Internet Addiction Is Real

With guest host Jane Clayson.

Boot-camp style rehabilitation centers in China to treat Internet addiction, and the problem here in the US.

A teenager under treatment in the documentary film "Web Junkie." (Courtesy the Filmmakers)

A teenager under treatment in the documentary film “Web Junkie.” (Courtesy the Filmmakers)

The Internet. It’s a world at our fingertips that most of us can’t live without – complete with friends, music, videos, games, shopping, and an abundance of information. We can access it all without ever leaving our chairs, or even our beds. But increasingly, it is becoming harder to step away. For some people, it can seem next to impossible. And now, some doctors are calling it an addiction. They’re establishing treatment centers, trying to get people to turn away from their screens. China has hundreds of Internet detox centers, many run like boot camps.  This hour, On Point: the addictive power of the Internet.

— Jane Clayson


Shosh Shlam, filmmaker. Co-writer, director and producer of the new documentary “Web Junkie.” (@WebJunkieMovie)

Dr. David Greenfield, founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction. Assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the Univeristy of Connecticut’s School of Medicine. Author of “Virtual Addiction.” (@CITACenter)

Dr. Hilarie Cash, founding member, chief clinical officer and education director of the reSTART Internet Addiction Treatment Program. Co-founder of Internet/Computer Addiction Services. Author of “Video Games and Your Kids: How Parents Stay in Control.” (@restartyourlife

From The Reading List

New Yorker: Talking to China’s “Web Junkies” — “In China today, Internet addiction has acquired a symbolic function that is about more than health. It is a measure of national anxiety as much as the rise of ‘neurasthenia’ (‘tired nerves’) was a sign of America’s unease during the industrial revolution. At one point in the documentary ‘Web Junkie,’ a young Chinese patient diagnosed with Internet addiction says, “If you check their definition of ‘Internet addiction,’ eighty per cent of Chinese people must have it.”

Filmmaker: Interview with Web Junkie Director Shosh Shlam — “Internet addiction is both a personal and social phenomenon. It is a universal issue that is becoming progressively all encompassing as the boundaries between the real and the virtual become increasingly blurred. Through this process, we could not help but feel that something is lost in the physical, ‘real,’ everyday lives of those living in the western world. This phenomenon, these feelings are what inspired us to take this journey.”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Trying final exam sends college students ‘off the grid’ — “The room six stories above the frigid Monongahela River resembled a group therapy session more than a freshman introduction to mass communications course as students confessed to the sin of cheating on their final projects. Only three of the 21 students said they were able to go 24 hours without using their cell phones, computers, iPods or televisions. The assignment was to spend this time in a technological desert, to keep a record of their normal use of technology and to write about the experience of leaving these devices for a day.”

Watch A Trailer For “Web Junkie”

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