After refusing a direct order, 16 year old Chen Shi was beaten to death at a boot camp for troubled youth in China. And it’s not the first time this has happened to teenage internet addicts.
A day at a typical Chinese internet addiction boot camp begins with a 6:20am wake up call and morning exercises. The day continues with a strict regiment of military drills, lectures, martial arts training, and sessions with psychologists. Lights out is at 9:30 sharp. Some boot camps employ the use of electric shock treatment, while others, like the Beiteng School in Changsha that Shi unfortunately attended, enjoy beating their students with a plastic pipe, a wooden baton, and handcuffs. And parents pay thousands of dollars for this.
Internet addiction among Chinese youth is a bit of an epidemic—1 in 10 teenage internet users are estimated to suffer from the problem. US internet addiction rates run at 3-8% for the entire population (which, apparently, is mostly comprised of our Giz readership).
Shi’s mother had initially been informed that he was in critical condition after “possibly” suffering from a sunstroke. He had been enrolled in the program due to his fear of hardship, weak willpower, and lack of self-confidence. It seems that a change in attitude, an increase in parent-child interaction, and some harsh regulations are in order to prevent more such deaths from occurring in the future. [TG Daily and CIO]