Monday, July 8, 2013
Korea is the most wired country in the world, having also the highest percentage of smart phones. Not only is this a positive sign of the efforts made to promote internet technology but like everything else when taken to an extreme often has a negative result, which seems to have occurred in Korea.
Stories abound on how the internet has been abused, similar to what has happened in other countries. The result of this addiction is causing great concern around the world. An article in the Peace Weekly, which discusses a paper given by Doctor Lee Jung-hun, a psychiatrist at the Catholic University of Daegu, gives us some interesting facts on the situation. So serious has it become, according to Dr. Lee, that the government has started tailored programs to deal with the addiction, providing special classes in internet addiction and organizing holiday camps to wean students off their dependency to smart phones and the internet.
In 2012, a survey was made of youngsters, from the ages of 10 to19, who were considered internet addicts; it showed an increase in addiction from 7 percent from the previous year to 18.4 percent. The addiction rate of those from 10 to 49 years old was 11.1 percent. The result of the study indicates that there may be problems with the emotional life of those addicted to using smart phones.
Dr. Lee presented a paper on addiction to smart phones and the internet at the annual meeting in San Francisco of the American Psychiatric Association. He made a study of 276 high school students, from four schools, who were 16 years old, and found that the higher the incidence of addiction, the more the students were prone to accidents and problems with attention deficit disorders. They also had problems with depression, anxiety, delinquency, aggressiveness and relating. Problems with reasoning correctly were also uncovered. He also found behavioral differences with how the smart phones were used. Using them in the toilet, before going to bed, and when making personal contact via the social network service were also signs of addiction.
There are numerous applications for smart phones, and they continue to develop them, making them increasingly attractive and causing many to move away from the PC to the smart phone. The earlier one begins to access the Internet, the easier it is to become addicted. Efforts to discover the reasons for the addiction, Dr. Lee said, should continue to be made. It is a serious problem and though Korea has started to take appropriate steps to deal with the problem, it will not be easily solved, since Korea has developed more than other countries in the world of cyberspace.