South Korea Admits ‘Digital Addiction’ Afflicts 2.5 Million Kids
South Korea's government estimates that some 2.55 million people are addicted to smartphones, using their devices for 8 hours a day, and sometimes more, Fox News reports.
"I get nervous when the battery falls below 20 percent," said Park Jung-in, an 11-year-old who sleeps with her Android phone. "I find it stressful to stay out of the wireless hotspot zone for too long."
Image Source: Flickr (Zawezome)
What's interesting about Park's case, and others like her, is that despite her attachment to her Android phone, she appears to be otherwise well adjusted. She participates in class discussions, gets along with friends, and has found a hobby in cooking. Even still, she set off more than eight red flags on an addiction test, deeming her an unhealthy dependent on her smartphone.
Kim Jun-hee, a kindergarten teacher who conducted an eight-month study on Internet safety and addiction education for pre-school children, isn't really surprised. She notes that kids are surrounded by mobile technology all the time, from strollers with smartphone holders to watching movies on tablets in grocery store carts.
"I've been teaching at kindergartens for more than 10 years now but compared to the past, kids these days are unable to control their impulses," Kim tells Fox News.
Overuse of cell phones and other such devices can lead to physical problems, like turtle neck syndrome, which is caused by leaning the head forward for extended periods of time, and pain or numbness in the fingers and wrists. Apparently it can also lead to horrible name selections when having a kid.