America’s First Internet/Facebook Addiction Rehab Clinic

Internet Rehab

Challenges that the internet poses to health, economic and social well-being of people, especially the young, is becoming a major topic of concern worldwide. The first internet addiction rehab clinic in the United States of America, reStart, has opened in the state of Washington. The clinic works mainly with young adults who have lost control of their internet, gaming, pornography or social media usage, reports Al Jazeera.

“According to psychologists at the clinic, the treatment focuses on teaching meditation and mindfulness, going on hikes and being physically active as well as teaching basic life skills the patients often lack.

“Recent developments suggest the world’s increasing use of the internet could be affecting more than just the part of the brain relied on for memory. Research shows that allowing the brain to rest is essential for learning, processing information and the development of wisdom and insight.

“A study carried out by the International Center for Media and the Public Agenda (ICMPA) named ’24 hours unplugged’ followed students at the University of Maryland as they went without any form of digital media including internet, social media, phones and music – for one day.

“According to the study, the most difficult form of media for the students to give up was the mobile phone – specifically the smart phone. ‘It’s like the Swiss army knife of the mobile phone. You can do everything on it and its available 24/7,’ said Susan Moeller, director of the IMCPA.

“Not only did they rhetorically use the words addiction and withdrawals … they followed those comments by giving a more specific physical manifestation that made us say: ‘Oh, when they say addiction, they mean addiction: as in drug or alcohol addiction’,” said Moeller.

“While disconnected, students complained of feeling depressed, lonely, bored and less focused. They also complained of physical withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, feeling fidgety and hearing phantom ringing.

“Yet even students who hated the experiment said they liked certain aspects of it. They liked having an excuse for not keeping up with the media or not responding to every message.” More here…

(Photo courtesy Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Author: SWARAAJ CHAUHAN, International Columnist

Swaraaj Chauhan describes his two-decade-long stint as a full-time journalist as eventful, purposeful, and full of joy and excitement. In 1993 he could foresee a different work culture appearing on the horizon, and decided to devote full time to teaching journalism (also, partly, with a desire to give back to the community from where he had enriched himself so much.) Alongside, he worked for about a year in 1993 for the US State Department's SPAN magazine, a nearly five-decade-old art and culture monthly magazine promoting US-India relations. It gave him an excellent opportunity to learn about things American, plus the pleasure of playing tennis in the lavish American embassy compound in the heart of New Delhi. In !995 he joined WWF-India as a full-time media and environment education consultant and worked there for five years travelling a great deal, including to Husum in Germany as a part of the international team to formulate WWF's Eco-tourism policy. He taught journalism to honors students in a college affiliated to the University of Delhi, as also at the prestigious Indian Institute of Mass Communication where he lectured on "Development Journalism" to mid-career journalists/Information officers from the SAARC, African, East European and Latin American countries, for eight years. In 2004 the BBC World Service Trust (BBC WST) selected him as a Trainer/Mentor for India under a European Union project. In 2008/09 He completed another European Union-funded project for the BBC WST related to Disaster Management and media coverage in two eastern States in India --- West Bengal and Orissa. Last year, he spent a couple of months in Australia and enjoyed trekking, and also taught for a while at the University of South Australia. Recently, he was appointed as a Member of the Board of Studies at Chitkara University in Chandigarh, a beautiful city in North India designed by the famous Swiss/French architect Le Corbusier. He also teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students there. He loves trekking, especially in the hills, and never misses an opportunity to play a game of tennis. The Western and Indian classical music are always within his reach for instant relaxation. And last, but not least, is his firm belief in the power of the positive thought to heal oneself and others.