The March issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry has an editorial about Internet addiction. The editorial, which you can read in full here, reports that South Korea and China now have counselors trained in treating Internet addiction. South Korea reports that over 200,000 children are addicted to the Internet. This figure makes Internet addiction one of South Korea’s more pressing health concerns.
The editorial does not provide data for the number of American children addicted to the Internet. None-the-less it is probably safe to say, based on raw population and Internet use data, that there are at least as many children addicted to the Internet in the United States as there are in South Korea.
What implications does this editorial contain for educators and parents? As the report the report points out two of the negative repercussions of addiction are social isolation and poor achievement. For educators and parents Internet addiction’s negative repercussions are an obstacle to learning that we have to help students overcome. This presents an interesting situation for educators trying to teach with technology. Internet addiction is very real, how do educators and parents help students learn while at the same time try to teach with technology?