HELSINKI (Reuters) - A number of Finnish conscripts have been excused their full term of military service because they are addicted to the Internet, the Finnish Defense Forces said Tuesday.
Doctors have found the young men miss their computers too much to cope with their compulsory six months in the forces.
"For people who play (Internet) games all night and don't have any friends, don't have any hobbies, to come into the army is a very big shock," said Commander-Captain Jyrki Kivela at the military conscription unit.
"Some of (the conscripts) go to the doctor and say they can't stay. Sometimes, the doctors have said they have an Internet addiction," Kivela said.
There are no official figures for the Internet addict dropout rate.
"They get sent home for three years and after that they have to come back and we ask if they are OK ... they will have had time to grow up," Kivela said.
Finland called up 26,500 men in 2003, nine percent of whom were relieved of duty for medical reasons.
However, the Internet drop-outs have not dented national pride in "sisu," a Finnish quality of being tough and resilient.
"We are very proud of our Finnish men. Eight-two percent of all Finnish men manage their whole military service," Kivela said.