Sat, Apr 05, 2014 - Page 11 News List

Counselors admonish using strong-handed methods against adolescent Internet addiction
孩子「網路成癮」 諮商師籲勿高壓勒戒

A boy plays a game on a computer in Keelung on June 26 last year.
一位男孩去年六月二十六日在基隆玩電腦遊戲。

Photo: Wang Ying-chieh, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者王英傑

In an age when the Internet is ubiquitous, everyone has a mobile device and is constantly swiping and flicking at screens everywhere they go. This phenomenon has become a nightmare for parents because children do not know how to use such technology in moderation. As soon as a child develops problematic Internet use (PIU), or is losing sleep and neglects eating, some parents promptly cut off their child’s access to the Internet, which can lead a child to skip classes, run away from home, or rebel against the entire family. Mackay Memorial Hospital Counseling Center section chief Leu Yih-shi says that the Internet is an indispensable part of modern society. Instead of treating it as something to abstain from, it would be better to help guide people in finding a balanced lifelong approach, Leu says.

How can you tell if a child is addicted to the Internet? Although a more complex scale is used in medicine for evaluating and analyzing, Leu says that he usually gives parents a simpler method to determine if their child has a problem — not eating properly, not sleeping when it is time for bed, and skipping out on school or work. Neglecting one’s regular duties in order to continuously stay on the Internet or play computer games for three days or more than a week means that an Internet addiction problem probably exists.

At least one Internet addiction tragedy has occurred in Taiwan before. Hsiao Chieh (pseudonym) had amply exhibited his leadership skills in an online game. His mother, however, only saw her son as a youth totally obsessed with the Internet. After several failed arguments, his mother decided to cut off his access to the Internet entirely. Hsiao Chieh protested and on the second day used Internet cables to hang himself. In his suicide note, he said he had been deprived of his last freedom and wanted to do something that no one could take away from him — suicide.

TODAY’S WORDS
今日單字

1. ubiquitous adj.

到處存在的;普遍存在的 (dao4 chu4 cun2 zai4 de5; pu3 bian4 cun2 zai4 de5)

例: The juxtaposition between new and old is ubiquitous.

(新舊並置普遍存在。)

2. flick v.

輕輕地拂去某物;彈掉 (qing1 qing1 de5 fu2 qu4 mou3 wu4; tan2 diao4)

例: She flicked the dust off her jacket.

(她把夾克上的灰塵彈掉。)

3. indispensable adj.

不可或缺的 (bu4 ke3 huo4 que1 de5)

例: Repetition and memorization are an indispensable part of learning a new language.

(重複與熟記是學習新語言不可或缺的方法。)


People that Leu has counseled for PIU include anyone from eight-year-old elementary school students to youths in their 20s. When he encounters anxious parents, Leu consoles them first by telling them that PIU is not a sickness. The Internet and related technology have become a necessity in children’s future lives, so they must be taught how to use these tools appropriately, Leu says.

Lee Ling-hui, principal of New Taipei City’s Yongping High School, says that young people cannot get away from the Internet, particularly when it comes to making friends and playing games. To avoid addiction, Lee believes that parents must guide their children on how to use the Internet correctly from an early age, establishing game rules that must be adhered to, or it will be very difficult to change things once they reach high school.

Leu recommends that parents make time to be with their children, or even set a rule for the entire family to set aside time to be together every night without television or Internet while interacting together. Research shows that when parents and children regularly spend time together and the family has a close relationship, Internet addiction problems will be less likely to arise.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

網路時代無遠弗屆,人手一台行動裝置、走到哪滑到哪,但是孩子操作不懂得節制,已成為許多家長的噩夢,一旦子女發生「網路成癮」、甚至廢寢忘食,有些家長用壯士斷腕的做法,切斷網路線,反而造成孩子蹺課蹺家,或是家庭革命。專門協助輔導網路成癮的馬偕醫院協談中心組長呂奕熹指出,網路已成為現代社會不可或缺的工具,與其治療戒除,不如引導當事人達到生活平衡狀態。

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