Hob­bies help cure ad­dic­tion to the in­ter­net

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By CAO YIN

While some par­ents have ex­pressed con­cerns about theamountof time their chil­dren spent surf­ing the in­ter­net dur­ing the sum­mer break from school, it wasn’t a prob­lem for Yin Qim­ing.

In­stead, the 37-year-old Shang­hai res­i­dent and his daugh­ter di­vided their va­ca­tion be­tween cy­berspace and the 8-year-old’s other in­ter­ests.

“My daugh­ter has many hob­bies and I and her mother re­spect her choices, so we ac­com­pany her to classes she en­joys, such as learn­ing to play the drums and draw­ing,” he said.

“She loves to play out­side with her friends, so she doesn’t think the in­ter­net is a must-have thing in her life.”

Yin added that he rarely im­poses a time limit on his daugh­ter’s online ac­tiv­ity.

“She some­times uses WeChat (a pop­u­lar in­stantmes­sag­ing tool) on my mo­bile phone, but only to con­tact her mother,” he said. “Once she has her own plans ev­ery day and re­al­izes that the in­ter­net is just a part of life, she won’t be­come ad­dicted to it.”

Li Lin, a pri­mary school teacher from Liaon­ing prov­ince, ex­pressed a sim­i­lar opin­ion.

“We do some home­work online, in­clud­ing recit­ing sto­ries, and the chil­dren use the in­ter­net fre­quently ev­ery day of their lives,” she said, not­ing that the chil­dren’s online ac­tiv­ity is lim­ited to 30 min­utes a day at school.

“We should make bet­ter use of the in­ter­net to pro­vide chil­dren with more knowl­edge and help them to grow up,” said Li, who has a 10-year-old son.

The key to pre­vent­ing chil­dren, es­pe­cially those at pri­mary and mid­dle schools, from be­com­ing ad­dicted to the in­ter­net is to limit the time they spend online and to en­sure that they know cy­berspace can­not re­place tra­di­tional forms of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, she said.

Mao Feizhu, a psy­chol­o­gist from Fu­jian prov­ince in

Once she has her own plans ev­ery day and re­al­izes that the in­ter­net is just a part of life, she won’t be­come ad­dicted to it.” fa­ther of an 8-year-old girl in Shang­hai

Yin Qim­ing,

game on an iPad.

south­east China, said peo­ple over­es­ti­mate the in­flu­ence of the in­ter­net.

“Many peo­ple, even some par­ents, be­lieve the in­ter­net plays a big role in our daily lives, and­many things can be com­pleted online, but that’s not com­pletely right,” she said.

“We can use so­cial ap­pli­ca­tions to talk or play basketball games, and even share what we are think­ing about, but some­times it’s im­pos­si­ble for our emo­tions to be ac­cu­rately re­flected in this way.

What chil­dren need is emo­tional com­mu­ni­ca­tion and real phys­i­cal ex­er­cise. Af­ter all, love can­not be bought on the net,” she said.

Mao said the best way to stop young ne­ti­zens spend­ing too much time online is to en­cour­age their other in­ter­ests but also ac­com­pany them when they go online: “We should use the in­ter­net, not be­come its slaves.”

JIANG XIAOYING / FOR CHINA DAILY

An 1-year-old baby plays a

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