Special camps to cure Japanese teens of internet addiction

6 years ago by in Japan, Technology

Japan’s Ministry of Education is preparing ways of treating teenagers against the internet addiction, such as internet fasting camps, where participants have no access to cellphones or web-connected devices.

The Ministry of Education is planning to open Internet fasting camps in the coming fiscal year to help students learn to live away from their laptops and cellphones.

“We estimate this affects around 518,000 children at middle and high schools across Japan, but that figure is rising and there could be far more cases, because we do not know about them all,” Akifumi Sekine, a representative of the ministry, said in August, according to the international press.

Around 8 percent of 100,000 Japanese school children surveyed were addicted to the Internet, according to a survey by Nihon University in August.

The Japanese Ministry of Education rehab program will involve outdoor learning centers where participants will be encouraged to interact via sports and games. The staff will include psychiatrists and clinical psychotherapists in case students need counseling during their stays.

“Verbal and non-verbal communication releases specific neuro-chemicals,” Internet addiction recover center restart cofounder Hilarie Cash, Ph.D., explained. “It is not a reaction that occurs when you are online. A lack of it can even hinder developing social skills.”

Aside from Japan, China and the United States have also started internet fasting camps.