Thu, Jan 05, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Most adolescents suffer `Internet addiction': survey

By Jean Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

The results of a recent online recreation survey revealed yesterday that 74 percent of adolescents suffer from "Internet addiction."

Morgan Sun (孫慶國), general director of the King Car Education Foundation which conducted the survey, said that as the winter vacation approaches, parents should be aware of the amount of time their children spend on the Internet.

Excessive use of the Internet often causes children to pay less attention in class, to stay up late and to stay indoors on weekends, Sun said.

"Children don't get enough exercise if they stay at home all the time, resulting in them putting on weight easily," Sun said. "They also risk damaging their eye sight by staring at their computer screens all day long."

Twenty-five percent of the students surveyed spent more than three hours online on weekdays, with the percentage increasing to 47 percent on weekends, according to Joyce Tseng (曾清芸), vice president of the foundation.

The survey found that some 55.3 percent of adolescents play online games, 51 percent download music and 37.4 percent download software, Tseng said.

Respondents said that computer viruses and computer lags are the biggest annoyances while surfing, Tseng added.

Most also disliked junk mail and were bothered by e-mail messages advertising adult Web sites, Tseng said.

Tseng added that "Internet addiction" plagued most adolescents, with 70 percent reporting that they felt anxious or sad when they had trouble with their Internet connection.

Adolescents were also worried that their parents would restrict Internet usage, Tseng said.

Parents should understand that the recreational environment is changing and seek to understand the new technology that their children are using, Sun said.

"The Internet should not cause the relationship between parents and children to become distant, nor should it be a cause of conflict" Sun said. "Parents and children should communicate better to avoid these problems."

The survey was conducted in the last two months and had a 2.2 percent margin of error.

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