Thu, Nov 09, 2017 - Page 14 News List

Tech junkies

A clinic in Brazil that helps young people cope with technology addiction aims to take on a new phobia that is spreading world-wide

AFP, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL

Moderation is hard to come by these days in the largest economy in South America.

In 2015, 50 percent of Brazilians, or 120 million people, were connected to the Internet, trailing only behind China with 705 million, India with 333 million and the US with 242 million, according to a UN report on the information economy that was published last month.

Around 85 percent of online Brazilians use digital media to communicate with each other, while 77 percent use Facebook and other social media platforms like Instagram or Snapchat, according to Brazil’s Internet Managing Committee, which oversees Internet usage in the country.

While nomophobia is still a relatively new concept in Brazil, it is widely acknowledged as a public health problem in countries like South Korea, Japan and China and is treated in rehab centers.

Both patients and therapists at the Delete Institute believe they can learn to live in harmony with the new technologies.

“I am getting better with the exercises,” said L.L. “The problem with intensive Internet usage is that you end up neglecting other aspects of your life.”

King explained that the end of a course of treatment does not mean that the patients will no longer need support. “If they feel the need, they can come back,” she said.

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