Oct 6, 2009

Depressed? Anxious? Internet Addiction Could Be For You! [Problem Children]

We always thought that just nerds were felled by the 21st century's most over-hyped ailment: internet addiction. We were wrong. Some smarty pants scientists have crunched the numbers and figured out exactly who falls prey to the World Wide Web.

After studying 2,300 11-year olds, Taiwanese researchers found that internet addicts are, shockingly, a lot like drug addicts:

Across the sexes, they found depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), social phobia or feelings of hostility to be the most prevalent predictors of which children would go on to develop an internet addiction as adolescents.

For girls, social phobia and depression were markedly the strongest predictors, the team report.

The report's writers declare they want to "alert pediatricians to what might become a major public health problem," which now means that parents, doctors and other busy bodies can take this information and apply it to virtual addiction camps which, oh yes, have been cropping up across China.

Then kids, overwhelmed by all the meddling, will take up good old fashioned addictions, like weed and smack. World order, restored!

Image via altemark's flickr.

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