addiction for people who spend six hours or more online daily. The affliction's symptoms include poor sleep, irritability, mental distress, and (surprise, surprise) a "yearning to be online" -- a condition that we typically call "visiting the in-laws." We're not entirely sure if this means that Chinese physicians can now subject anyone who is symptomatic to mandated shock therapy, but we've gone ahead and indefinitely postponed our 2009 Shanghai meet up just to be safe.

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