After 10 years away from home, a 24-year-old woman finally returned home over the weekend to her parents’ great surprise and relief. Turns out that their daughter hadn’t really been literally dead all those years, just living inside various internet cafes.
She had ran away from her home in Hengdian, Zhejiang province at the age of 14, following a vicious quarrel with her mother.
A decade later, a policeman found the woman using a fake identity card at an internet cafe in Hangzhou. Back at the station her story came out. She told police that after leaving home, she had eaten and slept inside internet cafes. When she wasn’t eating or sleeping — she played internet game. With no job, she survived on handouts from other gamers who took pity on her, reports Tencent.
Also taking pity on her, the police hit the woman with a 1,000 yuan fine and called her parents, who rushed to Hangzhou to bring back their long lost daughter. Her mother told reporters that she would never fight with her daughter again as long as she lived.
That parenting approach is much more lenient than the one taken by some Chinese parents who send their web junkie kids away to infamous internet addiction treatment centers in the hopes that they will be cured through military-style physical training.
In 2008, China became the first nation to declare internet addiction as a clinical disroder. At the time, the China Communist Youth League claimed that more than 17% of the country’s 17-year-olds were addicted to the internet. Might be a little higher now.