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Fear of missing out drives Internet addiction in Japan

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"Fear of missing out drives Internet addiction in Japan"

In Japan? This is the same everywhere... Well, of course it is true, life in Japan has even less quality to offer than in the rest of the world. Being at the top of the list in suicides worldwide tells everybody a lot and the fact that the japanese language is the only one that even has a word like karoshi sums it up.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

This type of obsession is caused by the fear that they will get left out or bullied in a group if they dont reply quickly.

It's a Japanese society thing. From birth, people are taught they must be part of the group. So if others are communicating this way, they must too. If you fall out of the group, you will be ostracized. Sono Ayako worries about this sort of thing...

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Sure 'fear of missing out' would be one of many, many drivers, and in Japan this one would be much higher up the rank of triggers/drivers, but the problem is western/1st worldwide, across a huge age & socioeconomic range.

The solutions mentioned, that they are trying seem effective or at least intelligent and broad ranged though, so maybe the focus on 'missing out' is entirely the writers amplification.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

College dude is looking at a picture of a fish, what would he miss out on?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

College dude is looking at a picture of a fish, what would he miss out on?

There are undoubtedly cool comments about it, like: "Wow, nice fish!" or "Wow, I love fish!" You wouldn't want someone to miss all that, would you?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

"“She suddenly became like a different person,” Endo recalled. “As soon as she got onto a message board, the woman, usually a very quiet person, started talking and laughing to herself. She seemed to forget that I was there, and didn’t notice I was talking to her.” - article

Online interaction solves so many annoying problems. Attention span, listening, observing and social rapport are compressed. Seemingly more efficient, and in many ways obviously it is. The question arises, do people need more than efficiency? Are there other satisfactions in interpersonal or' face to face' communication?

To the extent research is reporting some seven to fifteen hours spent connected is not necessarily person to person; the internet world has become more real than reality for many. In some cases the isolation, or cocoon world, is far more satisfying and more easily controlled. Sometimes it seems sad when a baby of three is scrolling "Mom's" iPhone with the same intensity that once was used to observe the world around her, she has hybridized.

It is easy to imagine bizarre hybrid beings, no longer human quite so much as operators of cerebral lives. Many times this hybrid already seems more common than the human. Standing on the platform, all heads bowed, all conversations tapped and sent. Any verbalization an interruption of the space bubble created in the sphere of silent introspection.

Certainly, it is also easy to imagine how disturbing when the bubble of identity and interactions is burst, how lonely the old manually operated life must seem. What is the result when all the facility of language and manners is suddenly a new unpracticed challenge? Let's hope that day never comes.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

There are undoubtedly cool comments about it, like: "Wow, nice fish!" or "Wow, I love fish!" You wouldn't want someone to miss all that, would you?

JT readers are looking at a picture of a college dude looking at a picture of a fish. There are some comments like "Life in Japan has even less quality to offer than in the rest of the world." and "It's a Japanese society thing" and "Wow, this is so meta." Are they missing out on something?

Wow, this is so meta.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"Are they missing out on something?" - comments

Like what?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Rarely do I fear that 'I'm missing out on something' if I just unplug for a while. Not that much is really important however there have been a few times in recent years that I missed out on some smokin' hot 24 hour deals because I was so tired I just said to hell with it and took a nap only to find out that they sold out within hours of being available online. Still feel I missed out on those events as they have NEVER been repeated again but everything else, meh, it can wait.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

There goes interpersonal skills among young Japanese, out the window that is.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I gave up having a phone years ago and have never felt i have missed anything - in fact feel I have gained a lot by not having one. I hope that my daughters when they are teenagers don't become like the 90% of HS students constantly using LINe etc etc. So far, they are happy entertaining themselves - building tree houses, hideouts, catching bugs and alike.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I can't say I'm a fan of electronic addiction. Even in the United States, adolescents and young adults are glued to their electronic devices: cell phones, gaming platforms, computers, etc, at all times (even when driving). Not sure if I was in the U.S. or Japan (since the habits are so similar), but a whole family of four were in a restaurant: father, mother, son, daughter, and they were all on their electronic devices not talking at all.

This is a psychological problem. People are afraid. People desire acceptance, but fear rejection. People are vulnerable when they physically interact with someone, so they try and limit their risks when interacting with people. One of the easiest ways of finding acceptance is through electronic means, where they can stay anonymous and faceless yet exhort their personality. This is why many people have social anxiety.

Electronic devices can be useful and fun, but taken to extremes are unhealthy.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

We are going to see a lot of these kind of articles appearing in the Japanese press soon. Basically, they know they have lost, and the kids have all slipped hardcore into the internet, never to return again. The Japanese were always going to fall in harder than other nations, as this is what the kids have been crying out for since this whole society began; it fits them PERFECTLY, and is the antidote to all their problems. I completely understand how this has happened.

But the thing is, as I said, it is never going away, even if we want it to. This is it now, and these young people who are 14-18 years old now were born into the internet, not before it. They are the first generation that this has happened to, and their way of life, completely connected, is the future.

