600,000 young people in Germany are considered Internet-dependent. They play games and surf for hours on end. Erik, for example, sat in front of his monitor for up to 20 hours a day. Then he decided to get therapy.
Germans are smoking and drinking less than they used to, but they are developing new addictions - for example, to the Internet. 16 percent of ninth-grade children spend more than 4 hours a day at the computer. And that doesn’t include time spent on their Smartphones. Erik is battling his Internet addiction. He used to play games on his computer for up to 20 hours a day - and quit school to do so. But now he’s trying to shake the habit and change his life. He goes to a self-help group and gets treatment in a hospital. He has moved his computer and Smartphone into the cellar. But the brave new world of the Internet is seductive, and making a new beginning is difficult. Internet addiction - Online without end A Report by Axel Rowohlt