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“Web Junkies”

July 27, 2015

I don’t usually review video resources on this blog but a recent documentary has come to my attention that is too important to ignore. The documentary recently appeared at a large selection of film festivals and has also appeared on PBS. The documentary titled “WEB JUNKIES” Directed by Shosh Shlam and Hilla Medalia focuses on a “rehab center” in China designed to treat “Internet-Use Disorder in students. The behaviors that prompted the the intervention included dropping out of school, multi-day continuous video game playing sessions, refusal to eat,sleep or interact with reality or family. The documentary runs just under an hour ten minutes and contains some rough language but it raises some powerful questions about internet practices, problem solving between parents and students and the therapeutic process as a whole. Susan Laurie a Denver child psychiatrist in a follow up article comments,”Kids who have other issues but then get drawn into video games. there is something about the games and the way their structured that is very addicting” It is like the video game technology amplifies the preexisting problem issues. A critical question raised is of course in our ministry students, how much is too much? Laurie responds, “When it starts to significantly impact function, when there is significant drop in grades and in friendships then it starts to be a disorder”. Internet uses and abuse is a very real part of the world our students live. It is critical for us to keep up with the research and tools to rise awareness and deep reflection on these issues.
The video is found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajLAZ0kGJmc
The follow up article: page 2E in the column “Television” by Joanne Ostrow Denver Post TV Critic Sunday July 19, 2015

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