South Korea Finds Solutions to Internet Addiction

August 18, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. neurologist (n.) [noo-rol-uh-jist] – a brain doctor; one who specializes in the treatment of the nervous system to which the brain belongs
Example: Neurologists say that the brain is one of the most powerful organs in our body.

2. hook (v.) [hook] – to attract somebody’s attention and interest
Example: I got so hooked with reading the novel because of its inspiring story. 

3. entice (v.) [en-tahys] – to attract or tempt
Example: The sales officer enticed his customers to buy the new product by giving discounts.

4. illusion (n.) [ih-loo-zhuhn] – false idea; the ability of appearances to deceive the mind and senses
Example: The magician's illusion was so convincing that everyone really believed it was true.

5. parliament (n.) [pahr-luh-muhnt] – a legislative body; a government body that makes and passes laws
Example: Many people admired the parliament for creating a better environmental law.

Read the text below.

Internet addiction is one of the serious problems in South Korea.  Cases of internet addiction among young people have alarmed families and even politicians.

To help cure the addiction, Dr. Lee Jae-won, a neurologist at Gongu National Hospital, opened a brain clinic that uses brain scans to assist patients. According to him, if the situation already affects the brain’s function, medical treatment would be beneficial.

Jong-So, a teenager and a patient of Dr. Lee, used to play online games all night without sleep or breaks. Jong-So said that he got so hooked with playing because he found it difficult to adapt to the real world. Fortunately, he and his family have seen positive results from the therapy after spending two months at Dr. Lee’s clinic.

Dr. Lee also mentioned two types of internet addicts: shy people who want to keep their true identities in the cyber world and those who are enticed by visual graphics and illusions of having power.

To prevent players from becoming addicted, Dr. Lee recommends that people limit their internet gaming. With this intention, the South Korean parliament has passed what is known as “Cinderella Law,” which prohibits teenagers from playing games after midnight.

However, Dr. Lee believes that games are not the only cause of the addiction.  According to him, Korean parents and the competitive education system push children too much, forcing them to find escape online.

For Dr. Lee, controlling internet addiction concerns not only doctors and politicians, but everybody.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

 Discussion A

·         What kind of online games may be played by children?
·         How should parents discipline their children on the use of the internet?

Discussion B

·         What do you think are most people addicted to?
Is there a way to prevent or cure addiction? Explain your answer.

August 18, 2011