Japan to launch Internet ‘fasting camps’ for half a million Web-addicted students

smartphone addiction 3 net

Do you spend way too much time online? Do you logon first thing when you wake up? Take your smartphone to the bathroom to check your messages? Surf the Web while you’re driving? Go online when you should be working? Check Twitter and Facebook last thing at night? Sweat when you get separated from your smartphone? Retch when your Internet connection drops? What? You do? Jeez, sounds like you have a real problem there, although you’re not the only one.

According to the Japanese government, more than half a million of the nation’s children aged between 12 and 18 are addicted to the Internet and in need of help.

In an effort to deal with the issue, the Education Ministry said from next year it’ll offer addicted students the chance to attend so-called Internet ‘fasting camps’, a disconnected world free from computers, smartphones, tablets, and any other Net-connecting devices. Are your hands getting clammy at the mere thought of such a place?

518,000 addicted students

A Daily Yomiuri report Tuesday said that around 518,000 students in Japan are addicted to the Web. The discovery was first reported earlier this month after the publication of research results by the Health Ministry.

The ministry said there was evidence that the addiction was having a negative impact on not only their performance at school but also their health, with sleep and nutritional disorders, as well as depression, reported. Even deep vein thrombosis gets a mention.

While centers for Internet addiction already exist in many countries, Japan, one of the most connected nations on the planet, currently has few places specializing in treatment for those considered to be Web addicts.

Reconnecting

The government intends to use existing facilities such as youth outdoor learning centers for its Internet fasting camps, a place where, over a number of days, students will be slowly and gently encouraged to reconnect with the real world.

Special counseling sessions will be offered by trained psychologists, and lectures about outdoor activities without a smartphone will be given by experts.

Last month, DT’s Jam Kotenko investigated the subject of Net addiction in a piece which included a look at Digital Detox, a personal wellness retreat organization in Ukiah, California, where participants have to hand over their gadgets and gizmos in exchange for a week in the wilderness.

[Image: Tang Yan Song / Shutterstock]

Product Review

With its epic screen, Apple's iPhone XS Max is a phone you can live inside

The iPhone XS Max is here. Should you get the massive 6.5-inch iPhone from Apple? Or should you pick the smaller iPhone XS? We’ve been putting the Max through its paces to find out in our review.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Mobile

Updating to Apple’s iOS 12 will make your iPhone a whole lot smarter

iOS 12, the latest version of Apple’s iOS, is officially here. We took it for a spin to check out its new noteworthy features, and if it truly changes our smartphone habits for the better.
Mobile

Be an online phantom and web surf safely with Ghostery’s mobile browser

Keeping your private information to yourself has become progressively harder in the internet age. If you're worried about your personal information, check out the new version of the Ghostery browser for iOS and Android.
Mobile

Apple purchases Shazam and makes the app free of ads

Soon after Apple announced it was acquiring music-recognition service Shazam, it was revealed that the European Commission would be looking into the deal. The commission has now cleared the way for Apple's acquisition of Shazam.
Music

Spotify vs. Pandora: Which music streaming service is better for you?

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Giveaways

Enter to win the new iPhone XS and three Speck Presidio cases

Excited about the new iPhone XS? You may be in luck: We've teamed up with Apple and Speck to give one lucky winner a brand new iPhone XS and Speck Presidio case bundle, a combined $1,120 value. Read on for more details and enter now for…
Mobile

The best iPhone XS Max screen protectors to safeguard that huge screen

If you love big screens, then the iPhone XS Max's huge 6.5-inch display is for you. But it won't fare well against concrete. Protect your display with the best iPhone XS Max screen protectors.
Mobile

From Android 1.0 to Android 9.0, here’s how Google’s OS evolved over a decade

It's hard to believe, but Android has been around for almost a decade now. From Android 1.0 to Android 9.0 Pie, here's the history of Android and the changes that came with each new software iteration.
Social Media

Snap, then shop? Snapchat’s camera will soon buy stuff from Amazon

Want to Snap that item and buy it for yourself? Snapchat is testing an option to shop on Amazon using the camera. The tool works similar to Shazaming a song inside Snapchat; users tap and hold on the screen inside the camera mode.
Mobile

Google Feed is now known as ‘Discover,’ will be available on mobile browsers

As part of its 20th anniversary, Google unveiled its plans to improve Search starting with its Google Feed. Now known as Discover, the update brings along a redesign to help you find content that aligns with your interests.
Mobile

Renders for Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL leak in black and white colors

Forget the Pixel 2: Google will announce its latest flagships, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, on October 9 in New York City and Paris. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.
Mobile

Apple iPhone XS Max vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Powerhouse face-off

Can Apple's heavyweight smartphone beat Samsung's reigning champion? We decided the compare the iPhone XS Max to the Galaxy Note 9 in a few different categories to see which smartphone comes out on top.
Mobile

Leaked renders show upcoming Huawei Mate 20 Pro in three stunning colors

Huawei is no stranger when it comes to big phones. And this year it plans to go even bigger with the Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro. Here's what we think we know about the new range.