Online addictions - Blaming the machine

The news that a 15-year-old American boy collapsed and was rushed to hospital last week after he played computer games without a break for five days may be seen as an indictment of computer games but in reality the boy, and especially his parents, have the hardest questions to answer.

Computer games and an online existence can be addictive but, as in so many other instances, we blame inanimate objects for human failings. And it must be seen as a human failing that a person can be so witless as to spend such an inordinate length of time in a virtual, unreal world.

Protecting spiky teenagers from their harmful excesses is never easy but as any good parent knows sometimes it’s necessary to be cruel to be kind.


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