I love the Internet as much as the next person (i.e. too much, probably), so I understand the distinct fondness for settling down after work, logging onto your computer and just getting absorbed into the web’s eerie gravitational pull. It’s sort of like the stock photo above, but with less literal grabbing and more scrolling through endless picture of your friend’s kitten Snowden. But what happens when an hour becomes two, and two becomes two days, and eventually you’ve developed bedsores and this is the fifteenth time you’ve re-watched Arrested Development on Netflix.
So, what is an Internet-addicted person to do? Why, join a rehab center for Internet addiction, of course! Which now officially exists. For real f’real.
As of next week, the Behavioural Health Services wing of Pennsylvania’s Bradford Regional Medical Center will be home to a new program for people who seek treatment for Internet dependency issues. Patients will be treated for a full Internet-free 10 days utilizing programs and counseling to help combat their addiction.
I am glad a program like this exists in the United States, as I think being Internet-addicted is an issue many people have. However, since Internet addiction is not yet recognized as an official disorder, insurance doesn’t cover the program so those seeking treatment are slapped with the hefty bill of $14,000. On the bright side, at least patients will be able to look at a cat photo without heavily twitching afterward, right?
Note: I’m not trying to trivialize addiction. I genuinely believe that behavioral addictions exist and are undoubtedly awful, but I also find it tragic and bizarre in so many ways that a technology we’ve come to incorporate into our lives as a tool or entertainment method has become this horrifying obsession.