Net not to blame for tearaway kids

Chinese research on state of its e-nation

Kids in China are not turned into isolated, withdrawn tearaways just because they use the Internet.

So says a report by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), which found that four in ten youngsters access the Net.

Of those, four in ten said that their Net use had "no influence on their studies", while three in ten said the Net was actually useful for their education.

The rest said the Net did have an "undesirable impact on their studies", according to the study of 3,400 students aged between 10 and 18.

According to Xinhuanet there was also no evidence that young Net users suffered from personal isolation. In fact, this Net-savvy group claimed to be "more satisfied with their lives" than non-Net users.

The question, of course, is whether or not the Chinese authorities will actually take any notice of this research.

In 2001, Chinese officials shut down around 2,000 cybercafes - and suspended a further 4,000 - because of fears the country's youngsters were becoming addicted to the Net.

It seems parents were concerned about the psychological and physical health of children who were spending too much time in Internet cafes looking at porn and violent content. ®

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