Wall Street Journal, Jul 23, 2013
SEOUL—Lee Yun-soo has some regrets that she replaced her faded old clamshell phone with a smartphone six months ago. The smartphone-penetration rate among children and teenagers in South Korea tripled last year, and the government says roughly one in five students is addicted to the devices. The WSJ’s Alastair Gale talks with Jake Lee about the problem. The South Korean high-school student enjoys tweeting funny photos, messaging friends and playing online games. But she said her smartphone is increasingly disrupting her life at school and home. “I hate doing it but I can’t help it,” she said as she fiddled with the palm-size gadget. Ms. Lee is among the roughly 1 in 5 students in South Korea who the government said is addicted to smartphone use. This addiction is defined as spending more than seven hours a day using the phone and experiencing symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia and depression when cut off from the device.