China and South Korea Are World's Top Internet Addicts
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China and South Korea Are World's Top Internet Addicts

Almost one third of South Korea and China are hooked on the Web, the matrix, the digital superhighway. By whatever name it’s called, the Internet nonchalantly waits on all of us for our daily fix — like a pusher at the corner silently peddling his wares. Deftly handing out news, emails, streaming videos, social networking, games (and whatever else scratches your itch).


Internet addiction afflicts most of the world, where the human need for social networking, games and entertainment drives much of the traffic. (Image: Shutterstock)

The rest of the world are not that far behind on Internet addiction, according to the following infographic. What with all the available devices to get your fix with (smartphone, tablet, netbook, laptop, desktop and yes, even television), you are not that far away from a poke, a pin, a tweet, or a feed (nom nom).

While most Net addicts prefer getting their high in the comfort of their office desk, others will bring it on the train, in the toilet, on the bed — some will even wake up in the middle of the night just to check their Facebook accounts. With Google’s Eye (Project Glass) on the horizon, people will be plugged in through their glasses.

It won’t be long before the Matrix premise will be realized — where we power the Internet servers with our bodies and we live in a virtual world, plugged in until we die and get discarded in tomorrow’s landfills (it’s allowed, we are bio-degradable after all). But who’s to say we aren’t living in the Matrix right now? Would you be willing to take the red pill?

If you think you or your loved ones suffer from Internet addiction, congratulations, you’re human! Our curiosity and desire for entertainment or wonder have helped develop our brains from the primate level (eat-sleep-poop-sex-groom) to our highest levels of achievement (Leonardo, Einstein, Hawkins). While the infographic says research shows Internet addicts suffer 10 to 20% brain shrinkage, I would hold out on throwing away your smartphone, laptop or netbook.

The Web provides us with endless hours of entertainment; connects us with friends and loved ones from hither and yon; challenges us with Angry Birds Space and conspiracy theories; teaches us new things on Google Translate and RSS feeds; and so much more (I can’t think of anything else, my brain is 20% less dense as it used to be — which could be a good thing).