I said in another thread on the matter, that this inevitability should be conceded and embraced. That way, it will end up as a net benefit (excuse the pun). Schools here in Japan should be engaging them a lot more over digital platforms, incorporating smartphones and the internet in general into lesson plans and making things more valuable and worthwhile. They can also introduce the idea that the smartphone is really just a 'palmtop' and an immensely powerful tool; introducing the kids to coding, digital design, business, etc., on these devices, even if they still spend most of their time on LINE during their young years will be extremely beneficial in the years to come.

If I had the internet connected given to me in a lightning fast touch screen device when I was 14, my mind would have exploded with the possibilities.

I think a lot of the issue that people seem to be imagining, is that these young people are using their devices for mindless gossipy stuff, which they probably are. Because they are kids. If they can be redirected a bit, to use them for productivity and learning, we will be on for a very bright future indeed.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

MissingCylonModel: JT readers are looking at a picture of a college dude looking at a picture of a fish.

We're way ahead of him, though. With our fancy large-screen desktop machines, we can open up 20-60 JT article tabs and hop back and forth instantaneously. Young kids today don't know what they're missing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think Einstein said it best, "I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots!" It seems we have reached that point!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

vollandFEB. 16, 2015 - 07:24AM JST "Fear of missing out drives Internet addiction in Japan"

In Japan? This is the same everywhere... Well, of course it is true, life in Japan has even less quality to offer than in the rest of the world. Being at the top of the list in suicides worldwide tells everybody a lot and the fact that the japanese language is the only one that even has a word like karoshi sums it up.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"It is clear technology addiction has evolved—less than a decade ago those afflicted were mainly ‘gamers’ who locked themselves away to play on their consoles."

Well, glad they can at least admit that it's not really the tech that's the problem, it's the people. They forgot to add that people are still sitting around TVs 24/7 (or when they can, at least), including at the dinner table (it would be more unusual to NOT have a TV around the table than to have one), and before that it was something else.

volland: Just as a point of order, South Korea has a higher suicide rate than Japan. Japan is number two. Not coincidentally, number of hours forced to study corresponds to highest suicide rates -- South Korea #1 in the world, Japan #2. It's not related to the tech, save that the people might suffer from the same disconnect.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I don't see the problem. So the guy in the pic is learning about fish.

And the whole thing about "There should be more face to face interactions" and "They should get out more" and yadayadayada (which is what they really say when you try to take away their devices)...Well, face to face interactions are overrated in Japan. If the only conversations I could have with average folks is about the weather, and favorite food, and then the weather again, I would stick my nose in a device all day as well. And getting out more? To see what? Concrete monstrosities, people with shopping bags, tired salary men.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I really don't have a problem with this situation unless the teenagers attitudes change drastically. Japan has some of the most healthiest people in the world physically. As a result I don't see the logic of this issue.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Last Friday lunchtime I fell in the train station as I took evasive measures to avoid colliding with a smartphone zombie. As a result I have a huge green bruise on my hip, I'm still limping, and have had to cancel a snowboarding trip this week. I am absolutely livid about this. Smartphones are incredible devices and being connected so easily to the internet is such a useful thing - but when people are jeopardising their own safety (like the guy who walked under a train at Oyama station in October while playing on his phone) there is clearly a problem, and when they're jeopardising the safety of others (e.g. by walking through the busiest station in the world with eyes glued to Puzzle and Dragons) something clearly needs to be done. Next time, I will simply set my shoulder and knock the iZombie out of the way; no reason I should sustain an injury because of the complete inconsideration and stupidity of a smartphone addict.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Jalapeno. Very well said and I agree completely.

The interaction and experience these young Japanese people have online far surpasses the 'real life' one they would have if they didn't use them.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This all started with those damned pocket bells!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I think this problem is a global one... though.... in the case of Japanese, we really tend to go with the flow.... I personally, am doing a one-man movement against "walkers"... alas with no results..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is generational, nothing to do with Japan. If they think this is about conformity they're just trying to explain away internet addiction by oversimplifying the cause as cultural, rather than technological/biological.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And...its only the beginning !! There is yet much more to come. Better start getting use to it. Wouldn`t surprise me one bit if there a word for it, as I like to call it... "smartphonobia = fear of not using a smartphone" .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is it ironic that we're all reading this on a computer screen and not on some newspaper?

Times change. We have to change with it. Kids don't go out and play outside, they play online because there is no longer co-op games that require you to be in the same room as the people you're playing with. The internet changes stuff and so do AND must we.

Those people who hang out with their friends all the time when we were kids, did we call them co-dependent? No, we called them social. This always online thing is a way for them to be social with their group because most don't hang out or can't due to their schedules.

Extreme cases will turn up like some of them mentioned in the article but that's just how it goes.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

i'll be the first to admit: the fact that i can access the entirety of human knowledge in real time while sitting on the crapper is the greatest accomplishment of modern science and engineering.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Have fun. Treat being connected as abnormal while you can.

In 30 years we'll be the ones trying to cure you of your lack of connection.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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