China is the first country to label “Internet addiction” a clinical disorder. Teen addiction to the internet is considered a threat so the government has built "rehab" facilities to help children reprogram back to what's considered normal.
Web Junkie, made by Israeli filmmakers Shosh Shlam and Hilla Medalia takes us inside one of these facilities to further explore how these children are facing their addictions while being treated as criminals by society and how the rehab punishments (ie: solitary confinement, brainwashing sessions) are used to bring them back to reality.
We have a good glimpse of how these children and teenagers feel disconnected from their families and isolated inside a culture that reinforces a strict parenting style. With that being said, it is unquestionable that most of these kids need support; most of them stay on their computers up to 15 hours a day and decide to quit school to play at Internet cafes. Sometimes drugging their kids or tricking them to believe they were going on vacation, the parents leave their children institutionalized in order to receive mental health support.
Web Junkie, premiered at Sundance 2014, supports the issues addressed in the Korean documentary Love Child, about addiction to technology and family neglect. Those two films not only exemplify how this issue is a world problem but also how the society is trying to deal with modern times.