The majority of people in the United States are familiar with the YMCA, which offers summer camp for kids age five through twelve. This is a great solution for parents who have to work when their kids are on summer break from school. Well, in a recent news story, I learned that China is starting a summer camp for big kids, but this camp is designed specifically to wean participants off Internet addiction. Check out the News.com story: "China tries to cure Net addicts at summer camp."
Here's the lowdown:
China is launching an experimental summer camp for 40 young adults to try to wean them off their Internet addiction.... The 10-day program will accept those aged between 14 and 22 once they have undergone a psychological test and evaluation....
The youths at the summer camp will be treated for depression, fear, panic, agitation and an unwillingness to interact with others. This solution appear to be a softer option than the Internet Addiction Treatment Center near Beijing, which uses a blend of therapy and military drills to treat youths addicted to online games, Internet pornography, and cybersex.
It's been many years since I went to summer camp, but I do remember being extremely homesick (for my Mommy, not for Google... ok, fine, Google didn't exist back then, but there was the Internet!). I wonder if the YMCA philosophy would benefit the summer camp in China. Get kids - even big kids (young adults) - involved in sports and recreational activities outside of the home (so no, the Wii doesn't count). Do you think summer camp is the answer to China's growing concern with Internet addiction?
Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.