Japan To Launch ‘fasting’ Camps For Internet-addicted Students
Youngsters in Japan who are glued to their smartphones and laptops may be sent to an Internet “fasting” camp to help them disconnect from the online world.
The Ministry of Education estimates that some 518,000 Japanese children between the ages of 12 and 18 are addicted to the Internet, according to The Daily Telegraph. And officials fear that the number of middle school and high school students in need of a digital detox is rising.
To combat this growing problem, the ministry has asked the government to fund immersion programs, or “fasting” camps, designed to separate the children from their computers, handheld gaming devices and mobile phones.
“We want to get them out of the virtual world and to encourage them to have real communication with other children and adults,” Akifumi Sekine, a ministry spokesperson, told The Telegraph.
The camps would be held outdoors and at public facilities where the kids would have no way to access the Internet. Instead, they would be encouraged to participate in games, team sports and other activities. Psychiatrists and clinical psychotherapists would be on standby in case the youngsters struggle with the transition back to reality.
The Ministry also plans to launch a comprehensive research project on Internet addiction in the next fiscal year.
An excess of “screen time” has been linked to sleep disorders, depression and obesity, according to the
According to the Yomiuri Shimbun, online addiction can cause sleep and eating disorders as well as deep vein thrombosis, a blood clot in the lower leg or thigh that sometimes associated with traveling on long-haul flights.
Excess “screen time” may also increase a child’s risk of depression, attention problems and obesity, as well as interfere with their school work.