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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 August, 2004, 01:43 GMT 02:43 UK
Finnish army 'drops web addicts'
Finnish conscripts. Picture: The Finnish Defence Forces website
Some conscripts are sent home to "grow up", the army says
A number of Finnish conscripts have had their full term of military service slashed because of their addiction to the internet, the army says.

The Finnish Defence Forces say doctors have found some young men miss their computers too much to cope with the compulsory six months in the army.

The forces' recruitment officer said some troops were diagnosed as addicts.

The men concerned were sent home and would be called up again three years later, he said.

"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," recruitment officer Commander-Captain Jyrki Kivela said.

There are no official figures for the internet addict dropout rate.

However, Cmdr-Capt Kivela said, "it's not a big problem for the Finnish army", adding that he was "proud of our Finnish men".

The Finnish army consists of nearly 50,000 full-time troops and about 27,000 conscripts are drafted annually.

More than 44% of the Nordic country's 5.2 million people reportedly use the internet every day.

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