Journey from the virtual life to the real world may need just one halt – the rehab!
“I thought I had failed. It almost felt as if we’ve lost him. My child’s future had been compromised. But was I to be blamed? He wouldn’t come out of his room for days at a stretch. His eating habits scared me. And there was nothing that motivated him to come out of his room and interact with the outer world. I used to be terrified at the mere mention of a blackout in the colony, as he would get abusive and sometimes hit me too. The only interaction he preferred was in his virtual life. Kanav (name changed) was almost omnipresent on all social networking sites. He would spend long hours chatting to friends he might never meet in his life and his only strengths lay in the gaming arena. Facebook, Twitter, Counter Strike and Farmville were some of his favourite hangout joints. Chicken burger and fries with a large coke or a pepperoni pizza was his staple diet. As a worried mother of this single child, I had visited several psychologists and babas, but to my horror this only increased Kanav’s aggressiveness. He barely managed to scrape through school and within two months dropped out of college. I am a sensitive mother and I never wanted to use old-school methods on him. Providing for one’s kids is more than a moral obligation for caring parents. Little did we know that all these gizmos would one day become an obsession for him…”
Mrs. Chandra broke down while narrating her ordeal in dealing with her tech-addicted kid. It might sound unreal, but in London similar cases are being handled at a tech-rehab, which helps people get rid of their tech addictions. Specifically focussing on teenagers (although even adults may be equally addicted), the specialists feel that during the developing days of innocent young minds, the harmful effects are magnified. Tech addiction might lead to an increase in agitation, hyper-arousal, inability to concentrate and ultimately depression. In order to counter such technology addiction amongst adolescents or ‘screenagers’, Capio Nightingale Hospital (pioneers of tech rehab) has developed a tri-partite programme, which can be tailored to meet the patient’s needs. From intensive in-patient care to day-care, group and individual therapy, the programme is designed to increase off-screen social activities and developing strategies to cope with online problems, especially issues pertaining to cyber-bullying. “Young people are preoccupied with social media and online celebrity status, which is like an ‘Internet X Factor’. They want to be a part of this world and have other people following them and what they do,” comments Dr. Richard Graham, Consultant Child & Adolescen
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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2010.
An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).
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