According to research by the London School of Economics, British children spend more time in front of the television compared to their continental cousins, but the Internet may be taking the helms over television when it comes to children’s attention.
The Hamburg Abendblatt reports that the first children’s computer addiction camp has been established on the Baltic coast, in the village of Boltenhagen, north Germany; here, children, specifically of the ages ten to late teens are taught how to reserve more time for other activities other than surfing the net.
Founder, Ute Garnew, created the camp upon Evangelistic ideals, but children of all ages and degrees of “computer craze” are welcome, even some parents attend the camp to detox themselves from too much technology. Out on the coast, attendants are reintroduced to good old-fashioned exercise, including gardening, cycling, walking and even some crafts. The variety of activities allows the children to explore other talents and hobbies that they never acknowledged due to her/his devotion to computers.
Children who spend extensive amounts of time online are also prone to other problems, causing them the need to use net access as a hobby instead of interactive activities. Those who are overweight are usually shyer, thus using a computer, as an independent activity is more appealing than trying to make friends with their peers in person.
Ute’s camp tries to emphasise that time for technology is important, but that it is important not to exclude outdoor activities and interacting with others. A computer with net access is still available at the camp, one on the ground floor for attendants to use to check their e-mail—again implementing the message that pc’s are okay when used in moderation. However, one has to wonder how long it will be before a computer-craze camp opens in Britain.