Net addicts need proper treatment

Regarding the Sept. 3 editorial “Net addiction a growing problem“: I get a strong anxiety about this problem and its ramifications. In my opinion, Japanese society is likely to dismiss such addiction as a trivial matter and make light of it, to be sure, but the editorial has pointed out that the number of these sufferers is soaring at an exponential rate, so governments and communities should implement proper measures against it. In tackling this issue, I believe, they should realize some facts that exist in this problem.

First, these Internet addicts should be regarded as sick people who should be consulted by doctors with adequate specialized knowledge.

Second, it is easy to blame them for their mental weakness not to get out of the Internet world, however, the focal point of this issue does not reside in their lack of self-restraint, but various problems lay in this society and create people’s feeling of emptiness. There is nothing good about keeping them left as they are indefinitely.

Finally, there already exists a lot of sufferers of this addiction, but they cannot get adequate treatment for want of the number of doctors in this field. We can learn from this article that having digital detox days under the instruction of doctors may improve their condition. I think this lack of sufficient number of doctors could be one of the biggest obstacles when we tackle this issue.

We often see hideous or sometimes unusual crimes committed by net addicts, who could not tell the real world from the virtual one and had communication hurdles with others. The government and communities should start dealing with this social illness before the condition is past curing.

shuichi john watanabe
tokyo

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.