China defines Internet Addiction and you probably have it, dear reader

So, tell me. Do you:

  • Spend 6 hours online a day?
  • Yearn to get back online when you’re off?
  • Feel distress (mental or physical) when disconnected?
  • Have trouble concentrating or sleeping?

Yes? Good! That means you’re part of this modern world in which people connect via their electronic devices. Wait, no. Bad! It means that according to Beijing’s Military General Hospital, you have a treatable illness and you need therapy.

Forgive me, but having worked in this field for some time (addiction treatment and psychology, not “the internet”), I can say that their diagnostic guidelines are wide enough to park a cruise ship in. For example, if you have an iPhone, doesn’t that mean you’re “online” as long as you have a signal? Is gaming different from checking sites or email, and how so? What if you read you local paper, online, on a laptop in a cafe? Any diagnosis would be questionable and any treatment would be incredibly impersonal and ineffective. Nice try, China!
[via Lifehacker and Tech Radar]