Boot Camp’s Bad Name Doesn’t Extend to Computer Cure

24 11 2007

“When his parents told him he had to go to school, he reacted violently. Desperate, his mother, Kim Soon-yeol, sent him to the camp. . .”

In Korea, a Boot Camp Cure for Web Obsession
By MARTIN FACKLER

. . . these young people are not battling alcohol or drugs. Rather, they have severe cases of what many in this country believe is a new and potentially deadly addiction: cyberspace.

They come here, to the Jump Up Internet Rescue School, the first camp of its kind in South Korea and possibly the world, to be cured.

. . . Researchers have developed a checklist for diagnosing the addiction and determining its severity, the K-Scale. (The K is for Korea.)

. . .The rescue camp, in a forested area about an hour south of Seoul, was created to treat the most severe cases. This year, the camp held its first two 12-day sessions, with 16 to 18 male participants each time. (South Korean researchers say an overwhelming majority of compulsive computer users are male.)

The camp is entirely paid for by the government, making it tuition-free. While it is too early to know whether the camp can wean youths from the Internet, it has been receiving four to five applications for each spot. To meet demand, camp administrators say they will double the number of sessions next year.

During a session, participants live at the camp, where they are denied computer use . . . the campers are under constant surveillance, including while asleep, and are kept busy with chores, like washing their clothes and cleaning their rooms.

. . .As a drill instructor barked orders, Chang-hoon and 17 other boys marched through a cold autumn rain to the obstacle course. Wet and shivering, Chang-hoon began climbing the first obstacle, a telephone pole with small metal rungs. At the top, he slowly stood up, legs quaking, arms outstretched for balance. Below, the other boys held a safety rope attached to a harness on his chest.

“Do you have anything to tell your mother?” the drill instructor shouted from below.

“No!” he yelled back.

“Tell your mother you love her!” ordered the instructor.

“I love you, my parents!” he replied.

“Then jump!” ordered the instructor. . .

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8 responses

25 11 2007
notjunecleaver

Oh come on now. Admit you need an intervention too! 🙂

My sister sent me this article the other day. I laughed (and immediately posted it).

Why do you suppose the “overwhelming majority of compulsive computer users are male”?? Do you suppose it is different in Korea? Perhaps women don’t have as much “free time” as men? I’m curious about that.

25 11 2007
JJ

Been out of the loop for almost a week due to travel and medical stuff (Tonsil Boy is so much better today that I was catching up and this story is irresistible)

The art makes it, don’t you think, with the guy whose eyes obviously have been ruined by too much screen time squinting into the lens right in the front row . . . but the boot camp cure is worse than any disease or disorder it purports to fix imo.
Reminds me of the Cold Case episode I saw the other night, set around 1960, where the teen girl dresses like a guy and wants to work on car engines, so they send her for behavior modification in some horrible residential place experimenting with electroshock to force girls to wear lipstick and sit like ladies. (Of course the fact that I saw that episode and am now chatting about it online, probably just made NotJC’s case that I should be sent away for fixing . . .)

25 11 2007
Nance Confer

I think I could be “cured” by being sent to some nice tropical beach, umbrella drinks and cute guys bringing towels and snacks.

Boot camps just wouldn’t work for me. 🙂

Until then. . . so many blogs to read!!

Nance

25 11 2007
Deanne

Sadly, “Rehabilitation” seems to be the new phrase for forcing people to conform. A good friend of our family was recently sent away to be “rehabilitated”, his only “problem” was that of being a teenager. That’s just not acceptable to some parents!

26 11 2007
JJ

Thoughts on the whole boot camp “cure the kids” meme and why it garners political support (in any country, not just ours) —
““Conventional Quackery” of Deadly Education Fad: Liberals, Conservatives Both Guilty”

2 01 2008
JJ

Ack! Now that I’ve read “The Golden Compass” and seen the movie, this is much too close for comfort to how they treat children in that world, in the name of The Authority. . .

28 09 2010
EDUCATION NATION Tuesday: Different Memes for Different Dreams « Cocking A Snook!

[…] the downside of what I heard: their prescriptions for relentless parent pushing and militaristic boot camp examples — teachers breaking teens down to build them back up as a well-trained credit to the […]

24 10 2011
“I Live in the Future” Where Video Gameplay Is Real-Life Learning Is « Cocking A Snook!

[…] Boot Camps’ Bad Name Doesn’t Extend to Computer Cure: . . . these young people are not battling alcohol or drugs. Rather, they have severe cases of what many in this country believe is a new and potentially deadly addiction: cyberspace. […]

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