A Chinese Cure for Internet Addiction

Illustration for article titled A Chinese Cure for Internet Addiction

It's the future of nanotech pseudo-science and rehab all rolled into one strange package. Fritz Hoffmann took this picture for National Geographic in Guangdong province capital city Guangzhou. Apparently these strange masks, which remind me of something out of a cyberpunk anime, are "nanometer wave machines" used to cure addiction. The person second from right is being cured of "internet addiction." Other treatments include isolation and electro-shock.


According to the Washington Post, other clinics eschew the nanometer waves for tougher tactics:

The clinic in Daxing, a suburb of Beijing, the capital, is the oldest and largest, with 60 patients on a normal day and as many as 280 during peak periods. Few of the patients, who range in age from 12 to 24, are here willingly. Most have been forced to come by their parents, who are paying upward of $1,300 a month — about 10 times the average salary in China — for the treatment.

Led by Tao Ran, a military researcher who built his career by treating heroin addicts, the clinic uses a tough-love approach that includes counseling, military discipline, drugs, hypnosis and mild electric shocks.

One of the "addicted" people at the Daxing clinic was going online a few hours a night. A few hours a night is addiction? Sign me and all my friends up for the nanometer wave machine, please. Thanks for the tip, Marilyn Terrell!


Annalee Newitz

@Garrison Dean, King Awesome: I know it may come as a shock to you, but there is a whole bunch of stuff on the Internet created by Chinese folks for Chinese folks, and just because they can't read our English-language crap doesn't mean they don't have fun reading their own stuff. Government censorship is very imperfect.