Taiwanese parents appear very concerned about their children becoming addicted to the Internet, according to a survey released yesterday by the Grassroots Influence Foundation, but a psychologist said parents should “calm down.”
The survey found that 55.2 percent of parents believe that their children show signs of Internet addiction, including 31.4 percent of those with preschool-age children.
Of those who believed their children showed signs of addiction, “boredom” was viewed as the leading cause (74.7 percent of respondents).
Psychologist Chang Li-ren (張立人), a board member of the Taiwanese Institute for the Prevention and Cure of Internet Addiction, said that in clinical practice Internet addiction is diagnosed through patient interviews, with a particular emphasis on negative life influence and a shrinking social circle.
He said that a national survey conducted by the institute last year using more rigorous medical parameters found rates of Internet addiction of about 12 percent for elementary-school students, 19 percent for junior-high school students and 15 percent for high-school students.
The foundation’s survey showed that parents needed to be better informed about Internet addiction symptoms, Chang said.
“In clinical practice we often see parents who are overly concerned about their child’s Internet usage,” he said.
Parents often “demonize” children’s surfing habits without fully understanding how children spend their online hours and whether they are capable of regulating themselves, he said.
“Demonizing” Internet usage is often counterproductive, leading to conflict and even increased Internet usage as children push back against parental interference, he said, recommending that parents calm down and focus more on communicating with their children.
Even in cases of full-blown addiction, parents are not advised to suddenly cut off Internet access, he said.
Treatment usually follows a gradual program of reducing Internet time coupled with individual and family therapy, along with drug treatment if there is underlying depression or other neurological problems.
After reporters questioned whether the survey’s design was “unprofessional” and “overly subjective,” foundation board member Lin Jan-yan (林震岩) said the definition of “Internet addiction” was left up to the respondents.
Lin, a professor at Chung Yuan Christian University, said the foundation wanted to use the survey to raise awareness of the problem and encourage communication between children and parents.
The survey was conducted by the online marketing survey firm Pollster, which polled 1,105 members of its Web site who were over the age of 20 and had children.
The poll had a margin of error of 2.95 percentage points.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
‘RELIABLE PARTNER’: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised the ‘Taiwan model,’ saying that the nation brought its spirit to its COVID-19 response The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday signed at the Centers for Disease Control in Taipei. The memorandum was signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jen-ni Yang (楊珍妮). US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) witnessed the signing of the memorandum, designed to enhance the nations’
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday tweeted a welcome to Somaliland’s first representative to Taiwan, Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, who arrived on Friday. Mohamoud had “braved Chinese pressure” to take up his new post, Wu wrote. “The fact ‘sovereignty & friendship aren’t for sale’ deserves international recognition,” referring to a Somaliland media report earlier this month that Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi had rejected an offer by the Chinese government in exchange for ending its rapprochement with Taiwan. Wu also thanked the US National Security Council (NSC) for praising Taiwan-Somaliland ties. A council tweet on July 10 praised Taiwan
The US on Thursday removed a warning against all international travel, and placed Taiwan on a list of 13 destinations where the risk of COVID-19 transmission is “very low.” The list was compiled almost five months after the US Department of State issued a “global level 4 health advisory,” urging US citizens to avoid all international travel. On Thursday, the department announced that it was lifting the advisory, saying that “with health and safety conditions improving in some countries and potentially deteriorating in others, the Department is returning to our previous system of country-specific levels of travel advice.” The US