Internet and the stresses of rapid modernization

The IHT published a report on the increase in the number of suicides in South Korea, a consequence of the stresses of a (too) rapid evolution worsenen by new technologies. Modernization has brought many uncertainties and weakened the traditional family references while the Internet provides an easy way for suicide candidates to get together or get lethal drugs.

The increase in suicides in South Korea has been especially steep in recent years, almost doubling from 6,440 in 2000 to 12,047 in 2005, according to the National Statistical Office. […]

The government does not compile figures on how many suicides may have been inspired or aided by the Internet. But in an analysis of 191 group suicides reported in the news media from June 1998 to May 2006, Kim Jung Jin, a sociologist at Korea Nazarene University, found that nearly a third of the cases involved people who had formed suicide pacts through Internet chat sites.

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Asian societies seem to be particularly vulnerable to this phenomena. Are these countries paying the price of their fast-paced transition from third world traditional societies to modern superpowers? Or is it a wired society problem happening in Asia first, which means our European countries will soon have it too?

I am an entrepreneur and researcher passionate about understanding the social implications of digital technologies.
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