If you want to follow the line of irony up to the American state where Microsoft’s headquarters still is, then look not too far away for a new clinic in town that just opened for internet and video game addicts. With its location in a small, forested and nature-rich community ironically called Heavensfield outside Fall City, WA, the new 45-day internet recovery program center opened this summer without too much fanfare. And it’s not bereft of coming up with an internet-savvy title of “reSTART” to boldly go where no other recovery clinic has gone before. When you see what they offer, you soon realize that even though it might seem like a creation out of the mind of a writer at The Onion or similar satire writers I know, this clinic’s intentions are more than serious.
When I first heard about it, I had to find the clinic’s website in order to establish its actual existence. What I found there was an appealingly-designed website that showed a rehab center in the middle of a beautiful retreat I’d never heard of before in WA. The area of Heavensfield looked like a nature utopia, even though you’ll find a lot of hidden areas similar all over the Pacific Northwest. The full intention, of course, is to bring a gaming, internet or texting addict to a place where technology isn’t used or seen for miles–other than at Microsoft that’s located not too many miles away to the NW in Redmond.
No, they promise you won’t enter an absurd world created by WA resident Gary Larson where deer stand around texting and turning their peers into venison by playing World of Warcraft. The additional irony in that equally absurd statement comes in the news that the first patient admitted to reSTART this summer was an addict of the overly addictive World of Warcraft. Since that report, reSTART appears to be filled to capacity from tech addicts flying in from around the country and reportedly addicted more to World of Warcraft than any other video game.
What all tech addicts discover about themselves there may be one of the most important self-realizations we could have as a nation in the approaching 2010’s. But it also creates a problem in deciding what constitutes addiction or merely…well, what’s necessary for the sake of employment.
After seeing reSTART’s website and the retreat it’s located in, you really can’t ask for a better place to get away from civilization. If it hadn’t become an internet/gaming addiction clinic, it could have been one of the most bucolic bed & breakfasts in the country. In case you’re skeptical about its origins and who’s running it, know that two respected doctors founded the place with plenty of astute credentials already on their resume. Dr. Hilarie Cash has already been interviewed in the national media as a pioneer in internet and video game addiction. With her business partner, a local clinical social worker by the name of Cosette Rae, a program was created that works no different from a drug or alcohol treatment center.
If you’re one of the astute ones who admits to being addicted to internet and gaming, then you should seriously consider taking up residence at this 6-bed facility before a waiting list kicks in. It’s one of the very few around in America at the moment, unless you live in China or South Korea where reSTART’s site press release says net addiction is a #1 public health threat. Sure, guffaw it up that at least one Communist country has that listed as their worst addiction. Don’t consider it out of the realms of possibility that America wouldn’t get there this coming decade. Even if South Korea and China are far ahead of us economically, America is burying our heads in more video games, internet usage and texting than we care to admit.
Through the program at reSTART, you’ll be able to not only interact in group therapy, but also get one-on-one attention. Every aspect of getting one’s life back to a more normal level to create balance between technology and life is available. The highlight is taking tech addicts on expeditions out into the wilderness surrounding the area.
Yes, for some, just doing that on one’s own and getting some serotonin is enough to bring back some sanity. Then we turn to look at some of us who have to use internet or texting on a constant basis for the sake of making something called money.
For those of working as online writers, the reality is that a lot of time is spent writing on a computer if not frequent interaction on the net. That means for hours at home or on our portables while out and about. Others might argue the same thing about their careers, other than gamers who paint themselves into a box no matter what excuse they can conjure. A balance of technology and the real world, though, is going to have to be found since usage for career and addiction seem to be mercilessly intertwined.
While I always make attempts to go out into nature as much as I can when not working, the perfect balance of that process is going to be easily arguable, no matter what an addiction clinic might say. This clinic promises a program that helps us time manage and reminds of how the outside world brings a sense of renewal, no matter how little time might be spent there.
Consider it the modern-day Thoreau plan without necessarily giving up every modern amenity.
Now I implore you, the reader, to go take reSTART’s survey www.netaddictionrecovery.com/the-problem/are-you-addicted.html to see if you’re addicted to the internet, gaming or texting. Fortunately, I found out I wasn’t. Yes, honest engine.
The only question now is how much denial will happen before these clinics can proliferate. Since America can potentially be a land of contrition and admittance of mistakes, internet addiction clinics might be the next thriving business opportunity for the second decade of the very technological 21st century.
The official website for the reSTART Internet Addiction Recovery Program…