I do not know if you caught this news. The elite engineering institution in India – IITs are banning Internet usage in the campus dorms at late hours. The reason – addictive behaviors, no sports, less social skills, sleeping in classes, no extra curricular activities and even suicide. According to university officials alarming number of students have become addicted to gaming, blogging, file-sharing and online movies.
Unlimited bandwidth and free internet provided for learning and research has become a destructive force. Some of the graduate of these schools are major innovators and leaders in the tech industry. The knowledge hub of the world and factory of whiz kids are becoming new addiction centers. What captapulted them to world-class has come to haunt them.
But will curfew of some kind work with college kids? If not allowed in the campus, they will find other ways to circumvent the access problem. External restraints and attempts to behavioral manipulation always falls short with youth. Unless there is an internal desire to change, self realization of harmful affects of this addiction, create alternatives and peer level cultural shift happens, no clampdown has worked with youth addictions. Parents, adults, youth work and authority figures are up against their rebellious nature, tendancy to experimentations, following the latest fads, consumeristic inclination etc.
With fast growing internet usage in India and China, the dark side of net is showing its ugly face. There is sharp increase in porngraphy, gaming, gambling etc in these countries. A lesson of all youth workers to learn as net consumption is rising everywhere.