Normally we don't really like covering this whole theory of "internet addiction," mainly because it makes us nervous about the 12+ hours we spend online each and every day, but a recent look by the Washington Post at one of those clinics for PC-lovin' teens is interesting enough to warrant a mention. As we've seen before, China -- never one of the more progressive countries when it comes to encouraging online participation -- has followed several other East Asian countries in attempting to diagnose and cure netizens and gamers of their "unhealthy" dependence on computers, but what we didn't know were some of the rather extreme methods used to achieve this. According to the Post, one clinic in the Beijing suburb of Daxing keeps some of its 12 to 17-year-old patients locked in rooms with barred windows for most of the day, treating them with a combination of counseling, medication, and military-style discipline. While some residents clearly have no need for such a facility -- one young man who only surfed four to five hours a week said he came to Daxing to "get away from my parents" -- there do seem to be more hardcore cases of lonely individuals spending all their free time online at the expense of their careers and social lives. At the Daxing clinic, these troubled teens whose "souls are gone to the online world" are housed together on the third floor of the building, where they are subjected to hypnosis and even mild shock therapy in an attempt to rid them of their love of surfing. It's not really clear from the article what the success rate is for veterans of the clinic, but we imagine many of them find the conditions so distasteful that they swear off technology altogether simply for fear of being sent back. As for you, since no one will be sending you to internet rehab anytime soon, just continue reading all of the posts on this page while occasionally glancing over at and clicking on the bright, colorful ads.
[Via Smart Mobs]