South Korea’s quest to become the most wired nation on the planet has come at an irretrievable cost to the country’s digital-addicted youth.
Whereas internet detox boot camps started opening their doors to hooked teens as far back as 2007, several South Korean gamers have reportedly died from organ failure due to uninterrupted play for days on end. In one tragically twisted case, a married couple became so deeply immersed in a game about taking care of a virtual infant that their actual baby starved to death.
It’s no surprise that within this hotly-connected landscape, cyberbullying is proliferating at alarming rates -- particularly via instant-message. A new form of intimidation has even infiltrated South Korea’s schools: “cyber imprisonment,” whereby tormenters invite their victims into a chat room and harass them within the confines there.
And so the South Korean government is clamping down: a brand new service will notify parents whenever their children receive text messages containing curse words. The country’s ministry of education told The Wall Street Journal that the initiative would be operational in July.
Sadly, cyber bullying is no stranger to American shores, where a rash of suicides in recent years has brought the issue to the national forefront. These bold ‘treps even raised $10 million in funding for SocialShield, a platform that monitors kids’ online activity.
Given that broadband access in America (68.2 percent of all households) is vastly dwarfed by that of South Korea (a staggering 97.5 percent), is it possible that a similar initiative could benefit American teens, too?
Let us know your thoughts -- sound off in the comments below.