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"Internet Addict" Killed At Chinese Camp

sjohnson
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Posted August 5, 2009 - By Stephen Johnson

When it comes to Chinese internet-addiction camps, you take a one step forward and two back. Recently a controversial re-education service decided to stop electrocuting teenagers who break camp rules, which is a plus, but reports have come out of China that a 16 year-old prisoner at another camp in Nanning, China was beaten to death by three supervisors, apparently because he didn't run fast enough, which is a huge minus. The alleged murderers were arrested, and victim Deng Senshan's family plan to protest the untimely, pointless death of their child. Senshan was probably a gamer: Most teenage "internet addicts" in China are.

“The teachers promised me that they would not use any physical punishment on my son when I dropped him off,” Deng Fei said.

Chinese internet users have reacted with outrage as well, asking, "Why do they always exaggerate their kids’ hobbies, turning them into addictions or problems?”

On a Chinese news forum, one member called for greater tolerance of Web habits: “I am sure only China has such a term: Internet addiction…. Why can’t its people accept new ideas and new things with an open mind?”

The Chinese obsession with internet addiction maybe highlights the speed with which the recently-agrarian country has moved into the modern age. Tech advances and the lifestyle changes they bring with them are coming so incredibly quickly in that country, it's not surprising that people are freaking out. Even here in the U.S., the advances in technology sometimes feel like suddenly waking up in a science fiction movie. Don't underestimate what the sudden introduction of radical technological change into a culture that's thousands of years old will do.

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"Internet Addict" Killed At Chinese Camp
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